Most of us are. And maybe that makes me (and all the other under-the-radars-es) better writers.
After all, don’t we feel under the radar throughout most of our lives, for different reasons? Didn’t we feel we were when we were in elementary school, and we were constantly being shoved aside by the older kids from the neighborhood, constantly being told “someday” by parents or teachers?
Didn’t we feel that way in high school because we didn’t happen to be one of the lucky golden ones, pretty and popular and athletic?
Didn’t we feel that way when we were floundering in college, or beginning our lives as adults, surrounded by people who seemed so much more together, adept, capable?
Don’t we feel that way, too, once we get a little older and our hair grays and we get a few crow's feet? Don’t we feel overlooked, pushed aside in favor of someone younger and still infused with that new-car smell?
For me, staying in touch with that feeling of being under-the-radar is actually one of those blessings in disguises. I know that when I’m looking for a new read, if the jacket copy starts out with “___ is the girl who has it all…” I immediately put that book on the shelf and look for something else. I don’t want to read about people who have it together. I want to read about people with personal lives as messy as the insides of their eight-year-old Fords with the dented fenders. I want to read about people who are flawed and fumble and still, despite being under-the-radar and completely imperfect, find themselves triumphant.
And I want to be the writer who stays in touch with that feeling, who can depict the kind of characters I've always identified with...characters who've given me comfort and hope…