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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kirk Cameron and letting go of other childish things

So there I am, completely awestruck by the whole conference, and I'm debating about getting in line for a signing. Being the random person I am, I stop, do a 180 and run into... Kirk Cameron. No, I am not kidding. I am dating myself here, but for those of you who don't know, he was on a tv show called Growing Pains. All my friends and I had a crush on him, and I do believe that we got into a number of fights as to which one of us would end up being Mrs. Kirk Cameron. Sadly, that did not happen.

However, imagine my shock as I nearly knock the man, who I have not thought about since I was a teenager, to the ground. Yes, I am so graceful. Fortunately, it was pretty much a non-event, and as I glanced at the once teen heartthrob, I thought, he's not so cute. He was there to promote a book his mom (maybe with him?) was doing. The line was so long, I didn't feel like standing in it to say hi or get a copy of the book. Besides, what do you say? "Dude, I know nothing about you, except I once thought you were hot, and now you're kinda old. But hey, congrats on the success and I hope the book does well." Yeah. Not.

Because there is something weird about running into a former crush/former flame that makes you realize what an utter idiot you were. Like, how could I have possibly imagined that I'd somehow meet Kirk Cameron, knock him off his feet (not quite, but go with me here), he'd look deep into my eyes and say, "Danica, you are the most amazing woman in the world. I'll die if you don't marry me." Pretty stupid, eh?

So why am I imagining that as I wander this conference, that I'll be there next year, big fat contract under my belt? That in Atlanta, I'll be wandering the halls, some editor is going to fall at his or her feet, and say, "Danica, I've been waiting my whole life for you-you're simply the most brilliant writer I've ever met."

Why do we indulge in such childish fantasies?

The truth is, it will never happen. Not unless I get my butt in the chair, pour some blood, sweat, and tears into my books, then knock some editor dead with a killer query, synopsis, manuscript, and marketing plan. I know, no one ever told me that I needed one before selling. But as I walk the floor at CBA/ICRS, I realized just how much work and effort goes into a single book. When I chatted with my beloved Camy regarding her book deal (mega publisher, super sweet deal), one of the things she said pushed her over the edge was that she knew her market. She'd done her research, and they could sell her. I also walked the floor with one of our editors, who picked up a book from an author at another house. She told me, "I really wish I could have bought this book. I tried to buy this book and make it fit, but I couldn't get it to fit within any of our market guidelines." Probably not an exact quote, but close enough.

As I look at my books, I have to ask, "have I done my homework?" The truth is, I could be doing it a lot better. I chatted with Paula briefly about The Book, and the person with her (sorry, I do not remember her name) gave me some advice that is absolutely priceless. One of the realizations about The Book I had at the conference, is that it's being done right now. The author said, "That's good. It's hot right now. You need to figure out what makes your take on it different, and write it, because that's what the market wants." She encouraged me to write it, because the window of it being "hot" is small-and if I want to do it, it has to be now.

As much as I think I'm doing all the work I need to do to sell a book, the truth is, I'm not even close. Even though I think I'm there, my publishing dream is a little like wanting to marry Kirk Cameron. I had no idea who he was, what he liked, if we were even compatible, and yet, I had the whole wedding planned.

Time to grow up, put away the pinup poster, get my butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and get 'er done.


Viola said...

Ahhh. Kirk Cameron. So he wasn't hot at all?

Jana said...

Great points. I soooo know what you mean. Now, git-r-done. *bg* I want you to get it published so I can read it and tell you how brilliant you are. I mean, I already know you're brilliant but it'd be nice to have The Book in hand so I can back it up. hehehehe

Cool beans on running into Kirk Cameron, though...cute or not. You had a brush with celebrity. ;-)

Camy Tang said...

WOW you ran into Kirk Cameron??? I had the same crush on him. Wish I could have stayed longer!!!!!!

Wasn't it cool when Chip introduced us to Stephen Baldwin, too? I would never have recognized him. He doesn't walk around like he's big stuff.

You can do the research! The internet is a wonderful thing. You can find similar books on Amazon and look at the publishing house.


Camy Tang said...

And you have a great book idea!

Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL ditto that same crush.

And of course you know, I think you can get this book done. I believe in you completely

Danica/Dream said...

See, this is why I love you guys!

Camy, I wish you could have stayed longer, too. Today was so much slower and no one fun was there.

Yes, it was way cool when we met Stephen Baldwin. Very quiet guy, too. I think it's funny-you'd expect a guy like him to be really energetic and outgoing, but he was quiet. Goes back to what we were talking about in regards to being introverts. We fool folks into thinking we're extroverts, but we're not really.

No, I didn't think he was all that cute. Looks pretty much the same, just some gray here, and sorta scruffy. Did nothing for me. Though I have to admit a certain preference for short, dark-haired, blue-eyed guys. You know, like the one waiting for me in bed. ;)