Anyone who has ever dealt with the public, on any level, will appreciate this post. Why? Because when you are in the public eye, you’re toast if you don’t watch what you say and do. But, this is a catch 22 because on that same token, what good is exposure and popularity if it’s based on a falsehood?
What good is it to have fans (can I use that word? I don’t think I can, let’s say ‘readers’ instead) if they don’t like you for you? I sound like an afterschool special now and it makes me wanna yack, but really…what good is it? For example, what purpose is there in toning down the prologue in Son of Ereubus, when a large portion of the book has violence and mayhem? It would be nothing but false promises.
As an author, our public appearance, IS linked to our writing, just like a prologue’s tone is linked to the rest of the book. What do we want to portray? What do we want to promise?
But how seriously do we take this? How seriously SHOULD we take this? I’ve often joked about being a publicist’s worst nightmare since 99% of the stuff that comes out of my mouth is filter free. So, do I button that mouth and mind my manners for the good of my career? I’ve been told to. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve set several of my posts to private soon after publishing them. This is why. I haven’t changed my mind on any of my previously stated opinions.
Now, before you go thinking that I give a damn what other people think (I don’t, just for the record), you should know that I am only debating this issue because my actions affect those who have invested time and money into my career (my publisher, for example) and I want to be fair to them. Past that…anyone else who gets offended by what I say can take comfort in the fact that I have two cheeks (nothing better than variety) they can choose between when they kiss my ass.
Part of the problem with deciding whether to keep soap on hand or not (to clean your mouth and your public appearance) is that you’ll hear such drastic differences in opinion on this. Some people will tell you, “To hell with the world, be yourself!” Others will say, “Your career and therefore your livelihood depends on how others see you. If you want to succeed, you have to play the game.” It all makes me wonder what people really think—who they really are—because at the very least, a fraction of society, MUST be pretending.
I’m currently undecided on what to do from here. Do I continue with the fire and sarcasm? Do I curb the enthusiasm and start being politically correct? I shared a meaningless joke on facebook and apparently shocked more than a few folks (really guys?) hence the reason for this blog post (that and my sweet & talented author friend Michelle Davidson Argyle wrote a post on a similar issue here that got me thinking).
It’s funny to me that a good majority of people will respect and appreciate brazen sarcasm until it flows in their direction. You either like my sharp wit, or you don’t. I’m an equal opportunity offender: I don’t care who you are, or why you think you’re special. I’ve certainly had my rear-end handed to me on numerous occassions. Consider it a character-building experience.
This is a subject that will affect all of you writerly folk at some point, so even if you’re not published yet, you’d better start thinking about it now. I’ve been told that it can affect how agents and publishers see you when they are deciding whether or not to sign your work. Clearly it didn’t affect me all that much because I believe my publisher read through some rather snarky blog posts here at The Asylum, before signing me—though, I don’t know this for sure, you’d have to ask them.
Why is there a zombie picture to the right of this little rant? Well, what qualifies a zombie as a zombie?
No sense of humor
No sense of taste (braaaaiiinnnss)
A tendency to eat other people for dinner
A tendency to repeat things
A tendency to mindlessly wander after people with brains
A cold heart
Cold-blooded (OK, it’s more like jello…but you get the point)
Damn near impossible to discourage from attacking
Soooo…do I need to explain?
I think Scissor Sisters said it best, “It’s a bitch convincing people to like you. If I stop now you’ll call me a quitter. If lies were cats you’d be a litter.”