Which part would you like to hear first?
The “celebrity” factor came about when our insurance agent suggested my husband and I might want an umbrella policy to cover any aspects of house/car damage not covered by our regular policies. However, the fact that we both have home offices required further scrutiny by the insurers. No problem with my husband’s naval architecture practice, but my being a writer raised a red flag. After the prospective insurer visited my website and saw my novels on Amazon and other sites, we were denied a policy because I am a “famous” author and therefore likely to be sued by all sorts of money-grubbing people. Really? Will someone please notify the New York Times bestseller list?
The drug addict part is equally funny—and scary. In the course of writing any novel, I invariably end up researching all sorts of topics related to my story. In my current work-in-progress, one of the characters is woman whose issues with drugs and alcohol lead to a fatal car crash. So in addition to interviewing police officers, defense and prosecution attorneys, and a probation officer, I’ve consulted a number of Internet sites on subjects such as drug laws. Last week, I googled “drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers” to learn about rehab programs. Now I’m getting pop-up messages that read: “You’ve made a few bad choices and you’re ready to get your life back on track…” followed by a link to rehab clinics.
We all know, of course, that anything we look up on the Internet is liable to target us for advertising and other unwanted advances. But to be instantly and wrongly identified as something you are not is disturbing. Next thing you know, I’ll be getting pop-ups from drug dealers offering me free product samples.
I miss the days of privacy.