While researching marketing and self-promotion, I saw a novel idea about how to deal with newsletters and comments to and from adoring fans (who dey?), which is to give your protagonist their own email account.
Sounds weird, but I’ve already got a Gmail account in my discarded pen name of Augustus Devilheart, to take messages, newsletters and subscription updates from anyone to do with writing and publishing. Google being Google, this led to the strange situation where I received a message from them, asking “Paul Whybrow do you know Augustus Devilheart?”
Not content with haunting myself in this way, I’m waiting to hear from my main character Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle—perhaps asking me why I haven’t begun writing his latest investigation—I left him in a coma at the end of Book 5 The Dead Need Nobody, completed at the end of 2018.
While writing my books, I’ve had my eye on creating a tourist trail based on the locations of my Cornish stories, though it’s hard to think of merchandising opportunities…mugs, calendars, tea towels? Having an email address might make people think my literary hero is a living person.
It’s weird to think that readers might one-day email Neil Kettle, but who knows?
Have any of you made your protagonist real in some way?
A social media account?
A knitted figure?