This post is also available in: Spanish
I’ve had a lot of questions lately about how the blog got started, so I decided to update the About page. Here’s what I wrote:
My Invented Isabel is the official Isabel Allende blog. Other (unofficial) blogs about Isabel exist, but rest assured I actually KNOW her and she sort of approves of what I write. I say sort of because sometimes I am not sure what she is saying when she yells at me in Spanish…
I have been told I have the best job in the world, and I admit I am very lucky. As I mentioned on the main page, Isabel asked me to write this blog for her. I work with Isabel at her foundation and get to help out on occasional research missions. As a result, it isn’t hard to write observations on Isabel’s life and extended family, especially since I am very fond of all of them and have access to the tribe’s inner workings.
So, after taking over a blog supposedly written by her (it wasn’t) and coming up with a name—savvy fans will recognize that My Invented Isabel is a play on the title of Isabel’s memoir My Invented Country—I signed a several-hundred-page non-disclosure agreement and quickly set out to expose Isabel and the family…Wait, that isn’t right. The truth is, I really do adore everyone and the blog, albeit voyeuristic, is just a small glimpse into Isabel’s world. Basically, I was just in the right place at the right time. Isabel decided she needed a blog and just happened to look over at me. Had Olivia, one of Isabel’s dogs, or the UPS driver (of whom we are all very fond) been sitting there, it’s likely one of them would have gotten the job. (In my defense, Olivia does NOT have thumbs and the UPS driver doesn’t stay long enough at the office to really get a sense of the color and culture.)
Speaking of color and culture, in addition to stories and insights about Isabel, I like to use the blog to talk about the organizations the Isabel Allende Foundation supports, especially after Lori (Isabel’s daughter-in law, who runs the foundation) and I have had a chance to visit them to see firsthand the amazing work they do. I also like to relay the stories Isabel tells—the ones that make us all laugh and leave the office happy just about every day—stories about a bar of soap’s mistaken identity or Dulce’s frequent attempts at suicide. (Dulce, whose full name is Dulcinea, is Isabel’s other dog.) Whenever Isabel sits down with us, we are guaranteed a tale so wild and unpredictable we can only assume it is fiction—though we are never sure either way.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, Isabel’s Facebook page (which now has over 1 million “Likes”!) or her Twitter account, you already know that Isabel is a whirlwind of energy. I have described her as a “ferret on Cocoa Puffs” and I stand by that. Her tours are grueling and her writing is equally consuming. There are days when she is locked away in her writing tower for 10 hours at a time. Occasionally I slip some crackers under the door on a thin silver tray and when I go back to check there are only a few crumbs and a note that says something to the effect of “Put on a skirt!” or “Why is your hair so flat today?” That’s just Isabel’s way of letting me know that she is alive and fine and writing.
I should also mention that I am a very spoiled blogger. I have my own editor! Her name is Lauren Cuthbert. Without Lauren, nothing would be in proper linear order, none of my facts would be accurate and as for my spelling…well, it’s generally atrocious! (I tried to spell that “atroshus”—yes, as a joke—but Lauren wouldn’t let me keep it.) I also rely on various amazing people who translate the blog into Spanish. Two of our most valued and frequently used translators are Gabriela and Adriana, who deserve kudos for working so quickly and efficiently. So you can see I get a lot of help—a lot of ideas from the crew here, and technical support as well, I am indeed very spoiled.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. One downside to having an editor is that editors tend to be bossy. As one of those bossy editors, Lauren insists that I mention here that My Invented Isabel once got a nod from the New York Times. She also wants me to mention that one time when I was at a book signing with Isabel, one of her fans asked me if I was the author of My Invented Isabel. When I admitted I was, she explained she was a fan of the blog and had always wondered if I was real. She was so happy to meet me! It was my fifteen minutes–okay, thirty seconds!