Monday, September 3, 2012
I tend to be the sort of person who hides under a rock -- quaking, expecting to be punished. This comes from having lived with very high drama parents, and particularly a father whose rages were unpredictable and terrifying.
So, last week, I did something that was out of character to me. I tweeted to Tom Cruise that my book, When Alice Met Her Favorite Movie Star in an Elevator, started out as a fantasy about him.
I've always been terrified to mention his name in the context of this book.
The first reason is the fictional religion that I made up in the book. I hope, if he does actually read the book, he'll understand that this weird, fictional religion, is not intended to be a commentary on any real religion. The hope was, rather, to explore the experiences of my character in getting to know someone whose religion seemed strange to her.
The second reason is that the movie star in the book is an emotional wreck, at least at times. This is not meant to imply that I think Tom is an emotional wreck. No.
My male protagonists have always been emotional wrecks. There are in turn two reasons for that.
First, I grew up with a mom who was an emotional wreck. I was her little therapist, growing up. I developed a neurotic belief, which I hope I am getting over, that taking care of a person who is an emotional wreck is the highest form of love -- though I still tend to be fascinated with high drama people.
Second, as a person with Asperger's Syndrome, I have a hard time getting in touch with my emotions. That's a documented symptom of my type of neurology. I have discovered that one way that my subconscious seems to try to communicate emotions that I am not aware of is to project them on larger than life, mythical fantasy characters. Thus, the celebrity protagonists in my novels -- when they fall apart emotionally -- are really a projection of myself, not a commentary on the object of my fantasy.
So I hope he realizes that I'm not meaning to criticize any real religion or imply that any real person is a head case.
Also, I made up a whole bunch of details regarding this male protagonist's life. These are just fictional devices in the book and are not meant to imply that any real person has those details in his life. One theme the book explores, for instance, is workaholism -- which is as much one of my problems as it is anyone else's. Again, the male protagonist of the book is really a projection of me more than of anyone else.
So I don't know whether to hope that he reads it or hope that he doesn't read it. I tend to fear that, like my father, he will be easily infuriated with me. I hope not. I really do enjoy his movies -- though I haven't seen all of them. I especially liked hearing him sing in "Rock of Ages," something I had fantasized hearing him do for a long time, ever since I heard him sing in "Top Gun" and noticed how good he was.
In keeping with my obsession with the idea of a male protagonist who is an emotional wreck, the high point of the movie for me was when he sang "In my life there's been heartache and pain. I don't know if I can face it again." He just did that *so* well and it was just so cool, for me, hearing him sing that.