AN ALTERNATE REALITY: A New Paradigm for 21st Century Authors

Award winning novelist Michael French created Facebook and Twitter pages for the two protagonists in his 24th book, Once Upon A Lie. (See my review of the actual book under the tab on this website for Book Reviewer.)

A brilliant idea which not only extends the life of his characters and gives more exposure to this book, but is the start of a 21st century phenomenon. A way to begin a sequel to any book and make us all aware of the fact that what he posts on Facebook presents them as real people with whom readers can communicate.

In this digital age, other authors may do likewise and thereby involve readers in an on-going virtual reality. What a creative and awesome idea!

I’m considering creating a page for my deceased mother who is so much a part of my memoir, She’s Not Herself: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness. If folks post questions, I could easily have her be a wonderful advocate for mental health, given all that she suffered and all that she learned from her life. She lived through WWI’s war-torn Russia, came to America at age 14, an immigrant and an orphan, doing house-work for distant relatives, while learning English and completing the 6th grade. She then lived in a stranger’s boarding house, worked in the garment district in NYC, and in her mid-twenties–still very much a survivor–she married my father, also an immigrant, eight years her senior, and a father figure. She suffered her first mental break-down, what today is known as post-partum depression, and endured the awful terrors of electric shock treatments each time the darkness of depression descended. Fortunately, she did live to reap the benefits of anti-depressants discovered several years later.

Do let me know what you think about this, and after reading Once Upon A Lie, follow French’s characters Jaleel and Alex on their Face Book pages. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!



  • Crystal J Otto says:

    Thank you for this insightful review Lin!

    • Linda Appleman says:

      I’ll be curious to see how many author follow French’s lead by creating FB pages for their characters!

  • Kate Pill says:

    I think this is a great idea. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  • Michael R. French says:

    Linn, thank you for the thoughtful review. So happy you picked up on the value of using social media to extend “fictional” lives beyond the written page, to make an author’s characters as real as the rest of us. I do hope other authors dod this. Like your thinking too about creating a FB page for your deceased mother.