The most successful, long-lived entertainers preserve an aura of mystery. I plan to write a lot of books; as an entertainer, I must keep myself somewhat separate from people I ask to spend their hard-earned money on me. By blathering everywhere and to everyone, I cheapen my product and reduce the value of your investment. It isn’t considerate.
Also, talking nonstop isn’t healthy for me. Soon I’ll begin to feel entitled to have my opinion heard, and I’ll overstep my bounds. Again, inconsiderate. And since the public is rightfully fickle, someday you may decide I’m not worth listening to anymore, so then where will I be?
Finally, I’ve had terrible experiences with stalkers. I wrote about one such case in Ghosts and Ballyhoo, in the short story “A Second Brush with a Psycho; Her Brush with Catastrophe” (pages 201 to 207). For whatever reason I attract destructive people. I won’t have it anymore.
If you want to send me a message, please use the form. I promise I’ll read all messages, but I’m not likely to respond. It’s just not the nature of our relationship. I’ve learned the hard way that we must always separate the artist from the art. If you like my work, I’m deeply grateful. My work isn’t me, though, and I’m an extremely private person.
As for those with some kind of offer for me, I’ve had problems with that too.
Tune Out the Moon-promisers
For some reason when you achieve even the tiniest modicum of public exposure for anything, millions of strangers contact you and tell you all the wonderful things they’re going to do for you. Don’t believe any of them. I was promised ghostwriting gigs, consulting gigs, screenwriting gigs, columnist gigs, reviewing gigs, offers to write liner notes, offers to be interviewed for documentaries as an expert on flamethrowers, an interview with the BBC(!), offers to consult for documentaries on flamethrowers none of it panned out. Not a single promise was kept. I agreed to them all and never heard from anybody again.
It made me furious, which was wrong. The world is full of those who pretend because it’s fun. So when people you don’t know offer you fantastic opportunities, thank them, accept, and then put it out of your mind. They’re mental patients.
—Ghosts and Ballyhoo, page 273
Now that I’ve discouraged everyone from sending me a message, feel free to do so. But let’s all temper our expectations. I’m just a guy who likes to write books.