My brother Tod beat me to posting about some of the dumb questions I got asked at the Palm Springs Book Festival (though I got lots of great questions, too). Here’s one of them (though you’ll notice that Tod remembers it slightly different than I do):
Woman: Did you have to take acting classes to learn how to write dialog?
Me: No, but I’ve also never been a werewolf, a lifeguard, a psychic FBI agent, a 70-year0ld doctor who solves crimes, or the Captain of a submarine in the year 2032. I make stuff up. The dialog comes from the characters. I don’t need to be an actor to know how people talk. I just have to observe and listen.
Woman: Is there a class you can take for that?
The night before the Festival there was a reception for the authors. Only authors were attending (and their spouses, significant others and, in my case, my mother). But there are always one or two clueless idiots at these kind of events who use this as a selling opportunity. A lady came up to me and thrust her apparently self-published book in my face.
Woman: I’m the author of GREAT SEX AFTER SIXTY. You should read this book.
Me: Do I look sixty to you?
Woman: Well, you will be, won’t you?
Me: No, I’m planning on using plastic surgery and drugs to remain 44 forever.
Woman: But you’ll still physically be sixty even if you look 44 and you’ll want to have great sex.
Me: There will be a pill for that, too.
Woman: There might not be.
Me: I’ll take my chances.
I couldn’t believe she was still arguing with me. But I was saved by my Mom, who started laughing.
Mom: He’s my son and he looks sixty to you? My God, how old do I look?
At which point the clueless idiot thrust her God-awful book in my Mom’s face and asked her how her sex was… and I dashed across the room to talk to Gregg Hurwitz. Am I good son or what?