I am a steadfast believer in not letting life pass you by. When you have the chance to seize happiness, dig your claws in and ride it rodeo-style. Unless the happiness involves actual rodeo riding, in which case you can skip the metaphor and actually just ride it normal-style. If your happiness involves anything of a sexual nature, I refuse to take part in encouraging you to ride anything.
While I absolutely love my job as a teacher, my dream job is as a writer. Apparently, there are about 42 million Americans who also envision being a writer as their dream job, so there’s some cutthroat competition out there for my dream job. But I have a leg up on the others: I have created a complete fantasy world in my mind in which I am already a writer. And in my fantasy world, I often have to field requests for interviews.
Unfortunately, I’ve learned through watching interview fiascos with everyone from reality TV stars to our nation’s President that giving in to the pressure from bad interviewers (or even good ones) can lead to a spin-doctorish nightmare. Apparently, Barbara Walters is so good at her job because she could get a nun to admit to where the bodies are hidden.
I’ve decided I can’t risk having my words twisted and my sentences carved apart, not to mention my grammar corrected, by a journalist who is just using me to further her career. Therefore, I will only grant interviews to myself.
ME: So, Lorca, I can call you Lorca, right?
ME: Oh, sure. There’s no reason for formality here, I’m just a regular person. It’s not like this can be used in court, right? (laughter) RIGHT?
ME: So, tell us about your early work as a writer.
ME: Well, my first published piece was a poem about a cat for the fourth grade newspaper…
ME: I meant more recent work than that.
ME: Oh. I’ve been writing for a few years now and I mostly fell into it by accident. I happened to know someone who needed several articles written on a specific event, which lead to a short six-part cereal piece in a well-known newspaper.
ME: Shouldn’t that be “led” and “serial?”
ME: (laughter) Sure, of course. Thanks for pointing that out.
ME: And more recently? When did you make the transition from journalism to writing novels?
ME: Well, that too, was pure coincidence. I was working for a complete ass who informed me that my job was not going to survive the next round of budget cuts. I took a good, hard look in the mirror and realized that I just wasn’t pretty enough to be a stripper, which is pretty much the only job in this economy that is still hiring. So I began work on a manuscript.
ME: Was that scary?
ME: Somewhat. You always open yourself up to scrutiny when you write something for the public to see.
ME: And from what I understand, the reviews of that first novel were not stellar. One reviewer even went so far as to say, “Lorca Damon needs to stick with what she knows and leave the writing to the professionals.”
ME: (laughter) Ouch! I hadn’t herd that one! Who wrote that?
ME: First of all, that should be “heard,” and second, that was from your mother. She went on to say, “I paid good money to send Lorca to college, and she’s spitting on my generosity with this writer business.”
ME: I’m going to have to argue on that one. My mother has, in fact, read my work and has had great things to say about all of my writings.
ME: All right. Aside from that, talk for a minute about your current project.
ME: Oh, right. Well, I don’t want to give away too much, but given the recent popularity of paranormal fiction, we’ve seen books on vampires, werewolves, zombies, faeries, it’s all been done to death. You know what we haven’t seen? Aliens. Sexy aliens fighting evil bad guys.
ME: You mean like in the recent blockbuster film I Am Number Four?
ME: What? They made a movie out of that?
ME: Tell us about the publishing process.
ME: It’s very important to write a whole book before you try to get one published.
ME: I’d say that’s pretty much a given. So where do you stand on the debate between self-publishing and a traditional publishing house model?
ME: People are seriously debating that?
ME: Have you published anything for e-readers?
ME: Yes, in fact my second novel made the bestseller list for Amazon Kindle.
ME: I don’t want to misconstrue what you’re saying, but your second novel is currently #13,584 on the Amazon Free For Kindle list.
ME: Exactly. It made the list, didn’t it?
ME: Tell me about the current trend for authors to try to go it alone, skipping over querying agents altogether and going straight to publishers with their manuscripts.
ME: Geez, why would anybody do that? If you don’t have an agent, who is going to make sure you get to the airport on time?
ME: So, you have an agent?
ME: Yes. She just doesn’t know it yet.
ME: Lorca, it sounds a lot like you have written parts of several different novels, have not found anyone willing to look over your entire material, and are resting on the laurels of tricking people into reading a document you uploaded to the Amazon website from your iPhone. Where do you see your writing career going in the next year?
ME: You know what? I don’t like your attitude! I do not have to put up with this! This interview is over! (angry stomping of feet)
It all sounded better in my head, before I thought about it too much. The happy part of this fantasy world is a whole lot more work than I thought. Luckily, I’ll have an agent to screen these potential interviewers and she can choose only the good interviewers who are going to ask important questions like, “What do you eat for breakfast?” I might have to finish writing a novel before I can get an agent, though…