Monday, May 7, 2007
TOO BIG FOR HIS BRITCHES
You know I've met a lot of writers over the years, and almost always they are down to earth, generous, and friendly. But then . . . Well, I'm sure we have all met some folks (writers or not) who just get too big for their britches. So here's a little story that still makes me laugh. Joe Moore (my co-writer) and I were at a writers conference and there were some pretty big names there. We were tiny little fish (maybe even plankton) in a huge sea. One of the days at the conference we were manning a table and giving out information on a writers' organization. The room we were in had a beautiful view of the river, and we could see the tour boats glide past. As we sat there, often with our jaws agape at some of the rich and famous authors among us, one big kahuna stopped at our table. He/she (don't want to reveal the gender) picked up one of the brochures and made the following statement. "Oh, I could take some of these with me while I'm on toooooooour." I guess it was the pretentious way he spoke the word "tour" that set Joe off. Toooooooour. As soon as Big Kahuna turned his back, Joe nodded toward the river and said to me (as if he were speaking to the big kahuna), "Well, we're taking the two o'clock river tooooour, which one are you taking?" I thought I would roll off my chair. To this day, all we have to say to each other is the word "toooooour" and we break out in hysterical laughter. (Maybe you had to be there)
Then of course there is also the very humbling experience of asking someone to blurb your book. I'd say 99% of those we have asked have responded courteously. Some have agreed, and others because of schedules or demands have declined, which they did quite graciously. Even if they just didn't want to be bothered, they knew how to be polite about it. Only on one occasion when we asked an author, face-to-face, for a blurb did we get a very clear too-big-for-his-britches response. People like that shouldn't have such success.
I've also gone to hear writers speak and sign books. I've seen Stephen King sit and sign books until every one waiting got a copy. And he personally looked up at every fan and acknowledged him. Yet once I met a flash-in-the-pan author who got way too big for his britches. He had an announcement made that he would only sign 100 books and would not personalize any of them. And sure enough, as soon as the 100th book was signed, he got up and left. And I might say, he never even made eye contact with a single person buying his book. Yikes. That kind of thing gives writers a bad name. We can't forget that it's readers who give us success. Be thankful for heaven's sake. What's up with being rude to the very ones who got you where you are?
Lord, I do hope to one day have the OPPORTUNITY to get too big for my britches, and hopefully I will decline to do so.
Posted by Lynn Sholes at 6:55 AM