I don’t write because I want to be famous. I write because it is what I love to do. However, I am willing to admit I am okay with the idea of becoming famous should it happen. I didn’t set out for immortality, but I’m open to the idea.
The best part of about writing fame is your name is famous, but most of the time you aren’t. This means if you want the benefits of fame (say a free upgrade on a flight or a good table at a restaurant) you can name drop. “Perhaps you didn’t get my name spelled correctly; I’m Eileen Cook, the novelist.” Then give a shy humble smile. Of course you wouldn’t say you were Eileen Cook, you would insert your own name- but you get the idea.
Even with my favorite authors, I am fairly sure I could be sitting next to them and I wouldn’t have a clue. I could be in the bathroom with Barbara Gowdy and tell her she has tissue on her shoe and would have no idea. Dave Barry could pass me in the hall and I would think maybe I went to high school with him. I could be sitting across from John Irving at a party and I would be all: “I swear I know you from somewhere. Did you build our fence? no? Do you go to my gym?” Then if they said their names I would fall to the floor and roll over in submission.
Writers also seem, on the whole, to handle celebrity better. You never see JK Rowling getting out of her car without her panties. Stephen King doesn’t trash hotel rooms (despite the fact that he plays in a band and you know how those rock and roll types can be). Writers seem to keep their dysfunction on the inside and share it only with loved ones. We’re special that way.
For my day job, on occasion I have to sign stacks of forms. I am willing to admit that for years when faced with this chore I have closed my eyes and imagined I was signing books. Mumbling under my breath “Oh I’m so glad you liked it- Your favorite author? Really? How sweet-of course I’ll sign ten extra copies if you want to buy more.” I’m considering it practice for when I am mobbed by autograph hounds.
What do you think would be the best celebrity perk?
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