Monday’s mail included the following note: “You might be a great author.”
I am not exactly sure how to take that.
Does it mean I should keep trying? Or that I haven’t yet given it enough effort?
Or does it mean, keep deluding yourself?
I suspect the person who penned that remark really hasn’t read a single book I’ve written.But if I were already a “Great author”, they would have already read at least one of my books, right?
Oh, gosh, the head games we writers play. Maybe my buddy Jeff Foxworthy could do a whole new series – You might be a great author if…
- You’d would write about rich people going to exotic places. (I once attended a workshop where the bestselling author said that nobody wants to read about poor dirt farmers. Write about rich people going to exotic places. His books are almost always in the top ten bestsellers.)
- You would write what we want to hear. (It works for politicians and preachers all the time).
- You would write while inebriated. (Also works for politicians and preachers).
- You would write in a way that required no thought on the reader’s behalf. (see above).
- You would write about deep fat frying everything or how to make your own home brew. (I was at the fair this weekend. The elephant ear booth had the longest lines next to the beer booth).
- You would write about dying and going to heaven and returning again. (BTW: This doesn’t work if it turns out you die and don’t go to heaven. Nobody wants to read about the person who went to H-E- Double-Toothpicks.)
- You would write about how to make love like a porn star. (The number one book while I was on tour with my memoir. If you make love like Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in Bridges of Madison County, however, nobody wants to see that much less envision it.) *Millennials will not get this reference at all. Google it.
- You would write a diet book. (Of course, it might actually involve dieting. Yes, you can be president without actually knowing anything about public service or the common good or the Rule of Law. But writing a diet book actually requires a tad bit of knowledge beforehand. I know, right? Go figure.)
- You would write a story with a predictable plot. (We have enough surprises in the daily headlines. We don’t need any more plot twists in our lives).
- You would write a story that doesn’t include any LGBQT people, no people of color, unless they are the yard guys or The Help (paid generously by the rich people going to exotic places, of course).
I can’t guarantee that any of these tips actually work, given that the jury appears to be still out on whether I’m any good or not. But this one thing I can do well: I can deep fat fry a hush puppy like nobody’s business.
Perhaps, I should write a cookbook, heh?
Several novelists, I know have been very successful with their cookbooks. Besides I hear all the time from people bragging that they haven’t read a book since fifth-grade, but I ain’t never stumbled upon a person who said they ain’t eat nothing since they was ten.
I’m pretty sure my carrot cake recipe alone is worth a million bucks.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of CHRISTIAN BEND (Mercer University Press). It is not a book about rich people going to exotic places, but it does have a steamy shower scene. Check it out.