“I looked you up on your website; I see you’re a children’s author,” said an architect I barely know the other day.
I’m always a bit freaked out by almost or complete strangers knowing who I am; I mean, obviously, I have a website, I want people to know who I am, but really - ! The only reason Mr Architect even knew my surname was because I’d been copied on to some e-mails about paint colours.
“Oh, er, yeah..” is my eloquent reply, waiting for the dreaded "but you’re not JK Rowling are you…"
“A Children’s Author - wonderful!” he says. “How marvellous, how exciting!”
Not often I get that degree of enthusiasm. I begin to warm to him despite the fact he’s been stalking me on the Internet.
“And I must say,” he goes on enthusiastically, “you do look the part.”
That’s where he loses me. I have absolutely no idea what he means. Do I appear child-friendly? Have I got a passing resemblance to JK Rowling? Am I wearing a witch’s hat, a green hungry caterpillar costume, a Peter Pan smock? What does a Children’s Author look like – tortured genius? Head-in-the-clouds? Away-with-the-fairies? Rich (ha ha)? I wasn’t even holding a pen at the time.
It only later occurred to me that I can’t in fact look the part that much, or he would never have had to look me up on the Internet to find out who I am. But by then our conversation had long since faltered and ground to a halt, so I never did find out what he thought a Children’s Author should look like.
Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me?
(Apologies to Mr Architect, who I must say did not particularly look the part, he should perhaps have been carrying a small building like one of those medieval saints with churches tucked under their arms…)