Friday, December 02, 2005

Being PBW

Dear Shiela,

Wrong spelling. I before e, except if you're me.

How long has it been?

Who are you? (checks sig block) That long.

As you know, in [month] my [industry group] has [event]

And this matters to me because . . . oh, no. You're not going to ask me to do a [dreaded author thing.] You wouldn't.

and while I know you must be extremely busy

Don't. Please. We were nodding acquaintances once.

and you have so much on your plate right now

and the last time you looked at my plate would have been? When Clinton was in office? Yes?

but I would be so grateful if you would consider doing a [dreaded author thing].

(shrieks) You asked. (shrieks again)

The reason I'm asking you is [persuasive argument, much flattery, small monetary bribe.]

If you're going to throw money at me, it had better be enough to cause a concussion.

Seeing how well your last [dreaded author thing] did for [ancient industry event].

I remember that. Rome was sacked about the same time.

I feel you are ideal for [dreaded author thing.]

Couldn't get anyone else, I bet.

We have to finalize the [dreaded author thing], so please let us know when we can start on this project asap.

You're assuming I'm going to say yes. Cake, iced.

Warmly, Former Nodding Acquaintance.

(contemplates how to respond)

Dear Nodding Acquaintance, Over my dead body. Too mean

Nodding Acquaintance: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Sheila. Too honest; can't embed the mp3 file of me screaming.


(e-mails insane colleague who actually likes to do the dreaded author thing, gets an okay on a rec.)

Actual response e-mail: Dear Nodding Acquaintance, Thanks so much for asking me to do your [dreaded author thing.] Alas, my present schedule won't permit me to participate. I know [insane colleague's name] is available, if he might be an acceptable alternative. Good luck with your event. Best Wishes, Sheila


  1. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Now I feel like I need to hire you to write letters of regret to people who write me and ask me for things.

    But then, if I did, I'd be asking you to do a dreaded author thing...

  2. Too, too funny. :)

    p.s. Love your blog.

  3. Dreaded author thing: otherwise known as a DRAT? Or is that too mild a word? *wink*

  4. As a wannabe who'se also a busy dad and swordsman with a day job, I find your "book promotion through writing lots of books" strategy most encouraging.

    I doubt, e.g., I'll ever have the time to go to a lot of cons. If I'm not spending my weekend with my family, then I want to be in a field echanging Manly Swordstrokes.

  5. Does this mean that I can't ask you to particpate in my author interviews then?

  6. You ANSWERED them?

    Or maybe I'm just too rude. That or I'm comparing the bizarre review requests I've been getting lately.

    "Dear [publisher name removed 'cuz I'd still like to be able to pitch them]: Perhaps you missed the banner on my web site, the bios on both my web site and my blog (which, as I remember correctly, was what brought me to your attention), the numerous reviews of my book (which you also mentioned, but mysteriously haven't offered my publisher the mass-market buy-out we so greatly desire), all of which refer to me as a writer/reviewer of CRIME FICTION.

    "I realize this might have slipped your attention, but tell me again how PIMPING YOUR WIFE TO BECOME DEBT FREE looks remotely like MYSTIC RIVER again? I seem to have missed that, but the author insists I'm perfect to review it.


    Jim Winter"

    [Actual response: DEL]

  7. See: that's what you get for being famous...

  8. Hee hee. Another fine one . . . and another one that makes me say, Do I want to be part of that club?

  9. LMAO! It's pretty sad when they don't even get your name correct. (shaking head)

  10. "I before e, except if you're me."

    So *that's* how you remember it. So clever.

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  12. LOL! This is hysterical! I love Jim's response.

  13. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Hey PBW,

    So, hows about listing some Dreaded Author Things? Just so we what not to ask you for....*wink*


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