When People Ask, “How is your book going?”

sad-writer

“How is your book going?”

This question often comes up while I’m standing in a crowd of people I don’t know very well. It’s one of those needle-scratching-across-the-record moments, all eyes on me, waiting to hear what the writer has to say. Beads of sweat form at my hairline, I shift uncomfortably and take a long gulp of whatever poison I’m drinking, the fake smile plastered on my face hangs there just a beat too long while I search through my catalog of responses.

What can I say without sounding self-important, or boring, or unwittingly eliciting that dreaded follow-up question, So, what is it about?

Here are some techniques I’ve employed in the past:

Deflection
Q: How is your book going?
A: Oh, pretty good. Hey, do you think there’s meat in these stuffed mushrooms?
Inspect stuffed mushrooms until everyone loses interest, then eat stuffed mushrooms regardless of findings.

Self-Deprecation
Q: How is your book going?
A: Like a turd on a conveyor belt. Terrible. Let’s talk about something else.

Token Polite
Q: How is your book going?
A: Really well. How is your wife/husband/kid/pet?

Drunk
Q: How is your book going?
A: Sumpthin’s uppin my whatnow?
Fall over and/or vomit.

Confrontational
Q: How is your book going?
A: What’s that supposed to mean?

Swashbuckling
Q: How is your book going?
A: Make way, ye soul-sucking scum o’ the sea, fore I take me cutlass and feed the fish!
Not recommended.

Soap Opera
Q: How is your book going?
A: How dare you, Timothy. You think you have the right to ask me such things after what you did with my twin sister? I trusted you!
Splash wine in his/her face then turn on your heel and depart dramatically. 

Honest
Q: How is your book going?
A: Some days I think it’s going well. Other days I wonder when everyone is going to see through it all and call me out for the intruder I am. Thanks for asking.
Q: So, what’s it about?
A: Fall over and/or vomit.

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3 responses to “When People Ask, “How is your book going?”

  1. So agree with this post! Maybe it shouldn’t be the case but whenever someone asks me about it front of people I don’t know, I always dread one of the strangers asking me what my book is about. I always anticipate their judgmental pretentiousness and/or disinterest. But nevertheless, how else will people find out about your book if you don’t speak up? *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! I love this post. And I was just about to say “What about the dreaded ‘what’s your book about’ question!” But you beat me to it right at the end. 🙂 That’s the worse one for me. I fall over AND vomit, at the same time. It’s not a great marketing strategy, I admit.

    Like

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