The Mail I Get

I get a lot of interview requests from students doing papers and reports. I usually answer their questions. But this request, which came on Tuesday night, was an exception:

I am a student, who is
writing a report on Science Fiction Novelists. I would really appreciate it if you responded
ASAP, considering the fact that my paper is due Wed (tomorrow).  Can I ask you these questions? If they are too personal, I
completely understand. But, they MUST be included in my paper.
  • What is your salary?
  • What is your typical day like when working?
  • What college is recomended for writers/science fiction writers?
Also, it would be very helpful if you could
tell me where I could contact other writers ASAP.

I told him that a) I don't write science fiction novels, b) he shouldn't have waited until the last minute to contact the writers that he needed to talk to and c) that no, I wouldn't give him any contact information so that he could impose on my friends.

10 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. How dare you be unwilling to accommodate his last-minute schedule demands. What’s wrong with you? His parents lived their entire lives around his needs and deadlines…why can’t you Mr. Goldberg?
    He’s sooo going to write about this in his LJ!

  2. Here’s a situation that I’ve run into a couple of times:
    I’ll be speaking to a group, and some member of that group will ask if I’ll speak to another group at a later date, say six or eight months away. Without exception, I’ll say something like, “I might be able to do that. Please email me and we’ll talk about it.”
    Months will pass and I won’t hear back. Then, maybe two weeks before the coming event, I’ll get an e-mail that will say something like, “Thanks for agreeing to speak to X group on Y date. I just wanted to confirm that you’re coming.”

  3. Ben,
    That happen to me, too!
    I also get a lot of groups that will invite me to speak to their group in some far-away place. When I ask if they will be making the travel arrangements or paying my way, they always seem shocked. They think I will gladly drive five or six hours each way (or fly) out of my own pocket for the opportunity to talk to 50 people. “But you’ll sell books,” they say. When I point out that what I sell will hardly match my expenses, they seem stunned that such financial considerations would enter into my thinking. I don’t even bring up what it costs me in time and energy…
    I am very picky now about the events I choose to do.

  4. ROFL…Lee you were very nice considering the sheer level of idiotic, self-centred angle – one could argue about the exuberance of youth, but I’d just call it being a F++k-wit

  5. Soooo, how much do you make? (C’mon, someone had to say it.)
    In the annals of writer horror stories, my favorite was the one where the writer was invited to a book discussion group. He thoughtfully supplied the books. The meeting went well, and at the end, they gave the books back to the writer.

  6. I’m looking forward to when Lee & Ben speak at our book club next week, like they said they might eight months ago. We have our books all ready to give back.

  7. Okay, the student has a procrastination problem, which will supply its own punishment to him, and probably in areas that will cost him more than a book report grade if he doesn’t break himself of it. But unless the whole thing was a fake (ie, he’s not a student, but just a nosy idiot), I’d be ticked off at his teacher. WTF? Go out and ask SF writers what their salaries are? What’s the name of this class? Raw Nerve 101?

  8. Just found you via your sisters…
    I’m cracking up over this. But, I am surprised the student didn’t ask if you’d complete the assignment ASAP with everything required to earn an A. Seems like that would have been more efficient.


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