Liars Club

Business Casual, My Ass.

by Simmons on April 26, 2010

in Advice for Writers,The Writing Life

You know that scene in the movie Wonder Boys where Michael Douglas is writing a novel in his bathrobe?  Or how about Nicolas Cage in Adaptation? (As I recall, he’s writing in his underwear.)  This is not far from the truth. We writers work from home, right?  In the wee small hours.  With coffee.  Honestly, can jammies not be part of this mix?

Before I published my first novel, Standing Still (Simon & Schuster) I envisioned being published meant having one book party, one signing and maybe, a few phone interviews.   That’s two events requiring getting dressed.

The reality?  200, 300, 1000.  Bookstores.  Seminars.  Festivals.  And then there are the book club visits.  You cannot visit The Bay City Readers in sweatpants.  No no no.   These ladies have made you a signature cocktail and cooked all the food you mentioned in Chapter Three.  You must have actual clothes on.

Promoting a book means more showering than being an actress on Broadway. Sometimes I have two events in a day, a matinee and an evening performance.  And that’s how I must think of them, as a place far away from my blue-jeaned nature.  We live in a red-carpet world filled with reality series and celebrity news.  When you show up, they are expecting The Author, not The Writer. So break out the tweed jacket, the casually tossed scarf, the professorial vest, the jewelry made from typewriter keys.

And when you’re done being The Author, go home and slip into something more writerly.

Kelly Simmons is the author of Standing Still, and coming in February, The Bird House.

Kelly’s post is part of an ongoing series, where Liars each chime in on a burning question about publishing. To read answers other Liars have already given to “what we wish we knew,” click on Marie’s post, Don’s post, Merry’s post, and Dennis’ post.  And check back on this site daily for more Liar responses!


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