I’m very self-conscious talking about my book.
Now this doesn’t apply to all writers, but I suspect there are a lot of us who feel this way.
For me, I’m highly conscious that a lot of people wouldn’t enjoy my writing. In addition, in real life, most people I know have no clue what I write. Most RL people I know don’t read much. That’s OK, but when they ask what my book’s about, I know I’ll just sound insane to them…and they really don’t care. They’re making conversation.
It’s easier if you’re talking to a selected audience, like a convention audience or on a blog. Those people -do- generally understand what we’re talking about. A lot of them are writers themselves.
But we still deal with the ‘they might not be interested in what I do.’
Then there’s the second part of this….when someone asks you that, they usually want a short description. Now remember, novelists write things that are likely 80K+. Giving a 140 word description is pretty hard for us. It’s NOT our milieu. (No matter how many times we’re told to prepare an elevator pitch.)
So when someone asks about what I write, I’m both self conscious and aware that if I give my book a real description, I’ll probably yack their socks off.
(Other writers don’t have this problem. I was at a convention recently where a guy in the audience managed to describe -his- short story in detail every time he asked a panel a question. I simply don’t have that sort of chutzpah.)
So here’s my pitch: In an alternate 1902 Portugal, a sereia must join forces with a police consultant to stop a killer seeking to change the very fabric of history itself.
That’s the best I’ve got.