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Friday Flix: Invisible Catfish Sex Change!

May 27, 2011

As I conclude my week-long series on the art of Blogging or How to Alienate Your Entire Audience in 5 Days, let me talk about how I was going to take my own advice until a movie changed my mind.

I had a thought a few months ago that maybe it would go better for me in blogging and publishing if I developed a new identity.  This wasn’t the first time the thought had occurred to me.  In my novel Where You Belong–requisite shameless plug!–the main character Frost gets a job writing a series of YA sci-fi books thanks to his old friend Frank.  The only hitch is that the publisher doesn’t want Frost’s name on books about a girl and her friends on a space station high school of the future.  So Frost and his phony Canadian lumberjack pal Guy come up with a new identity named Mrs. Clare MacGuffin that he uses as his pseudonym.

I was thinking I should start a new blog and do something similar.  Basically do all the stuff I said in Monday’s post.  Kind of go undercover like “Tootsie” or something.  I figured then I could fit in a lot better than being a grumpy bulldog.

So what stopped me?  A movie called “Catfish.”  I didn’t write a formal review of it, though I probably made some comments on Blockbuster’s site.  I did on Twitter call it the “real Facebook movie” because it’s actually about people using Facebook and not a largely fictionalized, stolen from “Citizen Kane” biopic about the site’s founder.

The movie is a documentary that I take to be true about a guy in New York who receives a painting of one of his photographs supposedly made by an 8-year-old girl.  He communicates with the girl and her mother and then winds up starting a relationship with the girl’s older sister.  Except soon it becomes clear that the girl is not who she claims to be so the dude and his friends go all the way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to track her down.

Part of why I think it’s true is that the confrontation doesn’t turn into a lot of shouting like “Jerry Springer,” nor does the woman turn out to be a nut who tries to chain them up in her basement and murder them.  I mean if Hollywood were doing this story that’s how it’d go, right?  Instead the guy and his friends are far more understanding about this woman’s need to escape her life in the middle of nowhere with twin autistic stepsons who need a lot of care to create a fantasy that’s more exciting and fulfilling.

So after that I thought, “Well, yeah, it’s probably not a good idea to fool around with people like that.”  I mean I could easily do that, but I’d probably be found out in the end and then people would be pissed.

And even writers need to be a little bit grounded in the real world.  At least until a publisher pays me to fake my identity.

Monday is a Memorial Day holiday story excerpt!


From → Uncategorized

  1. Honesty is the best policy in my opinion UNLESS you are trying to sell something. In that case, you’re better off lying because your profits will be higher.

  2. LOL! Yeah, holding off on that idea is probably a good thing.

    BTW, I totally clicked on the link to this post based on title alone, ha! 😉

    • Provacative titles are important. Two weeks ago I got a view from someone looking for a superhero pooper scooper.

  3. I’ve often toyed with the ideal of making the perfect online persona, but it isn’t the ethics that keep me from doing it, it’s knowing that I’m not smart enough to keep it consistent. I’d be a 40 year old single mom one day, then a 19 year old college freshman the next. I’d suck.

  4. If you want to make money selling your books, become LDS and maintain good standing with the church. Then they will buy your books in droves.

    Proof: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
    Proof: Matched by Allie Condie
    Proof: Orson Scott Card

    Look at Goodreads. Amber Argyle for her debut novel “Witchsong” has 3 times the people that have selected “to read” on her book from a smalltime press as compared to Tahereh Mafi who has a movie contract and book called “Shatter Me” coming out roughly the same time. One does significantly more promotions than the other. One is LDS and the other is not.

    This is by no means a slight to Mormons out there that read my post. I have many Mormon friends and I live alongside them all day long. I’m just sayin’ that facts are facts and numbers are numbers. LDS buy other LDS books period. End of story. And they are way more organized and supportive than someone just trying to make it on their own (a.k.a. Tahereh Mafi).

    • I guess for starter’s I’d have to stop watching the Mormon episode of “South Park.” “Joseph Smith: dum dum dum dum…”

      They’d probably find me out eventually though.

  5. The Mormons do what I say everyone should: buy the books (etc) for the people you know, and support them. Interesting marketing strategy: convert for book sales. Is that better or worse than Tim Watley converting to be able to tell jokes?

    As for “Catfish,” I loved the movie and it made me terribly sad — but I don’t know if writing a blog anonymously is the same as trolling Facebook and creating identities like she did.

    Weirdly, I was actually considering doing the same thing… on the day this post came out. Rogue, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

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