Ariadne Oliver is smart, intuitive, hilarious, and a little random. She is one of my absolute favorite fictional characters. She also gave me one of my first inklings that writers (other than myself) could sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable when talking about their writing.
For those of us not totally up on Agatha Christie’s supporting characters (so, much of the modern world), Ariadne Oliver is a famous murder mystery novelist who is often viewed as Christie’s fictional embodiment of herself. She certainly had some striking similarities to Christie and gave her a way to discuss writing and the life of an author in an indirect way. As you can see from the above quote, Mrs. Oliver, though generally very confident, did get a little weird when meeting fans and talking about her writing.
In my day job, and hopefully everyday life (with the exceptions of parties where I don’t know anyone and try to hide in the bathroom for extended periods of time) I feel as though I am articulate and mostly confident. However, it has always been hard for me to talk about my writing.
In the first place, self-doubt is kind of a bitch. There has always been a part of me who felt like I couldn’t call myself a writer, much less an author, until some agent or publisher blessed my work with their acceptance. When I declared my independence as an author, I thought I had gotten past this. In becoming part of the indie-author community, I have found many established authors talking about self-doubt and author mindset. Resources like the Creative Penn Podcast and AskAlli: Self-Publishing Advice Podcast let me hear other writers talk about these issues in their own words. I was feeling strong!
But, just a few days ago, someone asked me about Shifter (shameless plug: Shifter: A Zie and Dax novel is my very first published work and is available for pre-order now). After bumbling something indistinct about self-publishing and science-fiction-serial-killeresque she looked at me blankly and very kindly said, “I still don’t really know what your book is about.” I mean, how could she with that kind of drivel?
I apparently still have quite a long way to go, but it is time to get over myself and get comfortable with who I am and have always been. I am a writer and it’s time I learn how to talk about it like a real-life adult. I even put it on a tee-shirt.
But if I still have my moments of awkwardness, which goodness knows I’m sure to do, at least I’m in good company with the likes of Agatha and Ariadne.
Shifter: A Zie and Dax Novel is currently available for pre-order in e-book form on Amazon and through other booksellers. When the novel goes live, a paper-back and hard-back version will also be available. You can find my writer t-shirt and other related products in my Zazzle store.
To learn more about it and my other projects, visit my website (and join my mailing list) at KCRyanAuthor.com.