When a book gets published, the author is typically asked by the publisher to fill out a questionnaire covering the author’s personal and professional background, previous publishing credits, etc. The information is used by the marketing department to promote the book.
Having filled out such a questionnaire for my first two novels, I wasn’t surprised when my current publisher asked me to do the same for The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare, due out in June. But this time I was also requested to sign a statement certifying that all the information I provided in the questionnaire was “true and verifiable” and that I could produce documentation, if requested.
I’m guessing this in response to recent cases where authors have penned best-selling memoirs and, quite frankly, lied. The media pounced on the stories, the publishers claimed to be shocked, and the liars made a lot of money and became even more famous. In this country, we reward people for behaving badly.
So I want to confess right here and now that I lie all the time. I write fiction, and what is fiction but a tapestry of lies so beautifully and movingly interwoven that the story feels utterly true?
But I don’t lie about who or what I am. Even a bestseller isn’t worth that.