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The Kissy Bits #5 – Dealing With Feedback

7. January 2006

Hi. My name is Kiki. I write romance.
How do you deal with that ubiquitous question, “What do you do?”

There’s some feedback on past shows.

A typical exchange of polite pleasantries:

“What do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
“So what do you write?”
“So have you written anything I know?” or “Oh, like JK Rowling?” or “What’s your book about?” or “Have you written one yet?”
“I write romance.” Or even, as I used to say, “I write chick lit”

Be proud to be a writer.

The Top Ten Replies to People who Criticize Romance Novels:
1. Bite Me.
2. Come closer and say that.
3. What bothers you more: the sex or the romance?
4. No, I’m not laughing with you. I’m laughing at you.
5. You! Off my planet.
6. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
7. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.
8. That explains a lot.
9. Kiss my crayon-colored ass.
10. Three words: 51 million readers.

Got any more? Post them!

How to deal with the friendly, the overzealous, the mocking and the hostile.

If you’ve got a story to share about how people react to your writing confession, or if you’ve got anything else to say, leave a comment for this show on the blog at

Next week’s show will be all about contests. Contest season is coming up, so I’ll tell you about my experiences with contests in ’05, the good, the bad and the very, very ugly. I’ll also plug some contests that I think are of interest. If you know good romance-focused writing contests, let me know!

Show link:
be the story

Listen to the show

3 Comments leave one →
  1. TimK permalink
    10. January 2006 12:31 am

    Oh. “Chick lit.” I thought you said, “Chicklet.” 🙂

    I loved this episode. Had me laughing to myself, me with my headphones. I’m sure I got a couple of strange looks behind my back.

    Seriously, though, being a professional novelist is a lot like being an entrepreneur. It’s more like starting your own business than maybe we’d like to admit. But the situations you describe—having to justify your business, working for years without income, the passionate, single-minded insanity. There are an awful lot of entrepreneurs. Some people (like me) can’t work anywhere but in an entrepreneurial environment.


  2. Tee permalink
    10. January 2006 2:29 pm

    Hey, Kiki!

    At a signing, someone helped themselves to my chocolate (I’ll explain in a later show! *L*) and I said “If you have any questions on my book, feel free to ask.” The shopper replied with “I don’t read this crap. I just want the chocolate.”

    My reply: “Well, I’m pretty proud of this crap, so if you want to mooch off my chocolate, go ahead.”

    Some other replies I’m proud of:

    (when asked “You write what?!””) “Yes, I write about aliens, elves, and pirates. Get over it.”

    (for LITERARY authors who cop ‘tudes with me) “The difference between your work and mine — people actually READ my books.”

    (when I get asked “How’s your ‘little’ book doing?”) “Well, my 400-page Epic Fantasy is doing quite well, and I’ve scored ((name accomplishments here))…”

    (on anyone — reader or author — looking down on what I write or who I’m published with) “Well, I’m having too much fun to care…so are the folks reading my works.”

    Beliving in yourself and your work — it’s very important in being a writer. You don’t want to be cocky, but you should be confident.

    Okay…maybe a bit of Han Solo or a bit of Errol Flynn helps, too! ;^)

  3. Kiki permalink
    10. January 2006 9:36 pm

    TimK, on that note, someone’s response to what I write was “You write for Agriculture Weekly?”

    I absolutely agree with the entrepreneureal side. As Tee said in his latest podcast, you have to treat your career as a business.

    Oh, Tee, clearly you’ve never been toa romance writers’ conference. Those people will buy a lot of books for free chocolate. ^_-

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