Saturday, February 11, 2006

Don't judge a blook by its author

I've been reading this blog (well, someone's got to do it) and I have to confess that I'm somewhat taken aback by the superficial, incessantly jokey, childish and trivial nature of most of the posts. I just don't sound like a serious author to me, and that's worrying.

The thing is, I set up this blog as a vehicle to promote my blook A Half Life of One. By promote I mean I am trying to lure a few readers here who will eventually click through to my literary masterpiece over on my other blog.

It well known that to attract readers you basically have to do two things:

1 Post regularly
2 Say something interesting every time

Apart from a short hiatus over Christmas and New Year when I suffered an acute attack of writer's block I have managed to post regularly. Mainly by writing down the first thing that comes into my head and then trying to give it a "humorous" twist. Hence the relentlessly facetious tone of the blog.

You can't imagine Hemingway or Fitzgerald doing the same thing though, can you?

The problem is accentuated if you actually go and read my blook. There isn't a joke in it. It's a deeply serious, dark book that sets out to shock and, hopefully, provoke some serious thoughts about the precariousness of our existence. Judging by this blog you would never guess in a million years that I was the author. As a result, I've probably deterred as many people from reading the book as I attracted.

The other strange thing is that in real life - inasmuch as I lead a "real" life - I'm a deeply serious, driven person who shares his sense of humour only with a very close circle of friends. In sustaining this blog for as long as I have I've been forced to develop completely new opersonality. Which is quite an interesting byproduct of my marketing drive I guess.

When I wrote A Half Life Of One, incidentally, I was under the same intense pressure as the main protagonist. Oil was down at 10 dollars a barrel, work in the oil industry had dried up, and my highly-geared business was rapidly going bust. Just like the guy in the book I was trapped and staring ruin in the face. In retrospect I was pretty close to cracking up completely. The only thing that kept me sane was my sense of humour. Things were so bad you had to laugh, even if it was gallows humour. It's odd now, looking back, that none of this humour appears in the book. Maybe that's why I didn't resort to the solution that went so badly wrong for my fictional hero, or should that be villain.

That being the case, I'd ask you to tolerate all the bad puns and feeble jokes. The thing is, if I lose my sense of humour I'm in trouble.

Well, we all are, aren't we?

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