A while back a friend of a friend's ex-boyfriend made it clear that he had a thing for me. It wasn't mutual and while I didn't know his ex-girlfriend well I knew enough to be aware that if she found out about her ex's shift in affection there would be needless drama. But of course Mr. Clueless couldn't keep his mouth shut and at a dinner party at which she was in attendance he and his friend brought me up as a topic of conversation (I wasn't there but I certainly heard about it). Anyway, this guy started peppering my friend with questions about my life and my situation and as he went on and on about how impressed he was with me his ex-girlfriend started hitting my friend on the leg under the table and throwing her questioning looks. For the record I don't think he was intentionally trying to antagonize her; she had given him very good reason to believe that she had moved on and was over it and he's a man and men aren't known for their ability to pick up on that kind of emotional subtly.
Anyway, she eventually dragged my friend into the bathroom and asked what was going on. My friend who might have been a little too intoxicated to exercise extreme discretion confirmed this guy's crush and the ex-girlfriend immediately became distraught. Fortunately my friend WAS sober enough to clarify the situation. "If he really knew who Kyra was he wouldn't want her," my friend assured her. "He's the guy who wants a wife who will iron his shirts and have dinner waiting for him every night and that's just not who Kyra is. But you? Yesterday you were churning your own butter! It doesn't get much more domestic than that!"
My friend was absolutely right. This guy didn't know me at all. If he did he wouldn't have been enamored. I had mentioned to him that I tried not to take phone calls from friends while out with another friend because it's rude and he took that to mean that I was proper, which he apparently liked. Proper. It's his word not mine. He had taken one of my pet peeves and woven it into an entire personality...the personality of his dream woman. In the end it was all a moot point because when he finally figured out that his ex still cared about him he quickly lost interest in me and the drama disappeared...well, I'm sure they still had drama but I didn't have to deal with it.
It's hardly the first or last time that a man has "made me up." It happens all the time in the dating world. Frequently when a man is attracted to a woman he'll sort of make her up in his own head. A guy will just superimpose the personality of his choice on someone he thinks is hot and then whenever this woman does or says the slightest thing to support the fantasy he'll cling to it and hold it up as evidence (many women do the exact same thing with the men in their lives). But of course somewhere down the line the whole thing shatters and the truth insists on being known. How many times have I sat across from a date and listened to him describe me TO me only to learn that he doesn't have a clue about what he's talking about. We all know about the fairytale of Love-At-First-Sight and some of you may believe in it and even hope for it. But personally I HATE it when a guy tells me I'm the woman of his dreams before he has taken the time to get to know me. For me there is nothing more uncomfortable and frustrating than being adored for something that I'm not.
When I went on my first publicity tour for Sex, Murder And A Double Latte I realized that I was in danger of having that be the situation with my readers. I went on talk-show after talk show showing the world the side of me my publicist wanted me to reveal. When my publicist (this was the publicist employed by my publisher, not directly by me) decided that we should have a book-tour and launch party in The Hamptons the dress I had planned to wear to the signing was immediately deemed inappropriate. "This dress," the publicist explained, "is very New York. The image we're looking for is very Californian." That dress was one that I had bought in San Francisco and wore with a good deal of regularity all over the Golden State and never in my life has anyone mistaken me for a New Yorker while I was wearing it. But that was this particular publicist's plan, to present me as a fresh, young author who epitomized California...and by that I mean New York's image of California
Here I was, starting my career as a novelist and I was trying to endear readers with an image of myself that was somewhat less than genuine. It bothered me.
Perhaps that's why I blog. The only person who has any control over my blog is me. No one edits me or gives me approval before I post. I just throw it out there. I use this blog as a way of revealing what I'm really thinking and feeling. I tell all of you what's actually going on in my life, what excites me, what scares me, what makes me laugh and what pisses me off. This blog is my truth teller. I can't say that those who read this will ever know me as well as my closest friends and family and I won't make every aspect of my life public but the image of me that you can pull from this page is real and is in no way manufactured.
A couple of days ago I got an email from Christina Makar. She is the creator of the Kyra Davis Fans page on Facebook. She informed me that the membership to that group has now exceeded 200 people. It's overwhelming and incredibly flattering especially since I'm fairly sure the majority of those members are blog readers. If they're fans it's not because they saw me on The Style Network's The Look For Less (a fun show to do but insanely contrived), or because they think I'm an ethnic version of a beach-going-California-surfer-chick (I'm sorry but the water here is WAY too cold for me to take that hobby on), it's because they either like my books, like what they've read here or both. 200+ people who like Sophie enough to want to join a fans page and who appreciate me despite (and occasionally because of) my many imperfections. How could I not be moved by that? Perhaps if I pretended to be a more idealized version of myself then I'd have 400 people in the fan club but then the number would be meaningless.
So for those of you who have joined that page or have expressed your appreciation in other ways such as sending emails, posting comments on my blog, Facebook , Twitter or Myspace page or by just being a loyal reader...well, I want to thank you. It means a lot to me to know that you like me for me.
Bestselling Author of:
The Sophie Katz Murder Mystery Series,
SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING
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