Question: Do you think it’s creepy when authors start fake blogs/tumblrs/etc to lure you in?

So, a friend recently showed me this blog-type-apparatus of a writer friend of hers. The blog portends to be written by a teenage girl living in a unique circumstance and the author is definitely a great writer; I got totally sucked in.

But you know, it’s not really written by a teenage girl. I hear that YA authors are starting to do this… start a blog or tumblr or what have you to get the story moving, acquire some fans, and I assume the idea is that eventually you get a book deal, and then eventually you tell your readers “hey, just kidding… buy the book!”

Is it me, or would there be a kind of “wtf” moment when you realize that this story you were invested in that you thought was real is not, and this person you thought you were interacting with and quantum-ly entangled with is actually a figment? And that wtf might not really lead you to be like “I can’t wait to buy the book and read the final chapter!!” It might be more like, “dude. wtf.” Like, “What do you mean JT Leroy is a actually a straight woman?”

It seems like a gamble to me. And… it seems weirdly disrespectful to your readers, to me. I like fiction that’s marked fiction. But there’s no law against starting a fake blog, and good writin’ is good writin’.

What are your thoughts?

By the way, I have no idea if the writer of the particular blog that started me thinking about this has that in mind at ALL. She might just be doing a writing exercise, and a damned good one at that. I’d link to it but I assume she doesn’t want her spot blown up as fiction.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure why, but I find it a bit creepy if it’s not obviously fiction. A friend of mine writes a blog in the voice of a girl who has recently become a zombie, and I love that.

  2. MaryChen
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I think that’s my line too… If it’s a zombie or they’re on a spaceship or they’re sending urgent dispatches from the future, cool. But if it’s plausible… I’d be so annoyed when I found out!

    I guess there’s a gray area with murder mysteries. The beginning might seem normal enough and then when you start introducing corpses… people catch on. Hopefully.

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