Friday, March 7, 2008

Being a Famous Author

Someone told me recently that it is a good idea for an author to focus on how they are “famous”: post pictures of yourself with famous people, contribute to charitable events, do guest speaking spots. In other words, create an image of yourself that others are interested in hearing about.

I pondered this for some time. What, I thought to myself, have I done or can I do to show that I am “famous”?

Hmm…I once rode an elephant in the circus. It was a promotional stint while I was running the family auto parts business. My office assistant and I joined the parade signaling the start of the circus perched high atop a pair a wrinkle-kneed behemoths with nothing more than a little leather strap to hold onto. After the parade, our elephants were directed to sit in the middle ring while my assistant and I had a tug of war with a rope. I don’t even remember who “won” because I was too terrified of falling off the huge, wiry-haired beast but it did provoke a lot of comment!

And then there was the time I became an extra in the movie, Forget About It. I was working at a hotel in the Phoenix area at the time and we were hosting the movie’s stars: Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Robert Loggia, Charles Durning. The director, BJ Davis, was staying at the hotel as well and invited my boss and I to the set one day while they were filming. We were directed to become part of the crowd watching an interaction between Phyllis Diller and some unknown actor who was strutting about in a pair of chaps and nothing else. When he turned around, all you could see of him was a pair of tanned buns and a nicely sculpted physique (yeah, I didn’t mind standing there one bit!). Phyllis Diller, a very petite and classy lady, was kind enough to have her picture taken with both me and my boss by BJ but, sadly, he never sent us the photographs. And also, sadly, the film was released on a very limited basis and I can’t even find the DVD for sale so I’ve never seen my one and only, very limited, movie role.

The only other incident I can recall is being a twenty-year-old college student (so this was 1983, yikes!). I took a trip to Hollywood with my friend, who had been attending the California Institute of the Arts (she was a dancer) and showed me around. Somehow we managed to get into a very exclusive club off the Sunset Strip. My friend pointed out to me a very short, skinny young man with big, black hair and a big, burly bodyguard glued to his side. I’d never seen him before but my friend was very excited and went over to ask him to dance. He politely declined, saying in his breathy voice, “No, thank you”. Who was he? Prince, shortly before he became so well known and long before he renamed himself as a symbol and became referred to as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince".

So there you have it. Those are my brushes with fame. Now I’ve just got to come up with something bigger and better. And you can bet that all of these incidents will show up in my books someday, somehow, especially now that I am branching out into contemporary romance. Stay tuned for more news!

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