A few years ago, most writers’ dentition reflected years of coffee and tea drinking and the occasional front tooth gap or overlap. Unless you were a kid, a light shade of dull yellow was normal. Actors had to shell out thousands for veneers, but the rest of the arts demanded only that you were good at what you did. Not anymore.
Nowadays, it’s not enough to be a really terrific writer, or to write page turners, or even to blow up the bestseller lists. Nope. As the commercial says, that’s so 47 seconds ago. These days, writers had better have great teeth too.
Even the shyest writers have had to come out of their garrets and hidey holes to market their work. A lot of them are like moles, squinting in the light as they emerge from underground. They’d rather be in their burrows, writing. You can get shy writers to do stuff on the Internet, but that’s mainly so they can keep using their author photo from 1970. Anything beyond that, and an author’s bad teeth will surely become the topic of conversation.
In addition to all that Internet promotion, we’re also expected to go out and talk to groups of people, reading groups and fans, should we get any fans. And if a writer’s hygienist happens also to be a reader, well that’s just a disaster waiting to happen. One glance and any hygienist worth her scaling pick will know you’ve been lying about flossing all these years.
So what’s the solution? Writers can’t hide–even if your core audience lives in Antarctica, there’s Skype. Pasting those strips over your pathetic yellowed grill for weeks on end might get you a shade or two lighter, but for outright bling, you’re going to need those trays that cost a bundle. Leave the gunk on, until either your teeth turn blue-white or else the FAA arrests you for blinding airline pilots with your dazzling choppers. If you’re late to the reading group at least you’ll have a nice pearly smile.