When I look at Brad Pitt, I do not see the handsome rich guy who portrayed Tyler Durden, one of my all-time favorite movie characters. I do not see the man who is fully occupying Angelina Jolie, thereby ensuring the safety of any number of high profile men.
I see a man who cannot go to the grocery store without being mobbed. This is my personal nightmare.
Until 31 July 2009 it was not possible to Google me. As far as the Internet, a number of old girlfriends, and various government agencies were concerned, I did not exist. This was perfect. My preference is to be left to my own devices, to be left alone. It is one of the reasons I enjoy writing so much.
Then I wrote a novel (A Particular Obedience) and was faced with the terrible conflict of wanting my privacy yet not wanting to be ignored. There was no way for me to sell books without my name surfacing on the Internet. I had decided against a pseudonym because writing was simply the best representation of who I am. It would be cowardly to turn away from that identity. So on 31 July 2009 I crawled out of my cave, got me a Twitter account and through the magic of ISBN databases became findable.
With a few exceptions it wasn’t that bad. I am still flattered when someone from my distant past bothers to not only find me but send me a message. Mostly.
Then I wrote another novel (Powder Dreams) and wanted even more people to find it and, through the divine agency of authorship, me, too. Although I still did not want someone disturbing my grocery shopping. How embarrassing it would be to know that someone was watching me flip the blueberry container over to examine the relative ripeness of the berries. Or buy the economy pack of what is politely referred to as Feminine Hygiene products for my wife. Yes, I look for the longest Sell By dates on nearly everything. I have since realized that most people could identify about five authors by sight. The chances are good that I’ll never be one of those. What a relief. Sort of.
“Reluctant” is the only adjective that can describe my hiring a publicist to help get the word out about this latest novel. Here, take my money and go tell people that I have a brilliant entertaining book now available. If I thought of self-promotion as a sort of base act of the desperate, then publicity was depraved self-flagellation. Worse, they wanted me to do things that went against my grain. Give away books. Speak nicely on the radio. Participate in the publicity.
So to paraphrase Tyler Durden, how’s the publicity working out for me?
I only cringed once when the publicist asked me to write this blog entry.
About David Ward-Nanney:
David Ward-Nanney (blog) is the author of two novels: A Particular Obedience and Powder Dreams. He received his B.A. (Ancient Greek) from Emory University.
Check out David Ward-Nanney’s new novel click
- Little Girl Adores Brad Pitt (shoppingblog.com)
- TWBO Presents: Brad Pitt Getting Hit By Cars For 3 Minutes (cars.failblog.org)
This made me laugh because it’s so true of you! As the queen of shameless self-promotion (and hopefully help to others), I should be embarrassed but being “out there” does help sell books. I’m glad you made the leap because more people need to discover your fine works. And thank goodness, being mobbed at the grocery probably won’t come out of this. 🙂