At the recent announcement ceremony for the 2015 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project, I was asked to speak about how winning the first STBF contest increased the sales of my novel, The Things We Save. Well, it did. Yes, sales of my book, both in print and e-book, increased, both through sales to libraries and the public. But I’d really rather talk about the year itself. Because I have been so nice and sweet all year, which isn’t really me. So I think it’s time to unleash my inner Arya Stark and stick ‘em with the pointy end. (At the ceremony all the committee members started exchanging sidelong glances and mouthing “did you vet her speech?”) No worries, no disrespect shall pass these lips or be penned by these fingers...
This year, besides flashing by so quickly, has been a collection of moments; and since music plays an important role in my life, some of those moments remind me of songs: so I think I’ll do a little David Letterman riff and give you sort of a top five countdown.
The Darryl Hall and John Oates “I Can’t Go For That, No Can Do” Moment:
The Lady Gaga "Papa-paparazzi" Moment
But while this type of recognition is a little heady, it’s also definitely walks the razor’s edge of weird. Because when people recognize you, you also start to think that they are not just looking at you, they’re LOOKING at you. Like, with judgment in their hearts. Making a note of the fact that you are binge-listening to all the Game of Throne audiobooks. Eyeballing the contents of your grocery cart. You can read their faces like a talking book. Hmmm, red wine AND the extra large bag of Lindor Assorted Truffles. Must be that time of the month.
And, yes, sometimes they want to snap a selfie with you. Of course, the running joke of this whole year is that my hair is never quite ready for the camera. Because even though my middle name is Control, that’s just something that’s always been and always will be, beyond my control. Except for today. So there’s at least a couple of Facebook posts out there that could qualify as hair-shaming.
The Taylor Swift “Shake it off” Moment:
Well, there is the consolation that this person also gave Wild by Cheryl Strayed a one-star review. So I have come to the conclusion that she just doesn't like strong but flawed female protagonists who tell it like it is!
And, just like Taylor, I could break into song: “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate and I’m just gonna shake, shake shake it off” .... So, I’ve learned that just like when you go to the beach, the more exposure you have, the more likely you are to get burned. Oooooh, pass me the ointment.
The Most Wondrous Moment of All...
And I think that was fame enough for me....