First off, if I’m in this situation, I’m probably in a face to face conversation which means something has gone terribly wrong forcing me to emerge from my cave and make eye contact with people. These conversations go a little like this:
Person: So, what do you write?
Me: Right now I’m working on a romance series that takes place at a school for paranormal creatures.
Person: Oh, so like Harry Potter?
Me: No. They are all adults, attending a university…and they’re gay.
Person: So like Harry Potter fan fic?
Me: No, it’s nothing like Harry Potter. There are all kinds of paranormal beings, werewolves, vampires, etc.
Me: *sighs in relief thinking they finally get it*
Person: So it’s like Twilight?
WHY? Why do people take any one aspect of a story and compare it to popular fiction? Are they trying to tell me it’s all been done before? Yes, vampires have been done before. Aliens have been done before. Magic has been done before. But when you take one aspect and just assume my book must be just like the first book you can think of that also has that in it, I kinda want to strangle you like a cartoon Homer taking out Bart. And since I’m an anti-social hermit, there is a chance I just might do it. I bet no one in prison will suggest my stories are derivative!