Friday, June 14, 2013

"Crayons!" fan letters, tantalizing leads & my 1st heckler

Write fan letters to obscure actors or musicians. Chances are they’ll write back and will fondly remember your goodhearted encouragement when they – cross your fingers – become rich and famous.

The above is tip No. 147 from “Use All The Crayons!” I never dreamed some stranger would apply that very line to me.

But there it is right there in this latest Amazon review of the book. It’s the fourth one down titled, “Feel good childish laughter.” It’s a four-star review that reads to me like an eight-star.

The woman, Melissa, wrote me a very nice note saying she’d been browsing some self-help audio books at her library, found mine, listened to it twice and wanted to drop me a quick note saying how much she enjoyed it. 

It’s the kind of thing that just makes my day. 

Given her reaction, I asked if she wouldn’t mind posting a quick review. She said she’d be glad, to.

I’m tickled by her line that me writing her back gave her a “total fan girl moment.”

See, I’m not Ringo Starr. If anyone writes me, I’m writing them right back.

It doesn’t matter what you write either. Say nice things and I’ll write back I’m flattered. Say mean things and I’ll write back that my feelings are hurt, but thanks for taking the time to write even mean things.

I think I have a real need for attention.

Reactions like Melissa’s and that of so many others encourages me to press on in the belief that one day my trajectory will follow that of above tip no. 147.

I had a really great moment about six weeks ago when a prestigious editor at Redbook instantly returned my e-mail offering reasons why she should review my book for their 2.2 million readers. Said she’d love to see a copy.

I was thrilled.

Can you imagine what that kind of publicity would do for a struggling author? It would be enormous. I guarantee you it would be the kind of catalyst that would lead to a cascade of further publicity, best seller sales and lucrative speaking engagements.

For me, it was a dream come true.

We had a friendly and encouraging exchange of e-mails that concluded with me asking her her favorite colors.

She has two. They are blue and green.

I overnighted her a shiny crayon-signed (blue and green) copy of the book everyone’s falling in love and waited to hear back.

The next afternoon I sent a four-word e-mail to my powerful new buddy to check and make sure the book arrived.

No response.

Two weeks later I sent another e-mail asking to see if she’s had a chance to peek at the book.

No response.

Last week I sent an e-mail warning her that I think one of her colleagues must have  hacked into her e-mail and sent me a series of friendly and encouraging notes under her name just to mess with Sasquatch.


That, for me, is the cruelest type of exchange. And it happens more than you think.

I can only conclude that many powerful and successful New York editors were raise by wolves.

I was not. I was raised by wonderful people who knew wonderful people.

I was reminded of this Wednesday evening at my “Use All The Crayons!” whoop-de-doo at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library.

About 20 people showed up. There were so many great old neighbors, parents of friends and a dear friend who was my homeroom buddy for four years in high school.

It was wonderful.

And my Mom came, too!

I spoke for one hour completely without notes.

See, I do believe something soon will happen where I’ll be invited to do more speaking engagements and I want to be sharp.

I think I was. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I sold 15 books. Several of those in attendance brought pre-purchased books for me to sign.

I guess the highlight of the night was when after about 50 minutes of unfettered yammering from me, I paused and asked if anyone had any questions.

Mom raised her hand and said, “Can we go home now?”

My first heckler!

If I’d have had security I’d have had security throw her butt out.

But it’s that kind of sass that ought to give you some idea as to why my manners are superior to those of big city magazine editors.

And, yes, you can all go home now.

Have a great weekend and Happy Father’s Day!

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