Every time I do a book signing, I get asked the same questions. Every. Single. Time.
At first, I thought some of these were jokes, but the asker turned out to be serious. While I can understand why some of these (Is that really your name?) come up, I’m not sure I can grasp why my answers are so often met with disbelief, or why the person will ask the same question again and again. Since these are questions I get no matter where I am signing, from a wide array of people, I’m guessing these are fairly universal inquiries. I’m thinking of printing this list out and framing it to set on my book table at events. What do you think?
Below is a list of the ten most popular questions, along with my answers.
10. Is that really your name? Yes.
9. Are you sure? Positive.
8. Is this story based on your real life? No.
7. Are you sure? I’m sure I didn’t come from a family of snake gods. Yes. I am sure. I’ve checked.
6. Did you actually write this book? Yep. It’s mine. That’s why my name is on the cover.
5. By yourself, the whole thing? By myself. The whole thing. Yessir.
4. And that’s your actual, legal name? I’m not sure why people don’t believe me. But yes, it’s my actual name. I’ve had it for many years. Savage is my maiden name, Kinney is my married.
3. Are you the heroine of your own story? No. Though characters are usually made up of bits and pieces of people I have known, not one character has ever been completely based on a real person. Not even me.
2. Where do you come up with ideas? I can rarely answer this one. Usually ideas just show up all on their own. Sometimes I hear or see something that tips off an idea, or makes me question, What if? The only one I can ever say with any certainty is that the idea for Heckled started after Robin Williams died, and morphed from there.
1. Do you always dress like a pirate? Not always. Usually only for Ren Faire or zombie events. Or on Tuesdays after 5 p.m.
When I have a chance to ask a question of any author, I usually ask, “What question are you most tired of answering?”
What about you? When you meet an author, what are some questions you ask? Do you keep a list? Do you ask the same questions of any author, or do you tailor your queries to each individual? Last, do you have any questions for me? Go ahead and ask.
As long as they aren’t something I’ve already answered in the above list. Check once, just to be sure.
Then fire away.
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