Usually reader questions deal with where you get your inspiration, how you approach the creative process, and what sort of writing habits you have. Though they probably don't mean them to be, at other times reader questions can be downright odd.
These are a few of the strangest questions I've been asked at author appearances and book events:
"Do you know [insert wildly popular international bestselling author]?"
Um... No. Sorry. Though writing sometimes makes you feel like you're in a brotherhood or a club, we don't all know each other.
"I saw on social media that you also work at XYZ Company. Why in the world would you work a day job?"
Because, dear reader, I like to pay my bills. Most of my writing is non-fiction and doesn't involve big (or ANY for that matter) advance payments on royalties, and nobody is eagerly fighting for film rights to my kind of books. A day job is what lets me fill all the financial gaps that the 24¢ per-book royalty rate doesn't.
"How are sales?"
First of all, that's awfully personal information you're asking about. How was your last performance review at work? See, it feels a little intrusive, right?
Second, that's information that the publisher sends me twice a year, and while it may look like a lot of books moving off of bookstore shelves, those looks may be deceiving. Oh, and lets not even delve into bookseller returns. Basically, if you're asking about a book that's been on the market less than six months, your guess at how sales are going is as good as mine.
"Have you ever considered writing a book about [insert lengthy plot description, summary of characters, and climactic conclusion]?"
I've considered writing a lot of stories, but none that fit that specific outline. Sorry to disappoint.
"When can I get your next book?"
I'm thrilled that you're a big enough fan to be excited about that prospect, but can we talk about the current book, please? You know, the one was just released and prompted the event at which we're meeting? That would be great.
Okay, fellow authors--please chime in! What are some of the most unusual things you've been asked at book signings and other in-person events?