The ‘in’ crowd
I’ve discovered many, many things over the past few years, months and weeks. Well, I would, wouldn’t I? That’s life, as they say. But one of the most important discoveries has been that I, Dorothy Koomson, am not part of the ‘in’ crowd. You see, I am far too excitable and far too eager to share said excitement to be a hallowed member of club cool. I should really be more bothered about that than I am, I suppose.
Recently, I’ve got into this whole Twitter/Facebook/MySpace thing rather heavily. And especially on Twitter, I get to follow the daily lives of many other authors, people I’ve come to like much more now that I have daily ‘contact’ with them. I get a special little thrill when I see their name, picture and bon mot pop up on my screen. I get to find out what they think and feel and do.
And they all seem so much more ‘with it’ and witty than I while all this thinking, and feeling and doing is going on. They have startling astute comments to make on TV shows, they all seem to have the time to read all the papers, and they all seem to be averse to what many of them call ‘self-promotion’.
I’m on the other end of the scale, I think. It’s not that I’m without a certain wittiness, nor am I a shameless self-promoter, it’s more that when something good happens – a fabulous review or publication date looms – I just can’t keep it in. I have to tell EVERYONE right away. I can’t help myself.
My poor family and friends are constantly being updated via text if I spot even a one-line mention of my books – even the old ones – and being reminded how many days it is until the next book comes out. I tell them how happy I am to have written a chapter, or if I don’t have time to write and it’s paining me. I even tell them if I spot a poster for my book in the background of an ‘outdoor’ shot on TV.
And let’s not forget I always go out on publication day to look at my books in shops and if I can, get my picture taken in front of the shelf. Eek, I know, I know. Such behaviour is generally perceived to be uncool, right? It won’t grant me an all access pass to the upper echelons of the author world, will it?
Fortunately, that doesn’t bother me. I was never a cool child at school. I was never one of the ‘in’ crowd, I was often the butt of people’s jokes because I was so naïve (and immersed in my own day-dream world) I had no clue what they were on about most of the time. No boys looked twice at me – in any good way, anyway, and I was a bit of a shy girly swot who had to work hard to earn her good grades. Being like that never did me any harm.
I had a group of friends at school and I had my siblings at home, I loved learning, and that was more than enough for me. In some ways, my younger life was a little like Serena’s in The Ice Cream Girls, but luckily for me, no one tried to take advantage of my naivety. And because of my lack of involvement in dramas, I could watch them, I could remember them, and I could write about them at a later date.
So, being uncool as a child, teenager and young adult really hasn’t done me any harm. And to be honest, I’m too old to start trying to fiddle about with what are clearly vital parts of my personality. I obviously have a pre-determined setting for ‘show excitement’, I will never be one of the cool cats who delight me on Twitter, however, I can touch, entertain and comfort people with the words I write so why would I want to be anything different? I am who I am. And no matter how many insights I’m given into the celebrity author life unlived, I’m still happy to be – uncool – me.
(I started thinking about this subject in more depth thanks to a post on www.karenknowsbest.com)
© Dorothy Koomson 2010