The tough part about writing this, is the lying. I can’t create anymore without writing a lie. I am creating a fake character, a fake life… this book does not feel right. My character, a 24 year old advertising copywriter is a fun loving guy. He has… friends, he is the life of a party… he has the best comebacks when he needs them. He is a happy person. He is so unreal. Do you even know a 24 year old like this? Being 24 is a time of endless opportunities, but it is also the time to panic. Its when you realize all those dreams you have, they are just that… dreams. You needed to have done a whole lot better to actually achieve anything you want. Being 24 is about making compromises and living in bunk beds if need be to buy yourself the luxuries you think you deserve. Well, that was 24 for me. My character just does not live in my world… and my editor doesn’t like him either.
Every book I wrote, I wrote about myself and my experiences. Sure, I created a fake character, but that was me in those books, living a different life. I would wake up between the pages of my books reborn with a new identity with endless possibilities. Sure I was an uncoordinated teen growing up, but my charater was a dancer. I was a guy passionate about racing and so I fashioned a racing driver… gave him a nice german accent and a hot super model girlfriend. My editor had said it was immature and highly derivative… and that he loved it. None of it was original, it was a collage of ideas that somehow got trapped in my mind, and I used words instead of colors. I felt I was an artist. I was so wrong.
It was and still remains an underrated attribute of mine. I hate every moment of that fiction I wrote, I cringe at the teens who read it. I regret being labeled a Young Adult writer… my charaters were at the stage of life that readers assumed was signifgicant for all the wrong reasons. They thought as I continued to write, the stories would mature with me, some people expected greatness. That’s the kiss of death, when people start having expectations. It is easier to grow up and surprise everyone with being better than ordinary. The problem is when you are a grown up and you present your work, and people say its ‘good’, well, good is merely the new average. The world is lot more complicated. There is a lot of talent, a lot of hidden talent. As a writer, I should have known better.
I haven’t introduced myself yet, I am like that, I tend to talk a lot about what’s going on in my head. And this is a problem, I don’t see the world, I am inward looking and then when I try and create something original that is not me- I struggle. I am Adam. The Name on the books is J. Devlin. My publisher said it was because J. Devlin just sounded better. How fake was that? Where was my integrity as an artist when I agreed for them to change my first name because it sounded better on paper.
Well, lets call me J.Devlin for now, because that’s the person you are familiar with. Yes, the same J. Devlin whose first book about a teenage boy struggling to find his way in the world and the pressure of trying to get into college was turned into an A-list Hollywood movie. I had three books out by then, but for some reason, Hollywood liked the coming of age drama of this teenger. The book, which had thus far been flying under the radar suddenly lit up under the spotlight. The publisher greenlit a new print order and I was now touring and doing book signings and walking the red carpet. It had been cool, I had loved it… that was before I sat down three months ago to write my next book. Well, four failed starts and a fear of alcoholism has now left me a little panicked.
So what was I going to do? I shut my laptop down. It was a a cold September morning, I decided this was when I go for a run.
I hate running. Its not that I dislike the idea of running, I see the point of it, the desire to keep myself fit and healthy. When I bought my $200 Nikes, the plan had been to run regularly. The mistake was, this was the kind of thing one of my chracters would do. They are impulsive morons who like to take on new hobbies, thye like to meet new people and think that partying is a good idea. I hate my characters. But what I hate most of all right now are those pair of Nikes.
Melbourne is cold in September. Well, Melbourne can be cold at any point during the year, the weater is a bit schizpephernic that way. The weather we get on a given day is about as predictable as a tats lotto or roulette. I am not complaining, I am just saying- that’s the way the Melbourne weather is. It used to be Sydney once, the glamourous and fashionable/chic city in Australia. And then Melbourne went about trying to turn things around. I had lunch with a marketing professor at the Univerisy once and he told me about the way this was done. Yes, Melbourne is like one of my chracters, a young adult. I wonder if Melbourne would have the same questions I do, about the purpose of it all.
I like the cold. Having not run in months, the cold air hits my lungs and within a block I can feel my heart beating really fast. I pass some women on a jog and try to stiffen up my physique. Whom am I kidding? My lungs are soon screaming for air. I pause and it takes all of my strength not to lean down and pant like an old man. Im 24, this is just not the way to be! I pull out my ipod and start messing with it as the ladies pass. Keeping up apprances, at this very moment, I’ve stopped hating my Nikes, they have clearly won. I hate myself.