Why I Disguised Names and Identities in my First Book
Posted by maxineowen
As many of you know, when I first wrote and published my first book, My Remembrance, I changed all of the names and much of the identifying information of the people mentioned within. I also listed it as fiction.
You may be inclined to ask “Why?” The answer is simple. I did it because I was a big chicken.
That sounds rather simplistic, but sometimes things get boiled down to the most basic of human instincts. I wanted to protect myself.
I visualized retribution from some of the people that I had talked about. I pictured my step-father showing up on my doorstep with a gun and a point to make. I pictured my ex-husband trying to sue me, even if everything that I said was the truth, which it was.
Those fears held me, and my book, back. I didn’t advertise it as widely as I might have with another book. It certainly wasn’t as widely distributed as Cameron’s Journey is already. My book sales suffered because of it. But I couldn’t make myself spread the word while my step-father still lived in this area.
He has since moved to another state. I don’t know whether he knows about my book. I did get brave at one point and tell him that I was writing a book about growing up on the farm. I have brought it up in casual ways since then, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. This leads me to believe that he may have heard a little something along the way.
Regardless of how he feels, I did not write it to hurt him. I wrote it to help others.
I have recently republished the book. I left the names disguised, but I listed it as nonfiction this time. If I’m going to tell the truth, I should tell as much of the truth as I can.
Life is too short to worry about what might happen if we live out our dreams, or if we are honest with ourselves and others. I don’t want to live in hiding. Whatever is meant to happen will happen. Worrying doesn’t change that; it only casts a shadow over the present.