Wednesday, October 21, 2009
We were recently asked to help a writer self-publish his memoir. He did not want editorial help, and he did not want us to design his book. He simply wanted technical help to get his book uploaded to CreateSpace, the print-on-demand arm of amazon.com. He had very precise ideas about the wording, fonts, where paragraph breaks and page breaks were to go and so forth.
The writer used a pen name, not out of shame or to protect his identity, but for literary reasons -- not that he actually said that to us, but I easily surmised it when I started reading the book. The pen name he uses is Leo Blackwater, and the writing constantly, effortlessly and seemingly unconsciously slips back and forth between first person and third person. I said, Leo said. She told me, she told Leo, and so forth. Leo is the writer's alter ego. Sometimes he speaks in his own voice and sometimes he observes Leo telling his story. This switching is part of the character/writer's personality, an aspect of his mental illness.
The book is Glimpses, Stares: a memoir by Leo Blackwater. It is described as 15 years in the life of a gay man coming to terms with his sexual orientation and depression. I have barely begun reading it, but what little I have read is fascinating, well written, and very realistic. I can't wait to dig deeper into this book.
I'll review it when I've finished it. Stay tuned.