I’ve debated blogging about this, because it got under my skin. Or through my thick skin, either way, this experience really made me angry.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get mad at stuff all the time. I don’t have a particularly legendary temper or anything like that, but between my OCD and common sense, I tend to get irked over, shall we say, little things.
I’ve been writing for something like ten years. I lost count a long time ago and have never bothered to really figure it out. Or if I did, I put it in a blog post and forgot about it. If you find it for me, you get a prize! Maybe.
Anyway, I digress, back to the thick skin. I’ve been writing for a long time, and I’ve been through some really tough critiques, both amateur and professional. There is a decent pile of rejection letters from publishers and agents somewhere in my house, and I’ve spent a ton of money on writing conferences and workshops. So I’m not a rookie.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a little writing workshop. The information was fantastic and the people there were great. I learned a lot and would have glowing reviews to tell you about, if not for one thing.
I got up the nerve to go talk to a librarian.
In general, I have no qualm with librarians, they’re awesome people who helped me find all sorts of great books as a kid. They work hard and know things that not even Google can find. Am I right?
This woman has her debut novel coming out early next year, which is great. I figured we could chat because we’re both authors. I figured we could talk shop. So I walked over and asked if I could ask her a few questions about librarians and books. We chatted for a few minutes, and I asked her the best way to get your book into libraries. She’d already said that they usually carry local authors, so I figured I was on safe ground.
Nope. Not really. She became a little closed off and asked who my publisher was.
Let me break in here and say that yes, my novel, New Sight, came out through a small publisher. To make a long story short, it felt right to me like only a few things before in my life have. Done.
Well, this woman’s face literally went from a friendly expression into a condescending sneer. She looked down her nose at me (she’s tall, I’m short) and said, “I’m wary of small publishers. You can bring me an Advanced Reader Copy and I will try to look it over.”
Her reaction totally turned me off. Good thing the meat of the workshop was over, because I let that boil in my head for about an hour before I left.
Everyone else in the industry that I’ve spoken to or gotten to know is happy that I have a book published. Two books, if you count Babes in Spyland. This is probably an isolated incident, and I probably caught her on a bad day, but seriously, who is she to scorn me for the route I’ve chosen for my novel?
Grrr…I’m still a little worked up about it. I can take criticism for my writing—believe me, it’s far from perfect—and I love it when people give me helpful advise. But I have never before been looked at like a second class citizen.
I’m still not sure what to make of it or do about it. Do I send her a copy of my book? Do I forget the whole thing?
Well, I do have one plan, write a kick a** book that blows hers out of the water. Er, I mean, I’ll write the best story I know how. And maybe shoot her a dirty look at some point when I have a movie deal and she doesn’t.
See, I feel bad even saying that, because as a fellow author, I want her to succeed. Curse my mother for teaching me manners.