Thursday, February 18, 2010

True Lies

By Deborah Sharp

I'm usually not big on Internet games: Farmville on Facebook? Ee-ii-ee-ii-NO. Forward a chain email and watch the good fortune roll in? Yeah, sure. What rock star am I really? Uhm, none of them?

But every once in a while I get sucked in. Lesa Holstein's "Bald-Faced Liar'' (oops, make that Creative Writer) Award was like that. You can read how she started it here.

Several of my fellow Midnight Ink authors also played along. (Thanks ... I think ... to Sue Ann Jaffarian for the nomination. )

I won't rehash all the ins and outs, the rules and regs. Part of the fun is including at least one true thing, and then watching to see whether readers can tease out truth from fantasy.

If you're interested, you can read how I played the game at Ask Mama . That's the advice-column blog I write in the voice of the fictional Mama character from my Mace Bauer Mystery series (Did I mention the series is set in a made-up town?) So, it's a fake advice column written by a woman who doesn't really exist, responding to letters she doesn't actually get.

Guess I deserve that Bald-Faced Liar award after all.

Anyway, the game has been bouncing around the blogosphere, and quite a few authors have joined in. I thought at first it was because we make up things as our job. But then I read some of the whoppers that non-novelists have created. My conclusion: Everybody likes a little lying now and then.

Given the freedom to make yourself as exciting or outrageous as you could possibly be, what lies would you tell?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think the idea of having a double that's really fun for writers. Because most writers are sitting around *writing* and not doing anything really interesting! Well, maybe except for Keith. :)

I was tagged at the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and had a lot of fun with it. Most authors seem to lie about connections to famous people and exciting jobs they had in the past. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Like you, Deb, I always delete invitations to Internet games, quizzes, etc. but this one made me laugh. So glad you joined in on my invitation! I had 2 truths on my list and it was amazing how few people nailed them. Most thought my mother was a Rockette (she was short and plump) and some thought I'd been arrested. There were some humdinger truths I wanted to list instead of those I did, but thought ... hmmm, maybe not.

Sometimes the truth beats the lies by a landslide. What's that old saying: "Truth is stranger than fiction."

G.M. Malliet said...

Writers get to live hundreds of lives. It's the best job in the world.

Alan Orloff said...

When I was a kid, I was a goody-two-shoes. Never lied, never did bad stuff. I was BORING. Now, in my fiction, I can make up for lost time (and lost fun)!

Keith Raffel said...

Elizabeth, If you think I'm the one leading the exciting life... Well, I guess that shows that I'm a better liar than I thought. (Excuse me. Am off to the TV studio for a videotaping.)

Cricket McRae said...

When people ask me what I do, I say I'm a professional liar. No, of course I don't say that. Wait, yes, I do.

G.M. Malliet said...

Alan is lying about his childhood. He was the despair of his parents and teachers. Now look at him.

Deborah Sharp said...

Hey, y'all ... a little late chiming back in (been thinking up more lies!) Thanks for the comments, and thanks for reading (G: I agree with you about Alan: still waters run deep!; E: I read yours and your blogmates' answers. Really fun, as is the Mystery Lovers Kitchen. C: See, you ARE A liar (PS: The new blog is lovely). S-A: We'll buy you a beer the next convention, and you can reveal the truths you wouldn't reveal here. And, K ...You DO live an exciting life as the lone male in a houseful of women.)

Mike Dennis said...

Right on, Deb. I posted my contribution over on my website, only I turned it around by mentioning 6 outrageous truths and only one outrageous lie (6 lies would've been too easy).

I think it's a great idea, and the more writers who get in on it, the better. I mean, what are we if not a bunch of congenital liars?

Beth Groundwater said...

LOL, Cricket! When people ask me, I say "I kill people for fun and profit." After their jaw drops, I explain. ;-)

Keith Raffel said...

Deb, I do live with another male. After 3 girls, a boy (known as #4) did show up.