These are the encounters that make writers morose at parties, in case you were wondering.
Person at Cocktail Party: You're a writer? I love books! I bet I've read yours! Tell me some of your books!
Author: They weren't best sellers exactly. You really may not have heard of them.
Person ACP (apparently under the impression that there are only about 50 books published each year): Oh I read all the time, I bet I have.
Author: Names most recent book, favorite book, and the one that sold the best.
Person ACP: Oh, I guess I haven't heard of you.
Person Who Has Read Your Book: I just loved it! Have you thought of making it into a movie?
Author (who like every other writer on the planet daydreams ferociously about this): Well, of course, but it's not that easy.
Person WHRYB: My cousin works in Hollywood. I'll give him your name. He'll just love it. (He's on the crew of a reality show.)
Person Who Is Very Busy: I would write a book myself, but I just don't have the time.
Author: It does take time.
Person WIVB: I have a terrific idea though. No one else has thought of it. I'll tell you my idea and you can write it and we'll share the money.
Author: I have lots of ideas myself. And books don't make much money.
Person WIVB: This one will. It's a great idea. (Proceeds to explain it at length while author looks for another drink.)
Person Who Has Just Finished Your Book: I really dislike books with swearing in them. Or drinking. Or adultery. Or spiders.
Author: Oh dear.
In some ways I'm with this latter group. I won't read a book where the dog dies. (Although I did just kill a horse.) I usually don't tell its author that over the shrimp toast.
I am aware that this makes me look like a grump. Put it down to my writing it on election day.