I had an idea about this ebook I put together, Disrupted Lives and Other commotions. I decided against it for a number of reasons but it keeps popping up in some of my tweets and Facebook updates. Let me describe the idea.
The ebook is made up of seven stories. So it is fiction (with the exception of the afterward). Putting it together, I became intrigued with the notion of extending the fiction beyond the book. I was fascinated by the idea of making the feedback, interviews, marketing — everything that usually surrounds a book — fiction.
It is a joke, yes, but not entirely. I love the idea of fiction intruding on reality and the two becoming difficult to distinguish. I’ve always been fascinated by reality and fantasy intermingling.
Part of the joke aspect is, of course, how wildly improbable and obviously made up it is.
And so I simply started making things up. (See the post, Astonishing feedback on upcoming ebook.) I thought, “What if I make up people who don’t exist? What if I use people who do exist but wouldn’t say the things I would have them saying in a million years? What about creating interviews that never happen in reality?”
It’s a Borges-like idea. I recall reading an interview with him and he referred to one of his stories. I don’t recall which one. But he said he decided that he didn’t want to put all the work into writing a novel so he decided to pretend the novel already existed and write a review of it instead.
I like stuff like that. For some reason, I find the idea — the playfulness and creativity of it — hugely entertaining.
In this case, I like the idea of a work of fiction entering the world in a fictitious way, the fiction extending and spreading. The artifact is composed of fiction. But the existence of the artifact, in this case Disrupted Lives, is also fiction. Yet it’s also real.
I don’t know what any of it means. But it seems fun. So don’t be surprised if you see the odd post or tweet or Facebook update that seem highly unlikely. Though I’ve decided not to pursue the idea, I’ve been finding the idea is resistant to my resistance.
Oh, and if you feel inclined, you can download the book here.