When you work a full-time job and write a book on the side, it evokes some interesting reactions from people upon its publication.

I work for a TV network, and the responses to my being published have ranged from the flattering “You’ve inspired me” and “Can you sign my boobs so that I can prove to people that I knew you when?” (the practicality of which apparently eluded the woman in question) to the unsportsmanlike “Well, how many books have you sold?” to suspicion that – because I work long hours in a semi-stressful job and would seem to have little time for writing – I might have been implanted with a robotic chip.

Explaining that I only write on Sundays and that it takes me a couple years to finish a book doesn’t seem to appease them. Many of these people are creative folk for whom my (minimal) book success has evoked a rather substantial level of guilt, of the “I should be writing a book/directing a movie/releasing an album/perfecting my pole dancing” variety.

My typical answer to these people, most of whom have kids, is, “You know all that time you spend raising Halli/Bryce/Sophie/Mathilda? That’s when I write.”

I then hand them a copy of the book and add, “Meet MY kid – now for sale at a bookstore near you.”

This seems to calm them down. After all, I may be making money off my kid, but it can’t wipe my butt when I’m old.