Please join me in welcoming author Alan Orloff as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress as part of his Virtual Blog Tour.
Alan’s debut mystery, DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD, was published this month by Midnight Ink. With the release of his new book, I ask Alan to be a guest blogger here.
Thank you, Mason, for inviting me to guest blog today. Here are some of my Thoughts In Progress about the different faces one wears—on paper, in cyberspace, and in “real” life.
I enjoy reading and critiquing other writers’ manuscripts for all the usual reasons: It’s interesting and educational to see how other writers handle certain situations, it’s fun to get a different perspective, it’s entertaining reading good stories, it’s helpful (I hope), and it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble (usually).
But there’s something else I find fascinating, especially when I read manuscripts or books by people I know well. It’s the difference between a writer’s writing voice and his or her real “speaking” voice. And by voice, I’m actually talking about “personality.”
Have you ever known someone who is dry in person, but is Jerry Seinfeld’s funnier brother on paper? How about the guy who answers questions with one-syllable grunts but writes like William F. Buckley? Or what about the author with the foulest mouth imaginable who writes cozies? (No, I don’t have any particular cozy writers in mind here!)
Perhaps it’s like the guy whose singing voice is drastically different than his talking voice (Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) and Ozzy Osbourne come to mind. Hey, wouldn’t you like to see/hear that duo?).
I find this dichotomy fascinating.
Of course, it’s not just the difference between a person's “live” personality and written one that’s interesting. How about the difference between peoples’ online personas (as evidenced by their emails or blogging) and their “novel-writing” selves?
And what about the difference between interacting with someone online versus interacting in person? A few days ago, on this very blog, Mason wrote about how much she enjoys going to bookstores and seeing her cyberpals’ books on the shelf, because she’s gotten to know them online. I always wonder how similar a person will be in person. As I meet more of my cyberfriends at conventions in the upcoming months, I guess I’ll find out!
I’ve gotten comments along these lines. “You’re funny on your blog, but in your novels...eh, not so much.” Talk about your left-handed compliments! Maybe I should be less funny online, so I won’t disappoint any readers.
Which “me” is real? The blogging me or the novel-writing me? And what about the quiet, reserved “real” me versus the “blogging my innermost thoughts” me? Maybe I should just wear a pair of Groucho glasses and fake moustache to avoid the whole problem.
Of course, many people are exactly the same in writing as they are in person. What fun is that?
I find it all fascinating.
How about you?
Thanks so much Alan. Alan said a post I wrote on Saturday lead him to write this post. I definitely like your take on defining friends, Alan. Thanks again for guest blogging here today. Alan (who is also a blogging buddy) will be “hanging around” here today to answer any questions you might have and to respond to your comments.
The first in Alan’s new series, KILLER ROUTINE - A Last Laff Mystery, featuring Channing Hayes, a stand-up comic with a tragic past, will be out Spring 2011 (also from Midnight Ink). For more information, visit www.alanorloff.com