Welcome to another episode of THE NEUROTIC WRITER.
Therapist: “How was your week?”
Suzie Writer: “Busy, busy. I’ve been working on developing my brand”
Therapist: “Your what?”
Suzie Writer: “My brand. It’s what singles you out from other writers. What makes you different. Dan Brown inspired me. He wrote The Da Vinci Code. That’s his brand. Breaking codes.”
Therapist: “I thought you wrote romantic suspense novels.”
Suzie Writer: “I do, but I can put codes into my novels and my contests. You know how you can play the Beetles’ White Album backwards, it says, ‘Paul is dead?’ I’m going to write a whole novel frontward and backward. Readers will get two books in one. But first, I put a code into my contest blurb for my website. I have it with me.” She removes a folded piece of paper from her purse.
Therapist: “Explain this code. I’m not following you.”
Suzie Writer: “When I advertise my contests on my website, I’m going to include a clue to the identity of the real killers in my books. In this code, if you pay attention to every third word you’ll know the killer’s name. Listen.” She holds up the paper and reads, “Come to my contest. No butler allowed. You did enter. Leave it now.”
Therapist: “I see. The Butler Did It. But do you think anyone will understand the original message you post?”
Suzie Writer: “My readers won’t care if it’s confusing because it’s a code. Get it?” She smiles smugly. “It took me three months to come up with that one. Now I just have to work on writing the book so you can read it forward for one story and backward for another.”
Therapist: “Three months huh? How long do you think it will take you to write the whole book frontward and backward?”
Suzie Writer: Frowns, then bites lip. “Thirty years.”