Sunday, 13 July 2014

Conversation with Someone who Just Doesn't Get It by Sheena Wilkinson

So. You finished your book? [casual tone to hide true thought: About time: you have damn all else to do and how can a mere YA novel take that long?]

Yes. Well, there’ll be more edits when my editor sends it back to me – she says it’s not quite there yet [careless tone to pretend am totally fine with that] but for the moment, yes, all done.

So what happens now? Are you taking the summer off [not that you deserve it]?

No. I’ve started a new book.

What – already? So it must be a series? [God, they really do just churn them out.]
first book

No. It’s totally different.

How can you have another idea already? [Still, it’s only YA; isn’t it all the same book?]

Oh, I’ve had this story in my head since December. I’ve had an outline since March. The characters have been talking in my head for ages.

That’s a bit weird. [More than a bit.]

Not to me. That’s kind of what I do. You know, being a writer and all.

Ah – so you must have a really tight deadline? Is it one of those three-book-deal thingies? [impressed tone: maybe she is a real writer after all.]

I wish. No, I haven't got a contract. I'm writing it on spec.

second book 
What, you still have to do that, even when you’ve had a few books published and they’ve done OK? 

 I do. I shouldn’t imagine John Green does.

So you could take the summer off if you wanted? Nobody is actually waiting for this book? You’re just kind of – hoping? [oh dear; that's a bit sad.]

Well, I have a deadline for myself. I suppose the characters in the story after that would be a bit pissed off if I kept them waiting round for too long. 

That’s definitely weird.

Maybe. Now, I have to go and write this book. Have a good summer.


Susan Price said...

Oh yes, Sheena! I've had this conversation, and ones very like it, many, many times.
That eternal question will surely be spoken soon: When are you going to write a proper book?
If I had a pound for every time I've been asked that, I'd have earned a lot more than I have by writing for the past 6 years.

Joan Lennon said...

They just don't get it, but we do - consider yourself hugged!

Sue Purkiss said...

I winced, reading this. So familiar!

Keren David said...

And then there's 'Wow, I do admire the way you manage to keep churning them out!' From adults who'd never dream of actually reading one of my books.

Penny Dolan said...

That person gets everywhere, doesn't he/she? I often find it hard to manage the friendly smile while biting the tongue.

Jane McLoughlin said...

I must be one of the lucky few who haven't had any negative comments about my writing. People have been enthusiastic and supportive and dead impressed that I a) wrote a book and b) had it published. Many of these people have known me for years and know what a struggle it's been to get to this place. Another thing to feel grateful for! Sad that it's not the same for everyone....

Sarah Taylor-Fergusson said...

Heh. Spot on.

Sheena Wilkinson said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I have to say it was meant to be fairly tongue in cheek! But after a week at Charney, where everyone just does Get It, this is what was in my mind. I must say I also have lots of supportive chums -- but they do tend to be fellow writers! Even lovely people think, deep down, that what we do is Weird.

C.J.Busby said...

Brilliant. Spot on. And the reason why it's so lovely to hang out with other writers who understand all the weird things we do!!

Victoria Eveleigh said...

Lovely! I've had many similar conversations - and you'll know what it's like if you say you write horse & pony stories, too! Good luck with your book, and I hope we'll meet sometime soon.

Jackie Marchant said...

Well, I totally get that, but the irony is that those who don't get us, don't get this either! (If you see what I mean). Loved the conversations we had at Charney!

Nick Green said...

All those reactions boil down to one thing: envy.

Which is even sillier when you think about it.