Not Even An “Iron Mask” Will Do

Most of you know I write under a pen name. Since the publication of Passports in December 2013, I have gone to some lengths to try to separate my real-life self from my authoring identity. To do so, I created social media accounts for myself as an author that are different from my personal Facebook account, which is under my real name.

That does not mean I am some dramatically different person on here as an author, and on my Instagram, etc., than I am in my real-life. (Yes, it may disappoint some of you to learn perhaps that I am not, for example, secretly actually a 6 ft tall blonde Swedish woman.) I have sought merely to keep my two social medias apart for primarily creative reasons.

I’ve written novels to date that stem in large part from my own life experiences. And they feature characters based on people I know, or have known, and events that often happened in my life and in the lives of people I know, or have known. When I’ve told some close to me in real-life about the sort of fiction I’ve written, I’ve more than once been asked: “Am I in your books?”

The coming Conventions will see less of that. But I have still drawn on some real-life, personal sources, once again, and this time merely reworked them to fit into the 1700s and 1800s. Thus “fiction”: it is what writers do. ๐Ÿ˜‚

That is why I did not really want everyone on my personal Facebook (which is my only “real” social media account) to see what I do on Instagram (or on other of my authoring social media). Who I am on Instagram is not who I am on my personal Facebook. Instagram is me as “the author.”๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ“š

However, in the last 48 hours, several friends and family on my personal Facebook have suddenly found my authoring Instagram. It would be easy to blame Facebook – given it also owns Instagram – for possibly tinkering in trying to “better link” (translation: increase revenues) the two services (in a by now predictably sneaky and creepy, Facebook, underhanded manner). But I simply don’t know what has happened.

Regardless, it’s clearly becoming “Uh, oh, time!”

"The Man in the Iron Mask." Anonymous print, 1789. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]
“The Man in the Iron Mask.” Anonymous print, 1789. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]

I suspect my pen name “mask” is now crumbling and my extended family and friends who did not know I write are finding out. Still, as I think about that reality, it has probably been a minor miracle I’ve kept my “secret” for as long as I have. In our social media-overrun world (in which you merely have to type a name into Google and heaven knows what you’ll turn up about that person), I’ve managed somehow to separate the personal “me” from my authoring “me” for over three years.

Not too bad that, really.

Have a good weekend, wherever you are – and whoever you are, or choose to be – in this insane world.๐Ÿ˜Š

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Author: โ€œConventions: The Garden At Paris,โ€ โ€œPassports,โ€ โ€œFrontiers,โ€ and โ€œDistances.โ€ British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.