- Pens/pencils. They either have loads of these on their person or none at all and are embarrassed by the fact.
- Paper. They are always rummaging for a notebook to jot something down (and usually find at least one) or ask you for paper (just to write down an idea before it vanishes). It won't matter if they only met you 30 seconds previously.
- Books -v- E-books. The seriously addicted writer (and reader) will love both formats and have large to read lists on both. Everyone else will fall into two camps - they either love the e-book or loathe it. Do not underestimate their capacity for going on at length about their viewpoint here because they will given half a chance.
- Stationery. They adore notebooks and nice pens especially and have huge collections of both. They are first in the queue when the stationery shops have any kind of sale.
- Societies. They are usually keen to tell you if they are a member of the Society of Authors (ahem... I am!) or other professional writing body.
- Writing Conferences and Retreats. They go to as many as possible and love talking about the merits of each. Again can go on at length on this topic. How do I know? Well....
- Writing Aids - Chocolate, Wine etc. All writers have their "little helpers". I'm in the chocolate camp myself. Others are in the wine department. Many combine both. So if you come across someone in the supermarket queue stocking up on these items, they are likely to be a writer getting much needed supplies in. Best not to get in the way.
- Short stories -v- Novels. Many of course write both but there are those who write one or the other. Those writers will speak passionately (and again at length) about their choice of fiction writing and why they feel it is the best and only choice in the world.
- Rejection Stories. All writers have these. The conversation here is to find out who has the most rejections or the most hurtful ones. Think of it as negative bragging rights!
- Publication News. They will tell complete strangers when they have a book coming out. Talking of which...
I'm Allison Symes and write fairytales with bite, especially novels and short stories.