After our chat on SheWrites.com today about women writers of color, I thought that maybe like in Lori Tharps' soon-to-be-released book, I should hire a "substitute me." But instead of "being me" in my home, she could be my public face in the biz. Here's my job ad.
Wanted: a white woman to pretend to be me in public
Want to travel to some of America’s greatest book stores? Don’t mind sitting at tables listening to strangers tell you the stories of their lives, all of which they just KNOW would make a great book? Always wondered what it would be like to be author of a novel? Have I got a job for you!
Pretend to be me in public. That’s right: I’ll do the work. You take the credit. No boring hours sitting in front of a blank computer screen! Just show up for the "fun" parts like media interviews and book signings.
Must be a college-educated, well-spoken, moderately attractive white woman between the ages of 35 and 50. Comfortable in front of audiences. Able to discuss issues like forgiveness, redemption, love, rage, hope and despair.
Available for in-person appearances at book stores and book festivals. In addition, I will need a high-res and low-res head shot to post on my your website and give to media.
Answers to FAQs and scripts describing the book and my writing process will be provided, but must be able to lie improvise on the spot. Also must be willing to occasionally answer rude questions and listen to rude critiques of your my work.
(Don't worry about the double-consciousness. You get used to it eventually.)
I'm a college-educated, well-spoken, moderately attractive black woman in her forties. I write novels that would be categorized as women’s fiction if I and my characters had slightly less melanin. Since I am unwilling to bleach my skin, I need you to represent me to publishers, booksellers and readers.
And because the world will think I’m you, I can write about an even wider variety of subjects. Though let’s be real: if I really want to hear cha-ching most of my new characters better be white. So I can sleep at night though, I’ll figure out some ways to add in the occasional person of color on the margins. A sassy best friend coming right up!
This is where things might get tricky. I don’t make very much money and even with your help chances are that I won’t ever be able to pay you what you could make at…say Starbucks. However, the more books you sell the higher the advances I get and the more I can pay you. Also, I am amenable to “sharing” you with other writers, depending on how good you are at disguising yourself. Expenses for wigs, prosthetics (no wide noses please!), colored contacts, and make-up will be shared by the writers, but you are responsible for clothing. Just make sure we look good!
No phone calls please.