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Egomaniac Authors? May 27, 2010

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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I took my sons to a library today to pick books for summer reading. We asked a librarian for funny books for my younger son and action-packed books and books involving battle strategy for my older son. The librarian recommended several action-packed books but had a more difficult time finding funny books.

She and I talked  about authors, and she said she thinks most are “egomaniacs” who “spend too much time in front of the computer by themselves.” Hmm.  At that point, I chose not to reveal that I’m an author. 🙂 I write under a pseudonym, so my library card doesn’t reveal my author name either.

Interesting perspective, though, from a librarian who has come into contact with many authors. Most authors I’ve met (and I’ve met a hundred or so) don’t strike me as egomaniacs. A few are prima donnas. And probably all writers need to believe in themselves to weather the rejections and ultimately succeed.

What I suspect is that this librarian has seen a lot of authors present at the library, mainly talking about themselves and their books. It’s hard not to come off as an egomaniac in a presentation like that. It’s one reason I’ve switched to presentations that involve audience members in exploring their own creativity and writing skill. No matter how famous I become, I want to be known for my books, not my ego.



1. lauraHB - May 29, 2010

Very interesting perspective!
Thanks for sharing!
I can see how a librarian could come to this conclusion and I LOVE your approach to audience participation…great post!

Ronica Stromberg - May 30, 2010

Thanks, Laura. I’m learning as I go, and this blog is all about what I experience as a writer. I see the numbers of people visiting my blog, but it’s extra fun when people leave comments like yours. I get to meet my readers instead of just wondering about them.

Sheila Berenson - June 21, 2010

I just saw that the KS SCBWI is bringing in Bruce Hale to their fall conference, and in looking him up, saw that he has a number of books, all (I think) funny and well-received. Bruce Coville, who came to last year’s conference, is also great for this. There are some others (one whose here in KC), but of course I can’t remember their names (!). If I find them, I’ll pass them on. Good luck!

2. Sally - June 6, 2010

That’s a pretty funny story, Ronica.

I would have to disagree with the librarian. I can think of many writers who would be the complete antithesis of egomaniacs. Many writers are quite shy and reserved and that’s why they find comfort in WRITING!

I’m sure there are a number of writers who would fit her description, but to make the generalization is a bit bold. I’d say you’re right on target about the environment of “self-promotion” that she’s seen them in catering to her image of writers being full of themselves.

As for funny books… they are more limited in supply. I guess there’s a window for you. 😉

Ronica Stromberg - June 6, 2010

Yeah, Sally, I’d be one of those writers who’d much rather be off reading or writing than grandstanding. But I’m meeting more and more writers who started out as public speakers but were forced into writing by the demands of their profession. Two different personalities, for the most part, although some shy people like being on stage acting, so if they can view an author presentation as acting . . .

You’re right about the funny books. That’s a wide open market for anyone who can compete with Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I think humor writers are not given the credit they’re due. Their genre of writing obviously isn’t easy or we’d have more funny books in print. I’d love to see a LOL-funny book win the Newbery.

I think “The Adrian Mole Diaries” is hilarious, but my youngest son isn’t old enough to appreciate the humor in the teen years yet.

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