Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snappy Answers to Writers Questons

by Gina Ardito

I understand that writing is one of those careers that piques people's interests. And I do love meeting readers (and prospective writers) who are fascinated by the process. Writers are like zoo animals in many ways, odd creatures that live a different life from "normal humans." I'm always happy to answer questions from interested parties at booksignings and social events. But, over the years, I've heard some questions I'd really like to forget. Others...? Oh, how I *wish* I could give the answer brewing behind my tongue! 

Here are some of those questions, the answer I'd like to give, and the "real answer" I usually fall back on.

Q. How much money do you make?
A. How much money do you make?

(Real answer: No, really. How much do you make?)

Q. Where do you find the time to do all that writing?
A. I have a Tardis in my kitchen.

(Real answer: Seriously? I make the time. When you're watching television, I'm writing. When you're gossiping with your coworkers at lunchtime, I'm writing. I get up early and stay up late when I'm on deadline. It's all about priorities. I make "time to write" one of my priorities.)

Q. Do you personally research all your love scenes?  
A. Yes, but I have a partner for those. What I need is someone to help me with the grisly murder scenes. You look like a healthy specimen...

(Real answer: My love scenes are more emotional than physical so the research is colored by my life experiences. But when researching THE BONDS OF MATRI-MONEY, about two people handcuffed together while competing in a "Survivor"-style game show, I *did* spend time tied to my husband to figure out what was physically possible and impossible to do.)

Q.Where do you get your ideas?
A. The Idea Fairy comes to me every night and bops me on the head with her magic wand.

(Real answer: They come from everywhere: dreams, conversations I've overheard, past experience, etc. Let me ask you: what do you do when you're stuck at DMV or in a traffic jam? I'm already plotting stories about the people around me: who they are, where they're going, etc.)

Q. When's the movie coming out?
A. Just as soon as the studio comes up with the million dollar advance I'm demanding. I hear they have a bake sale planned for next week. You might wanna stop by and purchase a dozen cupcakes or a Bundt to push them along.

(Real answer: I wish!)

Q. If you've got so many books published, why are you still working at a day job?
A. To support my habit.

(Real answer: To support my habit. In all honesty, most authors don't get those million-dollar-contracts you read about. Those big deals go to celebrities and authors with a bestselling track record. The rest of us don't earn enough to quit our day jobs. Ink, paper, marketing, cover art, editing, etc., all costs money. We work to pay those expenses and invest our earnings right back into our writing.)

Q. If you don't make a lot of money, why do you write?
A. To get the stories out of my head and because I love it.

(Real answer: To get the stories out of my head and because I love it. And for my readers who love what I write.)

If you're a reader, I hope these answers help. Got a different question, ask me! I'll be happy to answer. If you're a writer, feel free to share your odd questions and the answer you'd love to give!


  1. Great answers, Gina. Both the "I wish" ones and the actuals. It must have felt good to be able to use the "I wish" ones.

  2. Perfect answer to all the questions people ask me all the time. I particularly like the murder aspect!!

  3. Thanks, ladies. I'm sure there are others, but these are the most prevalent for me. The "How much money do you make?" one is odd, because I don't think most people realize how rude that question is until it's turned back on them. :-)

  4. I love that money answer, Gina. I never thought of turning it back on the asker hahahaha

  5. Gina, this is hilarious. I have to print this out and keep a copy handy. P.S. Now I know what's wrong with me - I'm like a zoo animal.

  6. Happy you found it funny, ladies. And yes, Kay, if you've done a large booksigning (like at RWA National), you know what I mean by "zoo animal." Thousands of spectators filing past you in your little booth, looking and pointing. "Ooh, look. There's a Gina Ardito." "Yeah, okay, but where's the Nora Roberts? That's the one I wanna see..."

  7. Because of my name I was very close to NR at the Washington RWA signing but she had her own table on the side. The queue went half way round the room and the table was behind a pillar from where I sat so I didn't even see her!