It’s a little odd for me to be writing this little blog piece about a recent book read, but I cannot shake off the feelings I have about its content. I’m sure many of you have seen the pimp posts for Author Anonymous by EK Blair in recent weeks. Well, after seeing a well-known blogger mention it on a discussion post late last night, I decided that maybe I should pick it up and read it.
3 hours later, I finished it and then proceeded to spend the rest of my night wide awake in bed thinking about it. The premise of this book is based on a real life story from an anonymous author’s experiences. You see, this author allowed her life to spiral out of control because she started living in a fictional fantasy romance like most of us publish. Was it wrong to want to feel the rush of a new relationship or to feel alive again? It’s wasn’t, but the problem lies with this tale is that the author was married and had children. I tried as I read to not judge her actions because I really didn’t know all the circumstances behind her decision-making process, but I was screaming inside for her to stop even though I know the damaged had already been done.
In the day and age where the safety net of being behind a computer screen seems to be the norm, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the whys in this situation? Why did she lie about being married? Why did she pursue it? Why did she do this to her husband and family? At the end, the whys didn’t seem to matter anymore to me as a mourned for her relationship and for her mistakes. This wasn’t me experiencing these things, but as an author, it could have been. How many of us while writing completely immerse ourselves into the fictional worlds in our heads? How many days, hours, and months do we spend daydreaming about sexual encounters with the men and women we write in our books? I could go on and on with those kinds of questions, but would it get us anywhere? No. We as authors immerse ourselves so deeply into our own heads that sometimes the divide between real and not real blur. Most of us don’t have a Katniss Everdeen in our lives to tell us the difference when the lines begin to blur, but this author did in the form of her PA. Did she listen to her friends warnings? No, but again, the decisions she made her all of her own will. We can convince ourselves out of sheer desire and want that even our own brains convince us we are taking the right course of action when in reality it’s the worst possible decision.
Being an author is far from easy, and I get that the temptation to be someone you’re not when it comes to the limelight is always lurking. It’s exciting and new way to express ourselves, but we as authors and as real human beings need to understand that unlike in our books and even video games second chances don’t come and save the day. There is no start over button in real life and this book has made me realize even more how much we need to be honest in our lives. The scandals, fights, and even drama that continue to plague book world is just a catalyst to what happened in this book. So many of our readers expect us to be the person they see on social media acting goofy or the sexual goddesses that we write about, but the sad true is that most of us aren’t like that. Many authors are shy in person or have anxiety issues about meeting a massive amount of fans so they turn to the safety of the internet to interact and promote their work, and I don’t fault them for that. I’ll be brutally honest when I say that many of us are looking at book world with rose-colored glasses and that there are those who reside in this business who are fake. But, again, that’s how they choice to life their lives as an author, not mine. That’s not who I am and it’s none of my business to judge them for their actions.
I think the point of all this was to say that not everyone is perfect. We all make mistakes and in the end, we all pay the price for the damage we’ve caused. Author Anonymous has changed the way I see book world and maybe even given me the reality check that I need to focus more on my work and my life rather than the lives of others. I may not be the anonymous author, but I know that it could have been me or any other author out there. I am almost positive this author isn’t the only one who has faced something like this and probably won’t be the last, but at least now we know that not all ever afters end happily.