Me on the left, Munchkin on the right (despite warnings, our faces didn't freeze this way)

I was talking to my younger sister last night, mostly about Graceling, which I forced her to read and she finally gave a chance and loves it (when will she just learn to trust me!), but then we started talking about the publishing industry. I’ve learned so much in the last year from following great blogs and reading books on craft and interviews with published authors, and I was excited to share that knowledge with Munchkin, because usually no one who isn’t a writer wants to talk about the ins and outs of publishing. Then I realized she didn’t really want to talk about them either.

This was the conversation she wanted to have: “I have this great story idea and we should write a book together and become millionaires.” Now, the story idea really is a good one, and she is on a co-authoring kick because I also made her read Will Grayson, Will Grayson (again, Munchkin, you’re welcome), but I almost felt guilty popping the balloon of my little sister’s writing fantasies. By the time I’d covered revisions, getting an agent, revisions, selling to an editor, revisions, advances versus royalties, and did I mention revisions, her question changed to, “Who should we be in publishing to make money?”

Her first suggestion was that we become editors. I told her I didn’t want to work that hard. (Yes, I know writing is incredibly hard work too) Then she thought we should start our own publishing company. Um, again, I don’t want to work that hard (on other people’s projects). And I’d like to keep my hair from turning gray as long as possible. I gave her the line about writing for the love of language and writing to make a difference and reach kids (like I said, I’ve been reading a lot of interviews), but I could hear her rolling her eyes.

“So how do we become millionaires?” she tried again.
“Be Dan Brown.”
“Oh, OK.”


Anyone else had conversations like this? Have you had to burst people’s bubbles?