Ye gods. I had the Pushy Wanna-be from Hell turn up at my house last night to foist her manuscript on me to read.
She wouldn't take "no" for an answer when she spoke to me on the phone earlier, battered through my "It really isn't a good day and I have other problems to deal with".
"Just leave your work at Silverfish and I'll pick it up," I added. The bookshop is my drop off/pick up point in Bangsar and I'm in the area most days.
Wanna-be wouldn't hear of it. She must put the manuscript in my hands now and get immediate feedback.
When my friend in the bookshop refused to give my number out, this lady actually tried to snatch the address book out of her hands! (I had actually given wanna-be my card when we met so don't know what this was all about!)
Wanna-be is actually a nice woman who has done someone's else's creative writing course which has equipped her with a lot of enthusiasm and plenty of expectations of being published.
I sat with her in Starbucks one morning some months ago giving her feedback on a couple of chapters after she had contacted me. There was a lot that didn't work, one section that did that I told her she could build on.
Then I had time and it was good to felt I could help someone. But how did the expectation that I was on call for her at all times and with no notice form in her head?
I do try to help writers by reading something for them when I can, but haven't enough energy for everyone all of the time. (Sometimes I don't feel I even have enough energy for me!)
I think the best thing I can do for Wanna-be is to give her the contacts of a good "book doctor" overseas (or perhaps locally) who can give her the detailed analysis she needs for a fee. And some websites where she can post chapters and get feedback for free. (Have been intending to blog about these resources and hope to do so.)
Must add here a note about the most horrendous wanna-be I met up with who argued vehemently with me every time I tried to tell her what was wrong with her manuscript!
"I'm not sure how this character dies at the end," I say.
"He was hit on the head with a golf club, of course."
And she doesn't believe me - even when the evidence is clear - when I say that there is not a single mention of the weapon or even that the murderer plays golf in her story!
Eric blogged some horror stories the other day and I think we may have been blogging about the same person!