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March 30, 2005



I believe consistency is key to preventing persona tangle, so I'm a huge pain in the ass whenever possible.


It's an interesting point, Sarah. But I don't think it's limited to writers.

Some people are just naturally bubbly all the time. I had a girlfriend once who was like this. It was interesting to see how other people often confused this with immediate intimacy. (And in fact, this has happened to me a few times. Because I speak and write so openly about many things, while keeping my private world to myself, I find that some folks tell me remarkable tales within a few hours of meeting me, leaving me in a discomfiting zone of quietude.)

What separates an idolatorous, socially maladjusted person from a regular Joe/Jane is that the latter will respect the other person's barrier of privacy. Misperceived friendliness and the resultant slavishness isn't limited to the publishing world.


so Sarah, what you're telling me is - when I meet you in person, I may be disappointed?
I won't be if you wear that maple leaf centerpiece on your head. cuz' that's what I picture you wearing every time I talk to you, I can't help it. I love it.

Jim Winter

I have worked very hard to hide the fact that I'm really a little old Jewish lady from Queens. The fight white guy costume gets stuffy after a while.

(Don't say it, Laura.)

Joseph Goodrich


Once, at a theatre event in Los Angeles, I met Mead Hunter, who at that time was associated with the Mark Taper Forum. We'd never met until then, but he'd seen my work. 'I'd have thought from your plays,' he said after we'd talked a while, 'that you were much older and much more bitter.'

That was a number of years ago. I'm older now, and probably more bitter, too. Ah, well...


I'm far quieter in person than I seem online. I try and come across a bit more professional at work. And, of course, my mother doesn't know that I swear, drink and go out with strange men. But other than that I think I'm the same all the time. I find it hard to be anything other than I am, so would find it difficult to have a public persona and a private one. Having said that, when I was in my 20s a friend and I used to confuse men who chatted us up by pretending to be things we weren't. In my time I've been a pilot, a gravedigger (lots of jokes about the job being a dead end etc), Scotland's foremost forensic pathologist (Kay McScarpetta) who consulted on Taggart (remember the episode with the facial reconstuction? That was me), and a psychoananlist (half way through that conversation I decided that wasn't exotic enough so suddenly developed a Latvian accent). Ummmm, what was the question? No, I'm just me.



psychoanalyst. Jeez, you'd think I could spell my chosen profession

Dave White

Oh no. Christin's started on the maple leaf centerpiece... SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE RULES...

John Rickards

Jim -- the disguise would be more effective if you didn't keep pinching people's cheeks at conventions, telling them how much they've grown and asking whether they've had any children yet.

And Jennifer's FAQ answer and Donna's McScarpetta tale are far too funny. :-D


Loved Jennifer's FAQ and have a vague memory of chatting up a beautiful gravedigger on one of my lost weekends some time back.

As to Rickard's interview on "Great Writing," it's true, John doesn't smoke.

Bill Peschel

I like to think that I was merely hiding my light under a bushel and that my brilliant wit and intellectual insights would become apparent to all once I'm published, but as I'm a creaky 45 I've comfortably grown into my mediocrity and concluded that, if it weren't for the Internet, I would become older and crotchier, accumulate far too many cats and be found dead of a heart attack after the postman investigates the stack of mail building on my front porch and finds my dissicated, partially cat-chewed body. Jennifer Weiner's problem will never become mine.

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