I have remained in the shadows for as long as I can remember. It sounds dark and gloomy but it isn’t. I put myself there. When it comes to a one-on-one encounter with people I am equipped to hold some interesting conversations. Large groups, on the other hand, tend to scare me away like a frightened rabbit. If I can’t get away, I usually end up on the edge of participation while taking up the role of observer. A perfect example is a dance party I attended at a friend’s house when I was fourteen. Male and female teens strut their stuff in a big room with loud music and a strobe light. Victim to my nature and lack of self-confidence, I stood in one corner with my sunglasses on even though the sun had gone down. Through the music, I heard a girls voice, “Oh my god, look at that guy. He looks like a statue.” Ever since, I understood my role, in most any group, was the quiet one sitting in the corner. It’s not a bad place to be. But, here’s the thing. If I am going to seriously pursue a career as a novelist, I need to present myself to the world. To love me or to hate me, the stage is set and risk is real. The leap into the unknown is a necessity. But the question remains:
How should the world see me as an author?
Do I show everyone I can be presentable and professional? I already wear Polo’s daily, but that’s because it gets a better interaction from a lot of the oilfield guys that work out in this area. It’s good customer service, friendly tone and all that.
But I can’t be too professional. Weird Al Yankovic is one of my all time favorite musicians. (If you don’t know who that is, you need to go look him up on youtube because you are missing out.) Most of today’s comedy movies suck. I’ll settle for some Mel Brooks or Monty Python. Hell, I’ll even go back far enough to mention Abbott and Costello, The Marx Brothers. Any of it is better than today’s limit-pushing silliness. But that’s me. I like the oldies: Arsenic and Old Lace, Young Einstein, Little Shop of Horrors, Gremlins, Never Ending Story.
*I’m guilty of liking current movies too: Shaun of the Dead, Metalocalypse, Grandma’s Boy.
I wanted to be the mystery man and hide behind the image my stories created on their own, but that can’t happen. Well, I’m sure somewhere it happens to someone but not to me. The mystery I want you to feel needs to come from my stories, not who I am as a person. As a person I want you to see I am just as human as you are. Blood runs through our veins. We breathe air from the same sky. We share the same sun.
Rolling with the current hippity-hop and you-viners, I could fill the status streams with click-bait about political antics or my personal views about religious segregation, but I am not that person. I’m not even good at making click-bait, and pissing people off has never been a strong suit. Now, if you want to talk about spirituality and the universe, I am always open for conversation.
Are you a nature buff? Do you enjoy the outdoors? I don’t do as much camping and fishing as I would like nowadays, but I try to make it a yearly effort. I even bought a pop-up trailer a few years back. I’ve only taken it out once, and it was hotter than a witches skillet, but it was fun, and my daughter got to catch three fish…one right after the other. Made me question my ability as a fisherman.
In the end, all I can be is me. It’s a strange job, but someone has to do it, and I excel at it, so why should you believe any different? Creep into my mind and make your home. Beware of the pitfalls and shadow people. Fresh meat taste good with vintage whiskey and sour notions. Care to stay for dinner?
So, what do readers like to read about their favorite authors? Do you keep up with their accomplishments, book signings, public readings? Is it their work that keeps bringing you back, or is it the author?
Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.