The Story of a Sex Worker

March 06, 2006

Coming Clean

I don’t know how many people are coming back here, but I want to come clean. "God’s Wife" is a novel I wrote five years ago. My name’s Henry Baum. This may disappoint some people. A lot of readers seemed to get really attached to Shirley, which was a great thing. But some people might call this fiction bordering on lying.

The story is this. I published a novel in my early twenties. "God’s Wife" was my follow up novel. It took me three years to write and it nearly broke me. It was a difficult novel to write. The book didn’t get published which was hard because I poured a lot of my soul into the book. Last summer, I discovered blogging and thought why the fuck not? Blogging can become a new kind of fiction where a writer completely inhabits a character.

I had no idea that the blog would get so much attention. It was an experiment. I wrote to a few people--as Shirley--and they linked to her and people started reading. This last thing is what makes me feel dishonest and why the blog was leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I felt like I was taking it too far. She even got published in a collection of non-fiction essays--the cover is on the right. I hope that revealing this as fiction will not reflect badly on the other writing in the book. Shirley’s just one chapter. Please check it out. I recently released the novel, North of Sunset. It’s the book I wrote after "God’s Wife."

Overall, blogging the novel was a very good experience. It was flattering that people thought she was real. I guess the fact that she could be real was enough. Believe it or not, I got insulted when people would attack her for being a work of fiction. The comments I liked best were those people who said, who cares if it’s fiction or not, I’m enjoying it.

So that’s it. I published the first part of the novel because I couldn’t get it published. Thanks a lot for reading and commenting. If you want to read my own personal blog, I write at Ash Tree.

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