Hello, I’m a write-ist: please tell me how to do my job. I’m not aware of saying that last part out loud, but I must be, because people seem to keep taking me up on it. I was at a birthday party last night (no, not old boy Rickards’s, that’s just a spooky coincidence) and as usual when people found out what I do for a living the reaction was either, A: I loved your book! – not surprisingly this is my favourite reaction, bearded egomaniac that I am; B: are you going to try and make a career out it? (brother to the ‘any luck?’ question); or C: You should write like this... Oh and D: You got loads of stuff wrong, therefore you are an idiot. Which generally then leads to ‘C’.
For now we’ll ignore A,B,and D. Because I feel like it. OK, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but why the hell do people automatically think they’re in a position to tell writers how / what to write? Do I go up to accountants at parties and tell them how to add up? Bakers how to make bread? Politicians how to be sleazy little bastards? Or road sweepers that they’re doing it all wrong and Ruth Rendel sweeps left to right, NOT right to left, and why can’t you sweep more like her...?
Not to mention this one bloke my parents know who asks if I’m 'in full time employment yet' every single time we’ve seen him for the last eleven years. Time for a swift poke in the eye there I think.
But being a ‘public figure’* one can either wear a fixed smile and nod, or shove a canapé up their nose, grab them in a headlock and bounce their face off the corner of a table. Repeatedly. And then every time they meet someone they’ll tell them what an arsehole that bloke what writes them Cold Granite books is.
* Note the little ironic, one-eared quote bunnies, which are like normal ironic quote bunnies only you have to take a pair of pruning shear to them. There’s a lot of blood and squealing involved, but it’s worth it.**
** Please note: Stuart does not condone cutting the ears off bunny rabbits. It’s very, very naughty! Unless they’re dead, in which case knock yourself out.