Frankly, I don’t think this is that big a deal. I couldn’t get the novel published so I published it as a blog. It’s unlike the recent scandals because I didn’t make one dollar off the blog. I side with James Frey in the scandal. It’s the publishing industry’s fault that they prize memoirs over fiction and don’t give a lot of fiction a chance. No memoir is 100% true, so it shouldn’t make a difference. No fictional character is 100% false either. Shirley’s supposed to alive, she’s supposed to be real. There’s some truth to her story, or else nobody would have paid attention.
When do I ever call myself the "best" writer? You know what? It was fun to post the novel as a blog. You call it a "disgrace." It’s a blog, a writing experiment. I can understand some feelings of betrayal, but there are far more disgraceful things. This blog doesn’t hurt anybody--the same argument people make about porn. I admit to feeling guilty about the duplicity but it was also satisfying to finally get readers for a book which took a lot of years to write and a lot of work.
She wrote in the comments on her blog:
I think if I had not been aware of the pretense, that if Henry had been intelligent enough to eliminate that blog (rather than try to squeeze every little bit of life out of it for an ego boost to flog his story), then it would be no big deal.
I’ll give her that. I’m an opportunist. I want to be read, I want people to know I’m behind the Shirley Shave blog. It wasn’t just about getting "God’s Wife" read, it was about establishing myself as a writer.
She also wrote: He basically did what many do, thought he'd get his cheap thrills online through a blog, to compensate for his other inadequacies.
Am I missing something? I had been expecting this reaction. Some people would take it far too seriously. Others would have a sense of humor. People on my end thought it was a funny and interesting thing to do. Not a war on integrity. It was actually a really rewarding experience. Look at the comments to the post The Price of Admission. That’s cool if it’s fiction or not.
I can understand feeling betrayed if you got attached to her as a person and thought she was real. I can understand being embarrassed for being duped. But repulsive? I mean, really. It’s a blog, not rape. It may have been fraudulent, but it was also a way to experiment with a new medium. It was interesting to see how people reacted to a fictional character. I enjoyed it. Plain and simple. I’ve said my piece.