I didn’t know this when I started writing Aramis Fox, but there’s a wrestler out there who’s got the same name as my twitter account: AR Fox. I found this out when fans of his started “@”-ing me.
Like a lot of people on twitter, I keep close track of when other people mention me, so I was onto it pretty quick when the @arfox notifications icon started getting all red-number-y. Who could it be, mentioning my little twitter fiction experiment? I wondered. What could I have done to have merited mild accolades from random people (or possibly my friends) on the social media?
Short answer: nothing.
Aramis Fox is a humble little project that I’ve been doing on and off in my spare time. As such, it hasn’t as yet gained a lot of attention on Twitter, although I am hopeful. To date, though, if you discount my own retweeting of @arfox posts on my personal twitter, the most interaction that Aramis Fox has had with the people out there on twitter has been with fans of AR Fox who for one reason or another have either assumed or never bothered to confirm that he’s even on twitter (as far as I can tell he’s not, but he does seem to have a Facebook page).
And when I say “interaction”, I don’t really mean interaction. It’s all been one-sided on the AR Fox fans’ side. I’ve never replied to any of their off-target shout-outs. I’ve never really known what to say. I kind of like the vicarious view they give me into the world of wrestling fans, and I’ve always been a little worried that whatever I say to correct their misapprehension will just come across as all knob-headed and patronising: “hey dude this is a superhero twitter fiction not some wrestler’s twitter account – duh!”
I’ve looked into AR Fox’s career a little, but I haven’t dug too deeply. Not sure why. I’ve never been a massive fan of wrestling – maybe that’s it. Maybe I just don’t want to get too close in case I accidentally pop this funny little bubble of catcalls and props aimed at someone who isn’t me.
I did do a little research into the man last year when I decided to use this experience as the basis of something in the novel, and wrote a scene where Aramis goes to a pub and, because at this point in his story his costume consists of a bright yellow balaclava that makes him look like a Mexican masked luchadore, gets mistaken for a famous wrestler called Rudy Ricochet and put in a headlock by an overzealous and possibly drunk fan.
I was pleased with how that scene played out, and I think I’ll be working more of this mistaken identity plot point into future instalments of Aramis Fox.
So why did I choose Aramis Fox in the first place? Well, The Aramis part comes from a thing I like to do where I give my characters the names of famous people (like I did for Steven Lydon, the protagonist of Man Bites Dog, who has the same last name as Johnny Rotten).
The Fox part comes from Aramis’s full name, Aramis Richard Fox, a name I chose for its initials, which are my initials as well. I’ve always had trouble naming my protagonists, and one of the things I do to make it a little easier to come up with names is just to give them my initials. Hence Aramis Fox (also hence Anthony Raymond Fayne, the star of the other novel I’m ostensibly working on at the moment).
I may also have nicked the idea from comic writer Grant Morrison, who wrote a character based on himself into The Invisibles comic series as some kind of weird chaos magik experiment. I’m not that interested in manipulating my life using sympathetic magic and a fictional tulpa, but I do get a kick out of having some kind of personal connection to Aramis, however minor.
Egotistical? Maybe – but look at the crazy wonderful coincidence that my ego has generated.