Friday, February 05, 2021

Writing: Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

When I first began writing, I was advised to get a post office box and use that for my address, to retain anonymity. There are stories floating around (which I've decided may be apocryphal--certainly based on my own experiences) that authors should keep their physical addresses to themselves. I've never seen this. Actually, other than a few folks at church, I've never even been recognized as an author. But I digress.

One of the "chores" that falls to me as a result of my PO box is a trip every few days to our local post office. One of the things that helps me plan these little jaunts is a service that I've found helpful, whereby the post office will send me on a daily basis photos of the pieces of mail that I'll be receiving in my box. (What about the physical address, you ask? That's usually junk mail.) And today I received notification that I was receiving a book sent to my postal address. No explanation, it just showed up in the "package" delivery slot. I can hardly wait to find out what it is and who sent it.

Anyway, the reason for this post in the first place is to ask this question. Have you been advised to use a post office box for your address? Have you ever wished you had not given someone your physical address? Or is all this a nasty rumor started by the postal service to get us to use boxes? (Just kidding, USPS. Don't take it seriously). 

6 comments:

Priscilla Bettis said...

As only minorly published, I can't say I've any ANY advice on mail. Meanwhile, we use that photo-emailed thing from USPS too. On a sleeting, miserable day it tells us if it's really worth crossing the street to check the mail.:-)

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, even one book takes you into the realm of "published," and I'd never use the term "minorly" about anyone who has a book published.
We've found the USPS utility to be very helpful (although I've never needed the anonymity). We have all our important stuff (including bills and checks) sent there, rather than to the box in front of our house.

Priscilla Bettis said...

Thanks for the encouragement, but no, no . . . it truly is "minorly." The only story I've sold is a short story to an anthology. But I'm still working on this writing thing! I've got more stories out there in slush piles, and I'm working on a trio of novellas right now.

Patricia Bradley said...

I suspect the book is from me, Richard. :-) I just received notification my influencer books were sent out...as for getting advice about a PO Box number...

Back in the early 2000s I was in an RWA writer's chapter with three or four New York Times best-selling authors and one of them strongly urged everyone to not give out their home addresses. It seems she'd been stalked and the stalker threatened to kidnap and kill her. He was eventually arrested and served time.

I didn't follow her advice and never got a PO box. It seemed like a lot of trouble and who's going to stalk me in a town the size of Corinth. lol

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, yes, the book was your latest, and I can hardly wait to read it. Thanks so much.
Apparently neither you nor I have been stalked, but one female read of my "books" website (where this is also posted) was such a victim, so it happens.

Richard Mabry said...

Should be "reader"...doggoned autocorrect.