I had a Duh! moment the other day. It was one of those moments where I say “Oh really?” to myself. I realized that, along with trying to sell my books, I also need to create a fan base for my work. I need to attract people who will read what I write and tell their friends about my books. This would not be a problem, except that I am a private type person. I only have the two books out so far, and unlike J. D, Salinger, I do not have the fame that allowed him to become reclusive. So, I am stuck with the quandary of how to be very public while being very private at the same time.
There is a third element to be considered as well: honesty. I could easily create a public persona to hide behind, and indeed have done so in the past. For a while, when things got awkward, I became Fred the Bird from Dan O’Neill’s “Odd Bodkins,” the wise guy who knew everything and could come up with a quip when needed. By surrendering my usual “Oh Yeah?” type retort to something worthy of Fred, I got through a lot of unpleasant things.
But I am not Fred. I want to be honest when I write and when I talk to people about what I write, hence the quandary: do I go Full Monty, or do I keep a fig leaf of privacy for myself? Obviously, this is not something I can decide in one sitting. Probably what will happen is I will muddle along and suddenly find that I have made my decision without realizing it.
I suppose we shall see.