There’s No Escaping Me
About a month ago, I stumbled upon a quote by one of my favorite authors. It resonated with me, and I posted it on my Facebook author page:
Yes. Yes. This is not only why I read – it is also why I write.
I love taking myself to another world and living an alternative life. I can be someone else.
After I saw this quote, I remembered that about six months earlier I had written a poem about living a different life through my characters.
Now you are probably thinking: Oh crap. Nancy is going to subject me to POETRY.
Well, yeah, I am. But it’s short and it’s also easy to tell where the poem ends, so if you are worried that it will give you a migraine or hemorrhoids or something, just scroll right down to where you see I’m writing the ‘normal’ way again.
of inventing a person
is that you get to be
her for a time
and she may be
nothing like you
so you get to be
nothing like you
she’s in your head
so she shares
but she’s taller
with a cooler name
she could never be smarter
she could be braver
her for a time
you could kiss
in high school
All done. You survived. But here’s the thing: Although I think I am able to become another person in my writing, I have just had the revelation that I’m not.
I can live a different life, but I cannot be (at least not yet) a different person.
Last weekend I was participating in a book sale/author signing and once again, a customer thought the photo on the cover of my book was me. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened – and the person is STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Looking at me and my book. And thinking that the woman is me!
I explain good-naturedly that no, the cover photo is just a representation of the main character in the story.
And the person always says, “But it looks just like you.”
Well, no. I’m flattered of course, as I chose a very pretty woman for my cover.
She happens to be blonde. But I think the similarity ends right there.
But I realized that I am talking PHYSICAL similarity. Because looking back over the fiction I have written to date, I see now that all the characters are me.
I may think I am creating a new life for myself, but I am only creating new situations for myself.
So far, I have written a novel, the beginnings of a second novel, a novella (not published, but I’m thinking about it) and dozens of short stories.
And I see that every protagonist has my personality.
I even wrote a story about a guy, and HE was like me. And his wife was like me. And of course she was very happy to be married to a man who was so clever.
I think I need to try fiction that’s really fiction.
I should see if I could invent a person who doesn’t resemble yours truly. She could be voluptuous and religious and serious and politically conservative. Or he could. (except the voluptuous part.)
Do I want to?
I want to live the lives of the people I invent. And I’m going there with me intact.
What fun would it be to have all those adventures if it’s not me?
You can buy my book here. You can compare for yourself the cover photo with my photo on the back. Let me know. Did I unconsciously pick a cover shot that looks like me?