Those of you who know me personally know I have a hearing problem. I never spoke of it on my blog before. I was worried that if an agent I queried came to my blog, they would discover my handicap and reject me on the premise that I would never be able to do book signings and public readings/speaking. Gone are the days when an author can write a book and let the publishers take over in marketing it and getting it in the hands of readers. These days it’s all up to the author to promote their book, by all means possible.
By all means, means every avenue, and if one of those avenues is closed off that means less hands the book falls into. And in this market an agent isn’t going to take their chances on someone like me. How can I soar with the eagles when I have a broken wing?
On the other hand, I don’t want to lie by omission. My plan was to snag an agent and wait for them to enter into a contract before coming clean. It feels wrong. Almost as wrong as waiting until I was married before I let my husband meet my family. We’ve been married thirteen years and he still brings it up. Scammed. Tricked. Swindled. Conned, are just a few of the more common verbs he uses to describe my fraudulent act of deception. I hang my head low. I never meant to mislead. I just didn’t think he was ready. He is very conservative and likes things to be just so. He even uses hairspray to keep his hair in line, his clothes actually match. But he knew about my untamed hair and mismatched clothing; he knew about my hearing impairment; but he didn’t meet all of my family members yet, and I knew better than to push it.
Besides honesty, another reason I think I should come clean is because my novel is about a hearing-impaired girl. It’s also humor themed. So without disclosure, my query letter smacked just a little of exploitation. Like I chose to poke fun at this disabled girl by writing humor. I asked my critique group, and the three of them said I should mention it on the query letter. Any thoughts? Do you know of any deaf or hearing-impaired published authors—of fiction? (I know there are plenty of nonfiction books on coping and/or personal journey.) I don’t know of any, but what do we really know of authors when they are not much in the public eye? Or used to be, anyway.