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13 October 2009 @ 09:37 pm
so will ye…  

We have a regular cabbie, Gerry, who knows I’m a writer. Which is to say, he knows I write. I have a vague and desperately incorrect assumption that when I say I’m a writer, people take it to mean I’m, you know. Published. Because that’s what *I* mean. But today in the cab on the way home he said to me, “So will ye be finishin’ yer first book soon?”

“Actually,” I said, somewhat bemused, “my thirteenth book came out in September.”

The man nearly dropped his teeth. After a bit of spluttering with astonishment he asked questions–how do I get paid, and, “I don’t mean to be cheeky, but are ye doin’ well?” Upon being told URBAN SHAMAN has sold some forty or fifty thousand copies, “Jaysus,” says he, “thirteen books! I never met a writer before! And are ye writing the fourteenth?”

More spluttering ensued when I said no, I was writing the nineteenth. “Nineteenth! What happened to the rest of them!” So I explained that some were on their way toward publication and others hadn’t been sold yet, while he goggled in amazement. I said to wait a moment when he’d dropped us off, and I’d give him a copy of one of my books. He said, “Sure and I’ll never read it, but that’d be grand!” I gave him a copy of URBAN SHAMAN, and he liked the cover *laughs*.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: amusedamused
S. L. Grayshadowhwk on October 13th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Jaysus, it's Herself!
mayakdamayakda on October 13th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
Kate Kirbykirbyk on October 13th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
But would Gerry help you save a woman you saw from an airplane window, or is that just Gary?

And did you tell him that the main supporting character is a cabbie? :)
kitmizkit on October 13th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Actually, I didn't think to tell him that! I should've done!
irishkateirishkate on October 13th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Oh you should tell him - especially with the name - he can tell all his friends you based it on him (never mind where you were living at the time)

I love this - I suppose with writers it can be like actors (you know, in LA every waiter is an actor in waiting and oh god I didn't mean the pun when I started that) so since Ireland is the place for writers and all, he just assumed you were *that* kind of writer..Or something.. People never think the person they are talking to might be a successful writer/actor/singer/whatever - since if they were that they wouldn't be here living life like the rest of us...right?
Pamela: It is to laugh...jeditigger on October 14th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
No, no, he'll find out when he reads the book!!! Goosie.
kitmizkit on October 14th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC)
Except by his own admission he'll never read it. :)
(Deleted comment)
kitmizkit on October 14th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
And "Gerry" is pronounced "Jerry", not "Gary"... :)
The NewroticGirlnewroticgirl on October 13th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
This story makes me smile. A lot.
madkestrelmadkestrel on October 13th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
That's adorable!
irishkate: booksirishkate on October 13th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Converstation overheard over a cup of tea in the town later
Sweet merciful hour Mary - you know that nice american gurl I told you about - the one who moved *to* live here. You know how I said she said she was a writer.. like our Alice always wanted to be, well get this.....
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on October 13th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
That? Is a wonderful story.

And if anyone ever doubted that even the most happy-for-each-other writers are competitive, I just went and looked at the royalty statement for STAYING DEAD, to see how far ahead of me she was. *grin*
kitmizkit on October 14th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
*laughs* I can't be that far ahead.
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on October 14th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
We're about even, but you got there faster.

La Mutant of Reputemutantenemy on October 13th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
LOL! I love how honest he was that even though he'd never read URBAN SHAMAN, he felt getting a copy was grand.

I read your post aloud to a friend of mine, with Irish accent and all. Cappuccino came out of her nose.
Min: Green/Fairyphantomminuet on October 13th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
That's a great story. :-)
ex_rolanni on October 13th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
It came to the attention of one of the students to whom I minister that Steve and I were having a book signing, last Friday and she womanfully climbed the hill up to the library and then the stairs up to my office to congratulate me. I thanked her.

"So, is this your first book?"

"No. . .I think it's the twentieth," I said, not being entirely sure.

Long pause.

"Well! You have a whole secret life, don't you?"

kitmizkit on October 14th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC)
SaffronRosesaffronrose on October 14th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
lovely interaction--and that's precisely the book I would have expected to be given to a cabbie!
UrsulaVursulav on October 14th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)

That's why I introduce myself as a children's book illustrator. It eventually comes out that I write them, too, but "illustrator" has a whole "No, really, I get paid," thing that seems lacking in "artist" and "writer" these days...
holmes44holmes44 on October 14th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
that is a great story,it made me smile and laugh.
annathepiper on October 14th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, that's fantastic. :) Hope he'll actually read the book! And yeah, you should totally tell him there's a cabbie in it.
Lauraskeagsidhe on October 14th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
I wonder if some of the ambiguity comes from the choice of term. I'm betting if you introduced yourself as an author rather than a writer, more random people (like cool cabbies) would realize that this is actually your real, professional day job.
kitmizkit on October 14th, 2009 10:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, but I don't think I know any writers who /do/ introduce themselves as authors. It sounds ridiculous somehow.
Marithmarith on October 14th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
That's awesome! Did you tell him US has a cool cabdriver? :)
Amberleyamberley on October 14th, 2009 07:03 am (UTC)
Casting bread upon the waters
That's a great story!

Maybe he'll pass the copy along to some niece or nephew who does read, who'll bring it to a future signing with a heart-warming story.
anthony_lionanthony_lion on October 14th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
My bet is that he'll keep the book in the cab, to use as a conversational piece - 'The author is one of my regular pasengers' - type.
Then, if he's got a slow nightshift, he may pick it up 'to while away the time between trips'...

And soon he'll ask you about what other books you've written...

Who knows, some of his passengers may remember the cover of the book and pick it up in a bookstore, too?

Edit: All this talk about Urban Shaman piqued my interest, so...
Did you kow that Amazon has a '4 for 3' offer on just 3 of the 4 Walker Papers?
Also, some of them were more expensive as Kindling than as dead tree editions. Weird...

Edited at 2009-10-14 08:00 pm (UTC)
dqg_nealdqg_neal on October 14th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
See.. thats why you need to make sure to hand out the business cards that say: "C.E. Murphy famous writer."