The time I met that crazy, local author lady

A couple weeks ago I met this local author in my town. I was sitting down by the bayou, minding my own business (actually doing some writing myself) when she comes up to me out of nowhere and asks “Hi, do you read young adult novels? Are you a teenager?”  Now I realize she was just peddling her new book, but I don’t think I look that young. So, nice try.

Anyway, I told her that no, I was not a teenager, that in fact I was in my twenties but why did she ask?

She proceeded to babble on about how she was a local writer and she had just published her second novel for young adults and blah blah blah. It was actually sort of interesting to me, being a writer myself, but the way she divulged the information was slightly annoying. A sort of “look at how accomplished I am” vibe, name-dropping along the way. So, while I was interested to hear how another author had gotten published, I really just wanted her to go away and let me get back to my own work. But obviously she didn’t get the hint. Obviously.

Anyway, we exchanged information and I’ve been hesitant to email her for the following reason:

Not two days after I met her, I happened upon her again in a clothing store. She was (thankfully) so self-absorbed with talking about her novel that she didn’t recognize me (or even see me, for that matter) so I was safe from being sucked into her spiel again. But of course I couldn’t help overhearing what she was saying to the cashier who was attending to her (poor girl, probably didn’t know what she was in for when she got to work that day) and how it was basically exactly what she’d told me. Finally this crazy lady left and it was my turn to pay but wouldn’t you know it, this lady wasn’t finished. She came back into the store to the cashier (who was now trying to take care of me) to pass off some promotional bookmarks (for this girl to pass out to paying customers? What? I’m still confused what this girl was supposed to do with them). She STILL did not recognize or acknowledge me (thankthelord). She thanked the cashier for “helping her out” and finally departed. I pretended I knew nothing of the entire matter.

Look, I’m all about self-promotion. Having worked as a publicist for a small commercial publisher, I know sometimes you catch a break and don’t have to do any of the legwork yourself; that’s what your publicist is for. But more than ever, not-so-well-known authors have to take care of promotion themselves (especially if they’re self-published). But there’s definitely a right way and an annoying way- I mean wrong way- to go about it. And this lady clearly doesn’t have a clue. I don’t care how desperate I am to promote and sell my novels, I don’t think I could ever stoop that low. Not that I’ve ever published anything (oh, except here, here and here) and who knows when I’ll ever be in the position that she’s in (because we all know I move about as fast as a snail when it comes to finishing anything; first novel should be out in about 5-10 years at this rate). But c’mon, handing out bookmarks at the local TJ Maxx? Not exactly your best bet. Just saying.

So now the question is: to email or not to email. I know it can go several ways:

1) She will probably not answer (most likely). She will probably have a) forgotten who I am or b) will be so self-absorbed she won’t make time to respond.

2) She will answer, but only to fill my inbox with more promotional junk and links to purchase her books.

3) She will respond but only to pick my brain in hopes of utilizing my publishing contacts for her own greedy use.

4) She will respond in attempts to help ME in any way possible with my own novel endeavors. However, this will only occur once hell has frozen over, the moon has exploded and/or Obama has been assassinated. Errr, shit, I probably just put myself on the FBI’s most wanted list. Correction: I am in no way saying I plan to blow up the moon. End correction.

I’ll probably just end up emailing her for the hell of it. I’ll make sure to promote the shit out of everything I’m working on and see how she likes it.

So to all my writer fans/friends out there, how far would you go to self-promote? Am I being overly judgemental? Or has this lady gone too far? If you disagree with me, feel free to leave your comments in the trash can, because that’s where I will most likely send them anyway. Just kidding. Or am I?…


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