One of my pet peeves are the questions writers appear to attract at coffee hour, potlucks, and when meeting relatives one hasn't seen in a long time: the kinds of questions where the other person doesn't really care about the answer. So here are a few, along with some possible answers:
1. Where do you get your ideas?
A: From asking questions like, "But didn't her daughter object to being jerked out of school in the middle of the semester?" when I'm reading a book.
B: They strike me out of the clear blue while raking leaves or shoveling snow, and I have to run inside to scribble them down before I forget them.
C. From my dog, when we're out walking. He's full of ideas: arf, arf. All I have to do is interpret them.
2. How long have you been a writer?
A. I haven't worn a watch in forty years, more or less, so I'd have a hard time figuring this out.
B. As best as I can remember, I've been writing something since my first grade teacher taught me to print.
C: What? Oh, you mean a published writer? Why didn't you say so?
3. What's your book about?
A: Which book?
B: A boy with a problem.
C: Aliens, spies, and terrorists. It's great. Go buy it.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
A. Which one?
B. The first draft, or the final version?
C. Not long. I'm a fast typist. It's the editing that consumes the cycles.
5. What are your strengths as a writer?
A. Great wrist muscles
B: My typing abilities. I can type over fifty words a minute, and I don't have to look at the keyboard, either.
C. My ability to keep a straight face when answering all these questions.
6: But I really am interested. What now?
Email me. We'll chat. But be prepared for a page, at least, for each question.
Margaret Fieland is the author of Relocated. You can find her on facebook, twitter, goodreads, her website and blog.