Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Creating a female lead character has been, no pun intended, a royal bitch. See, I know a lot of people, but I can say with authority that I'm the only person any of them have ever known who's writing a book. Or has ever even thought about writing a book. Most of the people I know aren't accustomed to knowing someone who's writing a book, and I don't mean this in a pejorative sense, because hell, when I think about it, I don't know anyone who's ever written a damned book. It's not like HarperCollins has ever invited me anywhere, you see.

"Guys like me" don't write books. Clint, AM3.149854, "The Boy," Johnny, Jimmy, Freddie, et al; we don't write books. The idea of putting a hundred thousand words in writing is an ephemeral one for us, the province of pointy-headed guys with glasses off in the ether somewhere. Our lives are entirely too real for that sort of thing, I say. So it's gonna get weird when people start seeing themselves in my writing, especially when it comes to the women.

The book I'm writing is based on my experiences as a bouncer at nightclubs all over New York. Thing is, though, it's not just about bouncing. It's about what's happened to me, and my life, and my value system, and my interactions with the people around me as a result of taking this job, and -- shockingly -- being quite good at it. If you set the blog and the book deal aside for a moment, what you have to understand is that going back to bouncing has changed me quite a bit over the past two years. I've made a ton of new friends and altered my attitudes toward many things -- some for the better, and some for the worse.

What you have to do, necessarily, when writing a book, is to focus primarily on those characters -- participants -- who've had a direct effect on these perceptions to which I'm referring. You create a literary personality for people you know, because you need to find a way to translate the things they do in the real world to the page. And this transference, so to speak, is where things get a bit dicey.

People are bound to recognize themselves, even in places where I've meant to be flattering, and I'm not entirely sure how they're going to react. The men? They'll know who they are. If you know Clint, you know he couldn't possibly be mistaken for any other human being on the planet, and rightfully so. The man is unique, thank God. As an aside, if there were more than one of that guy walking around, I'd suggest we all run for the hills immediately, lest we find ourselves ensnared in some pyramid scam that'll leave us, well, caught in the mystique, if you will -- the North Koreans on one side, the IRS on the other.

The women, on the other hand, might not know. They'll try to figure it out, but they'll likely fail. By design, of course. But the question is how they'll take it. Whether they'll continue speaking to me once they've read my written portraits. I'm writing, here, about people who aren't used to being written about, and from an extremely personal perspective, so as I've done so, I've become increasingly curious as to how they're going to respond to me once everything's finished and out there for the public's perusal.

So, it's uncharted waters for the bouncer, but what, over the past nine months, hasn't been?