Hey cHEwY gum gums!
For many people, I am the first writer that they’ve ever met. When I’m at a party, function or waiting in line at the airport, and strangers ask me what I do for work, I dish out my ready-made answer.
I’m a children’s author.
Well, I used to say children’s author, but I tense up and stuff up the pronunciation of both children and author. In the end it sounds like shoulder awful.
Then I said that I write books for kids, which has now morphed into I write kids books.
I’m sure everyone who reveals their occupation has had to endure a bunch of follow-up questions that they have to play out like a hand of cards. I feel sorry for real estate agents or financial advisors who have to politely decline giving out free advice on prices and stocks. I’ve only seen people who show their gum problems to dentists in TV and movies, surely that doesn’t happen in real-life?
Children’s writers cop a few FAQs too. They include
-Do you do the pictures as well?
-Anything that I may have read or seen?
-So when will you write a real (adult) book?
-I/my kids love Harry Potter. It’s not a question but I never tell them that, so I just smile back.
Now to be fair, it’s not people’s fault that they don’t know much about the world of children’s writing. When I told people that I used to perform at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, they assumed the festival was just that TV special they saw on Channel 10. I admire people’s polite questions to make conversation, which may lead to some more interesting chats.
Besides, I’m guilty of laying the same stereotypes and preconceptions on personal fitness trainers, accountants etc as well.
The conversation about my job usually ends with either 2 comments. One about how I’m the first writer they’ve met. Or they tell me how lucky I am that I’m a children’s author.
Now that’s something I can agree on 🙂
When you tell people that you’re an children’s writer, how do people react? Let me know!