There’s this photo a mate sent me, posted on some social or other by a Good Writer (and no, I don’t know who) somewhere here in Italy. And no, I will not post the photo. But to give you an idea, we see a desktop, with a flat screen, a sleeping cat and a keyboard. There’s an open notebook by the side of the keyboard, filled with scrawled notes (very neat) and a pile of books. Six books. On the screen, what I think is Microsoft Word, with two pages of manuscript side-by-side.
Yes, you know that sort of photo. Maybe it’s not even a stock photo (like the ones you’ll find in this post), but it looks and feel likes one. It’s the classic “writer at work” photo you see posted around the web by Good Writers showing you their “WIP” – that’s “work in progress” for the uninitiated.
A few years back, my brother, fresh from his Japanese Language Proficiency exam, got in a job interview for a post in which Japanese was a requirement.
“Here it says you know Japanese,” the interviewer said, waving my brother’s CV. “Why should I believe you?”
“I have a Proficiency Certificate.”
“That’s just a piece of paper, for all I know you printed it in your basement.”
“Try me, do you have a text I can translate…?”
“I don’t know Japanese.”
“Well, if your company has Japanese customers, call one up and I’ll be able to talk to him to your satisfaction.”
“I won’t waste an international call for that. I’ll just assume you don’t know Japanese. CVs are always full of bullsh*t, anyway.”
This sort of self-mutilating preventive mistrust is bleeding into the literary scene – authors post artificially pumped-up bios, publishers doctor sales figures, and everybody seems to think positive reviews are fakes.
Now, my own bio is available by clicking on the link up there in the right corner. It’s not been doctored, fixed or pumped up.
And yet… maybe it’s fun.
Yes, It’s certainly fun.
So, why not devote today’s post to my Official Fake Biography?