Today's guestblog of by C. Leigh Purtill, author of Love, Meg and All About Vee. She's blogging about blogging!
When Characters Blog
C. Leigh Purtill
When you’re a debut or budding author, especially in the YA market, the most important web-related question you ask yourself is, “What type of blog will I have?” In other words, what do I want my online self to look like?
Will I be the kind of blogger who posts daily photos of my meals? Of my shoes?
Will I write only about writing? About books? About other writers?
Will I keep a personal blog that reflects my other interests?
Will I post a ton of links to other pages?
And a hard one: will I be funny or serious?
My author blog is a combination of all of the above because a) I change my mind a lot and b) I am influenced by other writers and bloggers and I often want to do different things based on what inspires me.
If you know me, you also know I keep a ballet blog because I teach ballet. I post technique videos I’ve done as well as tips for class and performance.
But there is a third blog that not many people know about: my character Meg Shanley’s blog. About a year before my first novel, LOVE, MEG, was released, I started a blog in Meg’s name and in her POV. It takes place in the year before the events in the book begin. It is, in essence, Meg’s backstory and reflects what she was thinking about before she and Lucie began their adventure in the book.
I had a blast writing it! As myself, I sometimes find it’s hard to blog. I’m often concerned about how I will come across to readers or potential readers. I don’t want to offend people who may believe different things than I do and yet I want to be true to who I am as a person and a writer. With my ballet blog, it’s strictly educational so I can’t and don’t post anything negative about ballet or classes or my students (not that I would because I love them all!).
But with Meg’s blog, which I called “Mega Girl,” I was free to fully inhabit the character and write with abandon. I wrote about books I (as Meg) had read, classes I was taking, people I had met. I could be silly or sarcastic – because that’s who Meg is. And best of all, I could allude to things that were in my future, in the book that had been written.
Some people found it and took it seriously. They assumed Mega Girl was a real person and responded to her that way. Some found it after the book came out and they read it for more insight into Meg and her background. Those people often commented on posts saying how much they liked the book and Meg herself and asking me if I would be writing a sequel.
What amazes me, though, is that people continue to read it every day. I haven’t posted on it since shortly after the book was released since the book picks up after that and there’s no mention of her blogging in it (although I did put in a quick line about how she used to blog but couldn’t anymore because she didn’t have access to a computer). Yet still people read about Meg.
Sometimes I think I’d like to revisit Meg’s blog and post about things now, two years after the book ends. It would be fun to follow up with her, to see if she and Juny are still together, if she and Reggie are still friends, if she and Lucie are in the same apartment.
When ALL ABOUT VEE came out, I knew I couldn’t do the same thing for Veronica May. She’s an actress, not a web geek, and she doesn’t have the time to be blogging. But tweeting? Maybe that’s something Vee and her friends would do. Perhaps I’ll do that in the sequel, THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER, which is my next online experiment: a book published online only and for free!
Happy 2nd Blogoversary, Harmony! I’ve loved your blog since I found it, probably shortly after you started it. You’ve been insightful and smart in your reviews, yet you’re not afraid to criticize. That’s a great trait in an honest reader! Hope the next year is full of even more exciting things for you!