What’s your major? And other first-meet questions.

photo credit: victory shake via photopin (license)

photo credit: victory shake via photopin (license)

Ask any author what the hardest thing is about the business of telling and selling stories. They’ll tell you…


All right, maybe not all authors. Maybe it’s 4 out of 5 dentists and the gum they like…. But for me, talking about myself is as much fun as getting a root canal with a pile driver.

I’d rather hear about you than talk about me.

Probably odd, given that half the authoring job is getting the news out about my stories. But it is handy when it comes to developing characters.

Remember the questions we used to ask when meeting new people at school? What’s your major, how’s so-and-so for econ? Starting my career I learned to substitute “Where do you work?” and “What do you do for a living?”

Then I cut back to consulting to be available for the kids. Now my go-to questions changed. I met more people working as full-time caregivers or homemakers. One of the best conversation starters I learned was from the son of our pastor–what do you do with your free time? That question led to a lot of fascinating stories and interests.

It’s one of the reasons I enjoy Amy R’s So Many Questions posts so much. I get to meet all sorts of new people.

I think that’s actually the reason I’m an author. I’m always interested in other people, and I love the stories they tell.

What are your go-to questions meeting a new person? What do you do with your free time?

About Mary Hughes

Who am I? A lover of stories that crackle with action and love. A mother, a flutist, a binge-TV-watcher of NCIS, Sherlock, and Agents of SHIELD. Most of all, a believer in grand passion. Mary's online and would love to hear from you! Website http://www.maryhughesbooks.com/ Blog http://maryhughesbooks.blogspot.com/ Group Blog http://www.lustwithalaugh.com/ Group Blog http://magicalmusings.com/ Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MaryHughesAuthor Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MaryHughesBooks Newsletter signup http://www.maryhughesbooks.com/index.html#MHNewsletter
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4 Responses to What’s your major? And other first-meet questions.

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Mary, this is so interesting. I’m going to remember to ask questions the next time I meet someone. Thanks for the tip! I don’t know if I have special questions. I think it depends on the situation. At the Garth Brooks concert, I might have asked, “What’s your favorite song of his?” At a writers conference, I would ask, “What do you write?” or “Where are you from?”

    With free time, I would like to say I walk or exercise, but I read. Maybe today I’ll walk.

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Mary, I did walk today. I’m going to try to get up and move around for 10 minutes every hour. Wish me luck!

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