Jeffrey Alan Payne routinely references his own name on Internet search engines. As author of the comedy novel MFN: A Cultural Satire and creator of the website Jeffreyalanpayne.com, Payne frequently monitors to see how his site and mentions of his book are ranking on the World Wide Web.
Over the weekend, Payne was surprised to find a new spin on his name search: announcements of his own death. The story was on several newswires, stating that he had died in his home of a heart attack.
“No one was more surprised to learn the news of my passing than I was,” the writer quipped about his discovery, “It’s actually rather disappointing, the fact that this story has been on several sites since December 12 (2010)! Not one person mentioned it to me. I know I’m not exactly a household name, but not even my mother called to see if it was true.”
Payne has some calculated suspicions as to the origin of the story, “I have friends in both the creative community and broadcast industry that would think that this was a spectacular practical joke. They may have even perceived it as ‘helping me.’ You know the old adage; any publicity is good publicity.”
For the time being, Payne hopes that the news item will fade into obscurity and his work will take the forefront, “I just want people to read my book. While I’m alive would my preference, of course.”
Payne is currently working on a second book. His first novel, MFN: A Cultural Satire, was published in 2010. It follows the antics of two outrageous morning radio personalities who cross a line of career-ending bad taste and must scramble to control the fallout. It’s available through Amazon and Kindle.