You never know who may be listening to you--Paul McCartney, "Take It Away"
How about those Academy Awards, huh? Were you shocked? I was stunned.
I'm lying. I wrote this a week before the Oscars. Hey. Life gets in the way sometimes.
Still, thinking about the glamor and silliness of Hollywood--and the best thing about the Academy Awards is how silly they are--got me to wondering. My writing has certainly not made me a household name, and I'm perfectly fine with that. But if I'm being accurate (to the best of my knowledge), my books have, in the past few years especially, sold conservatively in the tens of thousands, and that's probably an underestimate.
So after a while you start thinking that maybe one or two of those mass market paperbacks has made it into the hands of a famous person.
It's sort of a cool thought. Who might be a fan of the Haunted Guesthouse series? There's no way of knowing, really, unless said celebrity were to reach out and communicate with the author (that's me). And so far, they haven't, with one exception, who was a friend before the series started and has blurbed a couple of the books.
Erin posted a while back about the impression an author leaves when making public his/her thoughts about politics or some other sensitive topic. The flip side of that is wondering whether someone whose positions I support might be reading my work.
Or what if it's someone with whom I disagree vehemently? What would that say about my novel?
So in order to prevent myself considerable embarrassment (after this display of undigestible hubris), I've decided to provide a list of celebrities whom I hope are or will be fans of my work. Because you never know.
My Hoped-For Famous Fans
- Mel Brooks: Always at the top of my list, unless Harpo Marx is resurrected. If someone knows how I can get Mel a copy of any of my books, don't hesitate to get in touch;
- Jon Stewart: The smartest comedian at work for the past 15 years. Can take an incredibly obvious joke and still make it hilarious. I don't even care if he likes the book; I just want him to read one;
- Queen Latifah: Hey, a fellow alum of Frank H. Morrell High School and multitalented performer. Jersey girl with attitude, someone I'd be proud to have as a reader;
- Ringo Starr: The People's Beatle and funniest of the bunch;
- Steven Spielberg: Let's face it--if he were a loyal reader, Josh and I would have heard from him by now;
- Derek Jeter: Not only an unparalleled athlete entering his final campaign, but an aspiring publisher--someone get this man a book!
- Bette Midler: Because she's damn funny;
- Craig Ferguson: Doing the funniest, most subversive talk show on the air, and a fan of crime fiction who books authors on his show. Yeah, you could do worse;
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Simply the coolest guy in any room he enters. A superstar astrophysicist? You know if Dr. T. likes your work, you must be smart;
- Bill Murray: I'm not sure why, because I don't think he'd like my work, but I want to hope he would;
- George Clooney: This generation's attempt at Cary Grant, falling a little short but way closer than most of us get. Smart, talented, committed; what's not to like?
- Tina Fey: She's really funny, and if she publicly said she liked my books, my wife would be impressed with me for the first time this millennium;
- Gene Wilder: The best comic actor of the past 50 years, and an author in his own write.
To be fair, of course (or even not to be fair), it's probably right to list a few celebs who, if they are fans of my work, I'd appreciate keeping it to themselves:
- Ted Nugent: Yeah, and his music is lousy, too:
- Mel Gibson: I hold a grudge. Move on;
- Rush Limbaugh: You shouldn't have to ask why;
- The Duck Dynasty Guy: I'm almost ashamed to have a beard because of you;
- The Boston Red Sox: Nothing personal. It's a religious thing;
- Alec Baldwin: Luckily, he's getting out of public life, so that will never become an issue;
- Vladimir Putin: Keep your shirt on, Vlad. I didn't watch your Olympics, either, so we're even;
- John Travolta: If he can't get my name right, he's not going to be much help anyway; *
- Justin Bieber: Get help, man--or just get better advice, and listen to it;
- Isabel Allende: You know why.
For the record: I doubt any of these people has ever been in the same room with one of my books, but this is a fantasy league sort of thing, where you get to choose the names and assume they'll go along with you--or not. So that's my list. What's yours?
P.S. Recently the world of comedy has lost its grandfather and its funny uncle. Rest in peace, Sid Caesar and Harold Ramis. It doesn't matter how old you were; either way, it was much too soon. This is a world that can't afford to lose the laughs.
*Added after the Oscars