I'm kind of a private person. I keep my private life just that -- private. And, what you see via the social media is usually book-related or trivial. That's why yesterday's Facebook 'expose' was really quite irritating. Until you start laughing.
If you missed it (which I truly hope you did), I happened to confirm a friend request which then led to my being tagged in a very risque photo. Now, I don't know if this 'friend' is the spammer or if yet another force is at work here. Whatever.
At choir last night one of my real friends said he laughed so hard he almost fell off his chair. I like that response. Although part of me is in a bit of a huff -- women in their sixties can be sexy, John!
But I digress. I then thought about why I, a private person, am on Facebook and Twitter to start with. Promotion. That's the reason. On my real person site, I'm hoping to encourage readers to visit Mystery Maven Canada. But then I added old time friends, family, choir members, writing colleagues, neighbours...so maybe it's expanded a bit. You think? And now that I do think about it, I included my maiden name to try to re-connect with old high school buddies.
Okay, but my Erika Chase site is really about promotion. In this fiercely competitive, although supportive, publishing world an author really has to work hard at getting her or his name out there. But Erika's site has also morphed into friends, family, writing colleagues...you get the picture.
That got me thinking about my protagonist. Another choir member (it was choir night last night) told me she's reading A Killer Read and hears me in Lizzie Turner, my main character. Okay, I gave her an almond butter addiction -- that's me. The two Siamese cats are also me. But aside from another trait here or there, I see her as her own, although fictional, person. To me, she's a totally separate woman. That's what characters have to be.
Because we experience life and have friends and meet people, they're bound to influence our writing and creep in -- sometimes on purpose but at other times, as a part of that imagination. And what's that based on? Life, I suppose.
So back to the beginning. Would a writer who values her privacy put a lot of her life into her character? Well, I figure, it doesn't really matter. We all start at different points in our writing; we have different goals; we write different stories. No right or wrong here.
So much for today's ramble. I wonder what my real writing will be like today.
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A KILLER READ
Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ and BURIED, coming Dec., 2012, available for pre-order