Best-selling, controversial writer, Bret Easton Ellis, set the Twitterverse alight over the weekend. For around five hours, he mused on what his American Psycho character, Patrick Bateman, might be up to these days and managed to gather fourteen pages of notes from his followers.
Ellis tweeted: “1.00 am in LA and sitting at my desk finishing a script and I’m making notes on where Patrick Bateman’s now …”
As it happens, I’m currently reading his book ‘Lunar Park’, a deconstructionist look at fame, settling down, self-absorption, American anxiety, and a freaky Terby doll. It’s bold, amusing and, Ellis’ signature style, disturbing.
So, how is this interesting for you? Well, Ellis’ use of the social media platform shows Twitter’s continuing influence and the power of instant feedback. Sure, Ellis is already well-known and has a solid Twitter following (257,946 to be precise). But his use of the medium shows a willingness to engage. Readers become a part of the writing process, and it will be interesting to see how he incorporates the ideas and represents them in a new book (if indeed, it will become a new book).
It’s something he couldn’t do when American Psycho was released way back in 1991.
As @BretEastonEllis writes, “Please keep sending me ideas… You won’t get credit…But they help…”