I have begun to plan for an ONLINE writers’ conference, which will run as a boot camp, entitled, Writers’ University Boot Camp. As I began to plan and choose people to interview, my mentor, D’vorah Lansky (of “Build a Business with Your Book” and “Book Marketing Made Easy” fame) suggested that I make a list of ALL the people I’d like to interview.
One of the people on that DREAM/FANTASY list was Erica Jong, who is most well-known for her book, “Fear of Flying.” My favorite book of hers is “Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones.” So I wrote to her and asked for an interview. You see, I had met her around 1981 when my ex-husband and I adopted our son, who was 4 ½ at that time. My ex and I were writing partners; and we had just published a story about adopting our son in D Magazine (a city magazine in Dallas, Texas). Erica Jong had come to the University of North Texas, located in Denton, Texas, where we lived. My ex had been a book reviewer for The Dallas Morning News for about 15 years or more at the time. Erica Jong had asked the newspaper for an interview. My ex went to interview her, but she asked to meet me. I tried not to act too star-struck, because I was a HUGE fan of hers.
Okay, fast-forward about 33 years…and now I want to interview Erica Jong for my Writers’ University Boot Camp. I’m wondering first of all, if she will even remember me. Next, I wonder if a Celebrity Author of her stature would even agree to such a thing. Now Erica does not answer her own e-mail…that all goes to an assistant! I wrote an e-mail not knowing if she would get the e-mail, and if she does…will she remember me?
Here was my reasoning. If I didn’t send the e-mail, then the answer is a resounding, “NO!” There would be no hope in my getting an interview. If I do send it, she could just say, “No.” Well, I didn’t get a “no;” however, my timing was bad. She was leaving on a book tour. Her assistant was very kind. And when I wrote to say maybe at a later time, the assistant told me that could be arranged.
Yes, I’m aware that such an indefinite promise might not pan out. I also know that it’s still a possibility! Even a remote possibility is a possibility.
I’m really not a “groupie” sort of person. However, being in the same room with people like Erica Jong, Maya Angelou, or Gloria Steinem is a distinctive experience. Is it because they loom large or is it because they are real stars? I’d say it is because these three women have had such rich lives while standing in their own power. You have to respect that!
Of course, this doesn’t get me down the road with interviews in the can, so to speak. Not to worry, I found a few writers. They aren’t as famous, but their experiences in writing are just as valuable to writers and aspiring writers. To get a dozen interviews is no small fete; and my mentor introduced me to some of the people on my list.
If the suspense of who I actually have on my list and will actually be interviewing piques your interest, stay tuned. In the weeks between now and June 1, I will talk more about the Writers’ University Boot Camp. Until then, keep the dates: June1-26.