Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pathetic Author Girl

I wish I could be more like one of my writer heroes, Bret Easton Ellis. Here's an excerpt from an interview done by Index magazine, talking about when his first book, Less than Zero, was published in 1985 -- when he was just a junior in college, mind you!

RICHARD: What was that time like for you?

BRET: Well, when Less Than Zero became a bestseller, I suddenly found myself on the Today Show and in every magazine. The media labeled me the ?voice of a generation.? Then the book was optioned for a movie, and I just assumed that happened with every book.

RICHARD: Really?

BRET: My agent called me up at school and screamed, ?You?re on the New York Times bestseller list!? I was in the phone booth in my dorm going, ?I am? Oh, cool, cool. That?s okay.? I didn?t know what that meant. My agent was screaming because it was her first fiction bestseller.

Yup, I wish I could be so cool and detached and ironic about my writing career! I wish I had no ideas or expectations or hopes or dreams for my book. I wish I didn't spend 23 hours a day thinking up ways to market CF and get the word out and the 24th hour worrying that I wasn't doing enough.

Instead I am now Pathetic Author Girl, always obsessing. Worried it won't do well. Hoping that it will. It's a sickness. Really.

For example: Non Pathetic Author Girls go to various bookstores to "visit" their books. To see them on the shelves. To move them to the front of the store if no one's looking. This is excited, but normal behavior.

Pathetic Author Girls go to the bookstore to visit the spot on the shelf where their book WILL month. Yup, a visit to an empty space. (Good placement in Barnes and Noble, bottom shelf at Borders.) Then, to make matters worse, Pathetic Author Girl goes and "visits" a current book out that has an excerpt to her book in the back of it. (Crazy for You - Kate Angell - in case you're curious.)

Yeah. I know. Totally lame, huh? I so need a life.

Or some pride.

Or a "hang in there" email from Bret Easton Ellis.

But I'm sure he's wayyy too cool to GOOGLE himself and thus will never find Pathetic Girl blog entry. And know how much I need his reassurance. :-)


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