The Author Behind the Curtain

It's been a while since I did a "Lessons from My Day Job" post. Today I want to talk about recognition…and when you shouldn’t get any.
Public Relations (my day job) can be a funny little world, because if you do your job well, no one sees you. Your name doesn’t appear on article bylines, your face isn’t the one on camera, you aren’t the one giving high-profile testimony.

True, you’ve a) organized the opportunity, b) written the articles and scripts, and c) coached your client on how to handle it. But the whole point of PR is that the spotlight shines on your clients, while you smile knowingly in the background off-stage.

In some aspects, novels work the same way. Your name is on the cover (yay!) and you get to do fan interviews and book-signings (double yay!), but aside from that, your “author personality” shouldn’t be visible on the page.

Your characters should speak for themselves without any forced commentary or viewpoints from you. Readers will see right through any heavy-handed agendas you try to weave in, and it’ll likely be a turn off for them.

Don’t feel like you can’t be opinionated in your novel, just realize you’re best served by letting your characters do the talking…and get the recognition. The best authors can make us forget we’re merely reading a book, because their voice disappears completely to allow their characters to come fully alive.


  1. I absolutely agree with you mate, sometimes it is easy to forget that it's a book you are reading and get drawn right in. I lOVE it when that happens.x

  2. Interesting post. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. You make very good points!

  3. So true. The writer should never steal the lime-light when the characters are on. ;-)

    1. Love the theatre analogy! Characters take center stage.

  4. Hey Nicole,

    Thanks for the kind comments - I really appreciate them :)

    Yeah, PR must be a bit weird sometimes (I think I would be off to the side, smiling but jumping around, too :)

    Your post is a great reminder to me, 'cos I'm co-writing a memoir and I *HAVE* to keep myself out of WIP... which has been a struggle, but more than halfway done, Donald's voice is where it should be (he said so, phew:)

    Thanks, and Good Luck with the day job, but wishing you better luck with all your WIPs and writing projects :)

    1. You're very welcome, Mark! PR is def. unique, but I love it!! Glad I could be of help on the memoir - I think it's such a neat project that you're working on.

      Best of luck with it!