A few months ago, I met Mere Smith on Twitter.
Last year, at a Jolie Holland concert, I very nearly spun directly into Ms. Holland herself. In doing so, I almost knocked a drink out of her hand. I stammered, realized who I’d almost run over, stammered even more, then walked away without a single, complete English word. Faced with someone who I knew only through her work – work I really liked – my mental train hopped the rails, grew wings, and flew directly into the nearest mountain.
Then, a few months ago, I met Mere Smith on Twitter. It’s gone better than that. It helps that she doesn’t drink, because if she did, I’d find a way to knock it out of her hands through Twitter. It also helps that she’s a hilarious, kind and insane person who spends her time on Twitter talking to a rowdy bunch of nerds like we’re just a bunch of mates down at the pub. Only she calls it an Asylum, because, as I said: Insane.
I’m about to talk about something that I rarely discuss with her: writing. There are two reasons why I don’t. The first is obvious: The last thing any writer, especially a professional writer, wants from new friends is for them to be up their butt with writing talk. “Oh, you’re a writer! You wrote for Angel!! Let me tell you about this awesome novel I wrote!” That? That’s the last thing someone wants to hear. The other, less important reason is because I’m avoiding it. If you can’t figure out why, you have a serve underestimation of my self-consciousness and anxiety reflex. Either way, with the exception of a comment here and there, and a few chats about an episode of hers I re-watched, we talk about everything but. It’s not, in any way, a problem.
Today’s a fun day, because I get to talk a bit about her writing, and she asked for it. Maybe you know her work primarily from Angel or Rome, but Mere’s actually got a talent for prose that, if you ask me (and you have, because you’re reading my blog, sucker), needs to get a lot more attention. Today, she posted a bit of the opening of her novel, The Devil’s Gospel, and she’s hoping you’ll read it. She’s also hoping you can give her a little nudge to keep writing, because writing a novel is a long and winding road. So go and read. And nudge. And, if you like it, say nice things, because it’ll make her uncomfortable.
After all the abuse she’s given me, she deserves it.