Good Morning Kindle-ites! Today, in lieu of a review (or a blank page because I have nothing ready…damn baseball game) I thought I would share (with you) a guest post that has been stalking me from my inbox for approximately 3 weeks now. Last month when I asked for guest bloggers Gabriel Porras (Managing Partner for Blue Jay Technologies) mentioned to me that he would love to contribute. I was thrilled!! (Yes…yes… I know I always say that) but this time is different. #1 Gabriel is going to make me famous one day (he just doesn’t know it yet *wink*) and #2 He has rubbed noses (and bored to death) some pretty fascinating people. (Which makes me cool by association…right?) Anyways, Gabriel, being the hot shot that he is got a little busy and forgot to send me his post in June, but…being the generous (*cough*) person that I am, I assured him that it was ok, and that since I loved his post so much I would save it for a rainy day, and well…today seems to be that day. Happy Reading!
Anonymous Celebrities: A Confessional
by Gabriel Porras
It was one of those moments that I try to pretend I was much cooler than I really was. I forget the actual date, sometime in early July of 2009 I think. I was sitting in the bar of a Manhattan hotel at around midnight, talking with a client who was there for ThrillerFest. I’d taken a red-eye out of San Diego for the meeting, which had been postponed a few times throughout the day due the organized chaos that is any author/fan convention, and I was tired. So when a group of people walked in and joined us, effectively ending the meeting, I mentally gave up and struck up a conversation with one of the newcomers.
I’m not sure what I talked about, but I know it was something so mundane that I wasn’t just boring him, I was annoying myself. The signals to shut up were all there, but I just I just blathered on. I think it might have been about shoes…? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that at some point in the conversation I realized I was talking to James Rollins. And, as polite as he was, James was a man looking for an escape.
I don’t remember much after that. I think I mumbled something incoherent and then just kind of smiled. Like a crazy person.
Yeah. That’s me. Smooth.
I looked around at the rest of the group that joined us, and realized there were one or two faces that were dust-jacket familiar, but I couldn’t place them. I tried chalking it up to being worn out from traveling, but to this day I’m still not sure who all I shook hands with that night.
It also wasn’t a case of being starstruck. I mean, yes, I like to tell people I’m not intimidated by fame, but the truth is that I ran into Will Smith once…like literally walked right into him, and when I looked up and said “I’m sorry,” all that came out of my mouth was “No s***?” Like I said, smooth. But my epic moments of awkwardness aside, this was different.
I’d never really given much thought to the relative obscurity afforded to authors — even famous ones — before that moment. It’s not like the concept was profound in any way, just something that I’d never stopped to consider prior to irritating a New York Times bestseller. (Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was about shoes.) At that time, I’d worked with a handful of writers, from debut novelists to bestsellers, and I understood that traditional fame doesn’t apply the same way it does to other entertainment personalities. But it really never dawned on me that I could be talking to someone like this without realizing it.
What also struck me, as I sat grinning like an idiot, was how we view the writers — and more to the point, the books — that we love. Maybe it was my brain’s way of avoiding thoughts about footwear of any kind, but suddenly I was fascinated by the attachment we feel to a certain style of book cover, or how diehard fans can identify an author’s name just from the font it’s written in. Even while the Internet was making it easier and easier for fans to link a face and a personality to the writer, I couldn’t stop associating James Rollins with the dog-eared, water-swollen books that my wife leaves by the tub.
And just like that, my perception of the man, who was now edging slowly away from me, changed instantly He wasn’t a celebrity; he was just a man who, I apparently felt, needed to hear about shoes. I was only vaguely aware that part of my brain was telling me to say something intelligent, like “You spend a lot of time with my wife in the bathtub.”
I don’t think he would have appreciated it.
I stuck around the conference for a few more days, attended a few workshops, even met a new client – a great writer and all around great guy by the name of Brett King (authorbrettking.com) – but the whole time it was like an odd little spell had been broken. And I was worried. What if I found out that the magic had worn off books as well? I was convinced that I’d find my favorite stories were really just as long and tortuous as whatever it was I was going on and on about that night.
Before catching a plane home, I stopped by an airport newsstand and picked up the latest James Rollins hardcover for the flight. I knew it would be an endurance trial, but figured I owed the man. If you’ve ever worried about something incredibly stupid before, you won’t be surprised to learn the flight was a blur. As my dad would say, that flight just flew by. (Now he’s in your head too. You’re welcome.)
Eventually, I chalked the whole thing up to a newfound level maturity. The fanboy in me was dead. I used words big words like “pragmatic” when describing myself. I saw myself as immune to the effects of stardom, and feel superior to my wife when she reads TMZ. I’m awesome.
Then, about three months ago, I was introduced to the author of a fantastic new trilogy, a man named Bruce Jones. Not the comic book creator, but a Hollywood heavyweight who’s demo reel (http://brucejonesproductions.com/reels/) includes everything from Star Trek: The Next Generation, to Michael Jackson’s This is it. In working with him on book one (The Becoming, which is available in mid-July), I’m glad to say I’ve been pretty mellow. His stories, both in his writing and from his day job, are amazing but I’m all mature and stuff, and people like me are immune to stardom. Then he mentioned he was the second unit director on Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell.”
The Sam Raimi.
Of like….the best movies ever. I mean, come on people. EVIL DEAD. Sam Freakin Raimi.
So I’m not sure what I said at that point, but I like to think I was pretty cool about it.