When I was a young man, you know, middle school aged and all of that, I was that ever-typical geek/nerd. You know the one. The one who hung out in a corner reading a book, mostly because whenever he interacted with the other schoolchildren, he found himself teased and mocked. I was, of course, not very confident of myself. I really felt as though I had little to offer, so I figured it was probably best to escape into my own little worlds of imagination.
When I reached the end of my 8th grade year, I felt hope rise anew, as I was to move across the country to attend high school. This was my chance to finally make something of myself, my chance to rise like the phoenix to become something new entirely. You know, to be cool.
Of course, things didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped, at least not right away. I found myself socially awkward, still unable to really interact with people in ways that didn’t come off as incredibly weird (this holds true today). I ended up retreating back to my old ways, choosing to spend more time in my room playing video games than on campus interacting with the world.
Due to some rather special circumstances, the start of my sophomore year in high school, things changed quickly. Suddenly I was hanging out with the ‘cool’ kids and actually felt, for quite possibly the first time in my life, popular. Of course, I had taken on this cocky/nonchalant attitude toward everything, trying my hardest to convince people that I didn’t care whether they liked me or not, while my mind screamed out “LOVE ME!!!”.
As time passed, the act become more of a reality. I obviously enjoyed the company of others, but I had become so used to pretending I didn’t care, that I found myself really not caring about much. I was confident of where I stood, content to continue it, and, overall, pretty darn happy about it all.
Fast forward almost 20 years and I find myself in a similar situation to my sophomore self, albeit not regarding social interactions (well, not so much anyways), but with my work as an author. The conversation crops up very frequently with folks asking about my books, about my process, and whatever else. Very often they make off-handed comments like, “I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy and read it.”
Now, of course, that statement is probably true. There is quite possibly some intention there to fulfill their curiosity and figure out what can actually come out of the weird brain of this dude who likes to call himself the Fat Mogul, but I know the likelihood is that they will never read my book. And to be completely honest, I am really okay with that. THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO is not a book for everyone, and the concept itself will definitely not appeal to everyone. Not to mention that there are so few people who actually read on a normal basis… Let’s just say that I didn’t get into writing so that I could force my friends to read. So, when they say these things, I usually respond with a shrug and a simple response like, “Yeah, you know, if you want, I’d love to hear what you think. I’m not going to pressure you or anything.” And it’s true. I really have no interest in pressuring people to read my books. If you want to read them, awesome. If you enjoy them (as most people seem to, so you should really read them), even better.
However, when I answer in this nonchalant manner, my brain is usually yelling telepathically (or perhaps tele-pathetic-ally), “YES! READ MY BOOK! SHOW ME YOU LOVE ME AND THEN TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND LEAVE REVIEWS ON EVERY WEBSITE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED!”.
There’s a form of a lack of confidence that lays behind that which I seem to have trouble shaking off. This internal process that believes that everyone who shows any interest in my books must either buy them and read them and love them, or else they really don’t care about me too much. I know this isn’t true, I know it without question. Yet my early high-school brain still wins out wishing for some romanticized form of affection in which every single person I know cries out to the world about how great of an author I, their dear friend, am.
As I write this, I realize that this could come off as some sort of guilt trip. It’s not intended to be that way (although you really should read my book and review it and tell all your friends 🙂 ). In fact, it’s more of an intention to let you know that it really is okay if you don’t read my books. At the very least I’m so needy (from my awkward childhood) for social interaction that I am happy just to have anyone talking to me at all. And, I do honestly feel that my book isn’t for everyone, and would hate to have someone feel forced to read through it and not enjoy a single second of it. The same thing goes for those who don’t like reading in general.
Now…of course… if you do like the type of drivel I push out and you do consider me a friend and you do read… No, seriously, I’m a no pressure sales kinda guy. I feel pretty darn proud about THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO, and the final edits on THE AGORA FILES are making me even more amazed at my writing prowess than the first draft already had. I think they’re great stories and I believe that you will, at least on some level, totally enjoy them.
But I’m not going to pressure you. That’s why my facebook and twitter feeds aren’t filled with constant links to my amazon pages. That’s why I don’t wax on constantly on this site about, well, exactly what this article is about. Heck, I even have a few fans now that come to the site regularly, or check out my twitter and facebook feeds on a regular basis. But no one really wants to deal with a constant barrage of sales messages. I know I don’t…
So, what this article is really about it to tell you that you don’t have to feel guilty, not in the least, if you haven’t read my books. I honestly don’t feel anything against those who don’t. At the same time, every time someone begins reading my books, or leaves a review, or suggests it to a friend, or even sends me a comment on them, my heart literally races with excitement.
So…if you want to make me incredibly happy…you know what to do 🙂
Of course, I’m already pretty darned happy.
Have fun out there!