It was a delightful lunch with two friends. They had never met before but had heard of each other. A few too many beers were consumed and the conversation wandered to my book and the progress towards publication.
“You’re going to take the stories about me out, aren’t you?”
“Well no, they’re part of the book, they need to be in there, you know that.”
“Take them out or my lawyer will be contacting you.”
He said this with a friendly laugh. A laugh fueled by a bit of alcohol. I laughed right back.
“The stories stay, but I’ve changed your name, so you’re safe. Well at least you were until you opened your big mouth.”
I love my friends and think most of them are very smart. I love intelligent, interesting people so this makes sense. Why wouldn’t a smart person keep quiet about being highlighted in my book? Especially if it’s anonymous? Let me help you… if you want to keep things a secret, shut up.
Trust me, be quiet and stop talking.
Remember, my mind isn’t capable of making up stories. I write about real events. Those events usually include real people. Yes, I will often change a name, but I will still write the story.
This is where you can help yourself. In a group situation, it’s not in your best interest to ask me to write you out of my book. The second you got up to use the bathroom my friend asked which story was about you. Yes, the moment you left the table she wanted to know. If you had been quiet there would have never been a mystery to be solved.
Help me, help you.
If I write a story about you, there are two options. Point it out and be proud. Or opt for silence. I will toss in a third option and this is where it can be fun.
You could always say, “Have you read her book? Isn’t there a story about a guy with a huge shlong, do you have any idea who she was talking about?”
Nothing like a little diversion to keep the mystery alive.