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)
#5 – REPEAT THE PHRASE “I KILLED THE RABBITS BECAUSE THEIR HEADS WERE SO JUICY” (can take awhile to be effective)
I defy other writers to come up with five as or more effective strategies.