Evil Monkey’s Guide to Creative Writing: Dealing With Insane Fans

Most books on writing allude to the wonderful aspects of fame and fortune that some day await the budding writer. Fewer (okay, none) address the sordid truth about readings, signings, and other appearances. The fact is, one day you will be confronted–on several days, actually–by the resident curmudgeon, the resident insane person, or the resident weirdo. It doesn’t matter than 99 percent of the people you meet will be kind, nice, and interesting. You must prepare yourself for the one percent who are demonic, life-force-sucking, and horrific.


The Writer’s Top Five Defense Mechanisms When Cornered by a Psychotic Person

#1 – EXPELL ALL INTERNAL ORGANS (a good writer can easily regrow all internal organs, and this action tends to distract the person long enough for escape to occur)

#2 – STAB ONESELF WITH A PROP KNIFE (self-stabbings with a retractable plastic blade not only tend to confuse the person long enough for escape to occur but are generally good for the circulation; only in extremities of distress should you stab yourself for real, as writers are unable to spontaneously generate quarts of blood)

#3 – BUILD A HOT AIR BALLOON AND ESCAPE THROUGH A PRE-ARRANGED HOLE IN THE CEILING (sure, this takes planning and forethought, but it has a grand eloquence to it that speaks volumes)

#4 – STUFF A LIVE WEASEL DOWN YOUR PANTS (this usually doesn’t work, but it feels oh so good)


I defy other writers to come up with five as or more effective strategies.


  1. says

    my five that have been cobbled together are:

    #1 – SHOUT ‘AYATOLLAH!’ at the most inappropriate moments

    #2 – THE MICHAEL JACKSON GROIN THRUST – its effective and quite deadly when used repeatedly

    #3 – STROKE A NON-EXISTENT CAT like that bald villain from the James Bond flicks

    #4 – BABY TALK – the goo-goo ga-ga routine, to anyone and everyone in the room if necessary

    #5 – SING A TOM JONES SONG WHILST WEEPING – but you have get quieter and quieter, down to an audible whisper until its just the crying to be heard.

  2. Ennis Drake says

    1) Shout: “Yimmy (that’s Jimmy) no live ‘ere! Yimmy no live ‘ere!” and run away.
    2) Summon your highly-trained attack chimp, Bubbles, who will, preferably, destroy the offending psychopath using THE MICHAEL JACKSON GROIN THRUST.
    3) Use your trusty immitation Tanto to commit Sepuko — that’ll shock the hell out of ’em.
    4) Quietly inform the little nutjob that he/she is mistaken. He’ll/she’ll likely respond with: “I’m sorry.” or “I don’t understand.” Then you may inform them that it is YOU who has been stalking THEM. Let them know you’re not playing around. Tell them, in no uncertain terms, that, and I quote, “You can do time.” Let them know that twenty years is nothing. That ought to take care of it.
    5) Drool copiously. Give them your best imitation “thousand yard stare”. Mumble something like, “Smith and Wesson. Yeah. The Smith. .500 Magnum. No. Wait. Yeah. AR-15. Yeah. Yeah. AR-15 in .223 Remington. Yeah. Hide in the closet. Yeah. Yeah.” If that doesn’t work, repeat the latter half of Plan #4.

  3. Alice McGovern says

    1] PARTICIPATE IN DEEP SEA BOOK SIGNING. As far as the mentally unsound are concerned, it is actually very difficult to equilibrate the pressure inside their divers helmets. A messy accident is practically guaranteed during submersion. Let the ocean vet your admirers.

    2] SEEK ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT IN GOVERNMENT. Avoid the curmudgeonly, the insane and the weird altogether. Surround yourself with the finest quality citizens only.

    3] MAKE LISTS. Long ones. Lots of them. This doesn’t actually work, nor does it actually feel good, but ‘highly organised’ has its own hidden merits, just waiting for you to explore.

    4] DROOL ON SOME MEAT. Enough said.

    5] NUMBER 5,OH I DON’T KNOW, SOMETHING IN. Capitals followed by something in lower case.

  4. says

    Fah, too complicated. Complicated plans go wrong. Just do what the majority of animals do; make yourself bigger. Like puffer fish. No, wait, cats. Grow some more body hair, and fluff up. There you go. Problem solved.

  5. says

    Oh man. There are great.

    Some alternatives:

    1) Always bring another writer with you, preferably one who runs slower than you do.
    2) If you’re a mime, pretend to be stuck in a soundproof glass box. If you’re not a mime, always bring a soundproof glass box to your readings.
    3) The tried and true method: widen your eyes, point at something over the guy’s shoulder, and say: “Get the hell away from me you psychopath.”
    4) If your antagonist is Douglas Adams’ galactically stupid Bugblatter Beast of Traal, cover your head with a towel. It will assume that, since you cannot see it, it cannot see you — and wander off. Also works on certain members of The View.
    5) Pretend to listen intently while your assistant draws a pentagram around the guy, then hands you a copy of the Necronomicon.