Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I try to make an effort to keep my professional career distinct from my writing career. They really have nothing to do with each other, and I'm wary that the fluff I write at night will make it hard for some people to take me seriously during the daylight hours. For the same reason, I don't talk about this blog at work, and I don't invite professional colleagues out to the bars to watch me drink myself Pentecostal. It's safer that way.

So imagine my surprise a short time ago when I picked up the phone and, on the line, was an editor with a chain of weekly Manhattan community newspapers I deal with on a professional basis.

"What do you want?" I asked. "A quote? A lead? An ad?"

"No. I want to see if you're willing to be interviewed about your novel for our Gay Pride issue."

[Insert sound of Rob dropping phone to ground here]


When The Night We Met was published, shortly after I started this job, I fully expected to inadvertently out myself as a writer. It didn't happen, though, and the possibility vanished from my mind... until now.

I really don't know why I'm surprised. I do everything as 'Rob Byrnes' -- I don't even use 'Robert,' except on legal and financial documents -- so it's not as if I'm being the least bit circumspect. In fact, it's strange that I've never found any evidence that my professional colleagues have even Googled me. Very strange. I mean, I've Googled all of them. Several times.

Don't get me wrong: it's a good thing, and I'm glad the intrepid editor was clever enough to put two and two together. Yes, it's a surprise, but now that I've held this job for 27 months, I don't think the book alone will give me the reputation of being a light-weight. I survived getting highlights without alarming my Board of Directors, so I think I'm pretty secure.

Anyway, the interview is at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. I'll say nice things about all of you. Promise.