Friday, June 26, 2009
Cover Up! You're Naked
By Deborah Sharp
Here's my latest worry in a long list of worries: Am I over-exposed?
Not in the naked sense. More in the Paris Hilton sense . . . well, considering the sex tape, maybe Paris isn't the best example of the distinction. What I mean is am I too out-there? Between Facebook and Book Tour, my website and blogging, have I already mined even the most mundane details about me?
In the old days, authors used to keep a modicum of mystery. Look to J.D. Salinger for the extreme: No published work and nary an interview in a half-century or so, and they're still talking about him.
I started thinking about this when a small arts & culture magazine in my home state of Fla. assigned a writer to do a profile of me. Great, right? Publicity! I was suitably thrilled.
Until the writer asked me to share ''some details no one has heard ... something new.''
I'm only on Book 2. But already my back-story --- Former USA Today reporter, burned out on the news biz, started writing funny mysteries blah, blah, blah --- has become a bore.
So, either I dig really, really deep for something more interesting; or I start making things up. I'm leaning toward the latter:
Me: ''Did you know I was launched into orbit as part of NASA's Journalist in Space program?''
Reporter: "Really?? Wow!''
Me: ''Yep, the earth looks like a blue marble from way up there.''
As members of the Florida media for many years, my TV reporter hubby and I know journalists around the state. I've been lucky to get some stories out there on my funny, Fla-set Mace Bauer Mysteries. But in the process, have I become eye-rollingly predictable? Oh, please. Not her again!
When I was a cub reporter in Fort Myers, Fla., one local artist (nameless here) was a relentless self-promoter. He managed to get the News-Press to write about him even in the absence of anything newsy: "Artist X has begun to think about a new project . . . ''
Finally, the editor enacted an X-ban: ''Unless X is shot during a crack deal gone bad while he's dressed in drag, we're not writing another word about him.''
Which gives me an idea of ''something new'' to share with that writer for the art mag:
''Did you know I used to be a crack dealer?''
''Yep. I shot a man in Fort Myers once. I was dressed in drag . . . ''
What about you? Are you out there promoting, Paris Hilton-like? Or are you holding on to your mystery, Salinger-style?