Lee faces up to the new It-Boy in The Blue Flower of Happiness

November 1996


Fame And How to Get It

This site has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of publicity over the past three months - I've made appearances everywhere from People Magazine to The New York Times to the Washington Post - with my name misspelled, in the case of the Post. There's also been a lot of press coverage overseas, including the a piece in the London Independent and a couple of stories in Tokyo's Daily Yomiyuri.

I love being in the newspaper. It makes my grandma happy, it makes my enemies mad, and it puts me that much closer to my twin goals - being the first great writer of the Internet age, and dating New York City Ballet dancer Jock Soto.

Like most overnight successes, this one has been a long time in the making. I've been trying to get people to visit the site for more than a year, giving out and mailing out thousands of pink postcards, sending hundreds of e-mails, and shaking a lot of hands. Promotion can be humiliating, and it takes time away from writing, but the alternative is having no readers for the stories. And a story isn't really complete until it's read.

The thing is, many of the press reports about this site have devoted as much ink to the publicity effort as to the stories themselves. More, in some cases. Reporters describe how I hunted them down at parties, how I pestered them with e-mail, how I put poster versions of the stories all over New York City until no one who lived here could avoid them. The Post even called me "bratty and self-promoting, but in a charming way." Well, gee.

Emily Dickinson is dead, boys. Well-mannered writers may just sit home and wait to be discovered, but "discovered", in the current fiction world, means getting $5000 for a book one spent a lifetime composing, and waiting two years for it to be published, where it will probably hang around discount tables for a month or so before being pulped, unread. No thanks. The best the literary world can offer right now isn't good enough for me. I'm aiming for something higher, so high, I'm not even sure what it is yet.

Can You Help With A New Foreign-Language Version?

Fans have helped translate this site into Danish, German, French, and Japanese. (If you have a browser that limits you to roman letters, try the Shodouka Launch Pad translator to see the Japanese kanji. Just copy this address and paste it into the translator: http://www.xmel.com/japan.html.)

Would you like to help translate the site, or part of it, into another language? You'll be rewarded with a free poster if you want one.