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Not My World

So I just got off the phone from a conference call with my agent and somebody else’s agent (you know their stuff) and we discussed the possibility of various options for Dragonbreath, none of which I am going to talk about now, and would ask that y’all refrain from speculation, since I can’t say anything, and in the way of all things, even if somebody DID option it for something, odds are good I would get a nice little check and then Absolutely Nothing Would Happen, and then maybe sometime in the future someone else would be interested and if lucky, I would get a nice little check again.

Such is the dance of options.

I have been on con calls before where the subject under discussion was Digger, or was a story I hadn’t even written yet and I was basically just brainstorming for hire (none of which led to anything with that particular client, but one of which ideas became Bread Wizard, so hey, nothing is ever wasted.) Nothing has ever come of it, but hey, nothing ever comes of these things ’til it does, so you gotta keep taking the calls.

So I listen and occasionally I make an appreciative noise or ask a question.* They talk about budgets and merchandising and quote numbers that would set me up for life if anything actually happened (which it almost certainly won’t.) I make more appreciative noises, because this is sort of like telling me how high the lottery jackpot is today–yes, that IS a great deal of money, but the odds of me taking it home are nearly non-existent, so I don’t get excited.

But it comes home to me now and again that This Is Not My World.

OTHER AGENT: If you’re in front of the computer right now, you can look up this company…

ME: Helen, you’re gonna have to google that, I’m pulling weeds.

MY AGENT: (starts laughing.)


ME: Pulling weeds. Uh, it’s not that I’m not taking you seriously, I swear, but I only get good reception out in front of the house, and then I’m right there and there are these weeds…

MY AGENT: (still laughing) See? Makes…total…(ahaha)…sense…

OTHER AGENT: (plaintively)  …I have never had anyone say that to me on a con call before.

He seemed nice.



*Everyone is very kind and answers these questions as if they are not deeply inane or betraying a total ignorance of the industry in question. I am plagued, not by the feeling that I am asking stupid questions—I long ago stopped worrying about THAT—but by the feeling that I don’t know which questions I SHOULD be asking. My agent asks the important ones, or hires the people who then ask the important ones. This is why agents are lovely.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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(Deleted comment)
Pedestal Lite! A nice little brick of alabastar, that they can put one foot upon for you to go "Oooh." for five minutes or so until you notice they're eating a burrito, or doing something else normal.

*laugh* I'll take wonderful in the sense that I wonder what I'm doing a LOT...that counts, right?

Seriously, though, anybody who does "aloof published author" is probably deluding themselves. I figure there's maybe a double handful of authors that can't actually go to the grocery store without being recognizing (JK Rowling...Stephen King...uh...okay, drawing a blank past that...) Most of the rest of us only get to be famous at conventions and on the internet. We still have to do our own shopping and scrub our own toilets and pull our own weeds.

JK is currently building a new house in the centre of a wood near my wife's family village just north of London. She's picked the best area to not get noticed. No one ever looks up from their iPhones. If they walked directly into her in the street they would just mumble sorry without looking up. That being said she might never find her way off the land. When it's foggy in there it's like Narnia.

Terry Prachett is very recognizable.

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