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Extreme Makeover

Creating my own Web site meant going through a lot of old files, organizing information about my books, deciding which reviews to include and which photographs to use. It prompted me to give some serious thought to the shape of my career, and to how I want to display myself to the world.

Photographer Marion Ettlinger and I have worked together for years on author photos for my books, and I wanted to include those images (and others that never made it onto the back of a book), as well as a collection of photos taken with my mentors and friends, as a way of sharing part of my personal life with readers. I also decided to include some of the pieces I’ve written for artists that have appeared in gallery and museum catalogues, as they have a much smaller circulation than my books.

I am so accustomed to working within my own imagination that it proved difficult to send my “real” personal self out into the world. But, at the same time, the site became a place where I could set the record straight. When you Google “A. M. Homes,” you get approximately 136 million hits, many of them related to “home” or “construction.” (Unfortunately, the domain name www.amhomes.com is owned by someone I have never met.) Despite all the house and home references, there is a lot of real information about A. M. Homes—about me—floating in cyberspace. Some of it is good, some of it is the opinion of bloggers, some of it I cannot even bear to read, and all of it appears in the seemingly random order in which Google and other search engines shake it out—based on the number of hits, paid placement, and many elements I do not know about and could not begin to understand. But I was glad to be adding an “official” site to the mix.

A couple of months ago, with very little fanfare, www.amhomesbooks.com finally launched. Is it perfect? Does it reflect precisely who I am or who I want to be? Like life itself, it is a work-in-progress, but I’m glad to finally be online. Because it turns out, this Internet thing has really caught on.

A. M. Homes
is the author of ten books, most recently The Mistress's Daughter: A Memoir (Viking, 2007). Her Web site is www.amhomesbooks.com. She lives in New York City.

“Despite all the house and home references, there is a lot of real information about A. M. Homes—about me—floating in cyberspace.”

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Extreme Makeover (July/August 2006)

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