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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gimmick or Gold?

I'm having a guest over at my blog Friday. Stop by and meet Phoebe Wray. She'll be talking about how one idea manifested into JEMMA7729. It'll make you sit back and ask: How was your novel conceived?

I'll tell you more about Phoebe tomorrow!


Websites for your characters: Gimmick or Gold?

Have you guys noticed this phenomenon lately? I've seen several authors build websites, MySpace pages and even chat rooms for the characters of their books.

I'm a little uncomfortable with that. I don't know if it's done them any good marketing-wise, but it just seems a little...ahem...creepy.

I'm not talking about the occasional foray into topics such as: what motivated your character to do such and such, or the interviews and checklists some authors use to build a character. But when people start to animate their heroes and give them lives outside their books, it starts to feel as if the author is taking his characters a little too seriously.

I'm wondering if this is a product of the role playing games that are so popular. I've never been able to get into those, so it's likely I am not the audience they are trying to reach.

It's still too early to see if it's useful as a promotional tool, but I did meet someone on MySpace who really treated his novel's character as if he were a living, breathing human being. For example: The CHARACTER answered my email rather than the author. I'm all for a little fun, but I'm not about to start a conversation with a ventriloquist's dummy. That's just carrying it a bit too far.

I backed away politely--and quickly. (grin) I prefer to keep my characters in my head and off the chat circuit.