For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
In Australia we occasionally have pests. Yes, I know we have flies by the dozen on a hot day. I'm talking more your household pest. It's the dreaded telemarketer. Do you have these in the States? These rancid types telephone you uninvited to sell you something you neither want nor need (hey, if I wanted a new mobile telephone plan, I would SEEK ONE OUT MYSELF, okay?). These people are merely Satan's effluvium. Do you know why? Because one rang whilst I was trying to write yesterday! I finally had a spare moment, hubby had taken the kids to visit his mum overnight, so I sat down at the computer, and the freaking phone rang. Oooohhh! We have a register we can contact called Do Not Call, so that will be on my list of chores tomorrow. You guys reading this, does this happen to you in the US?
So I did a little bit of writing, and given it's such a solitary occupation, I thought I might pop over to a local club and see if there was anyone to talk to. There was a table of early-twenty-somethings, and one of the guys started to sing some ditty, the refrain of which was, 'I like hot rangas! I like hot rangas!' A cursory check of the bar indicated no other rangas, so it was me he was singing (droning) about. A ranga, by the way, is Aussie slang for a redhead. I do believe it comes from Orang-utan, the charmingly coloured Bornean simian in danger of becoming extinct. Quandary: should a relatively mature woman who considers herself a feminist find this flattering, particularly from someone young enough to be her son? Ideally, the answer would be no. The reality was that I found it a little bit flattering. And I got talking to somebody a little older than me who was mildly interesting, albeit rather drunk. He vascillated between interesting (talking about some past jobs), annoying (trying to analyse me), whimsical (wanting to spoil me and not caring about the fact that I informed him I'm married with two kids), to aggravating (shaking my hand and deliberately squeezing hard, until I snapped, 'Are you trying to break my fucking hand? What are you trying to prove?'). But it's come in handy; I'm going to use that rather dark and pathetic power exercise of his in the novel I'm writing. I know just where to put it. He won't be getting a mention in the acknowledgements, however.
Do you guys do that, too? Strike up conversations to get some character and dialogue ideas?