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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paparazzi, Fame and Me

Another week, another blog. LOL!

Bet you’re wondering what I mean about the title…huh?

Well, while I know that I will never achieve the fame of Nora Roberts, I still harbor some insecurity about being in the limelight sometimes. And it doesn’t help that the media always gets something negative and shakes it till it cracks open, just like a dog with a bone. It doesn’t matter if what they say is true, it doesn’t matter if you want a break, when you least expect it they are in your face.

After this week’s onslaught of tabloid propaganda, which included Jon & Kate + 8, Miss California in a new scandal, Jessica Simpson poses for yet another magazine and Paula Abdul talking yet again about rehab and Idol, it makes me wonder if any of these media or entertainment people have a life. And here’s my take on it all: leave them alone, don’t care about the blonde bimbo, really don’t care about the blonde bimbo and Paula for goodness sake, please grow up. And you know it's really bad when I start calling blondes bimbos because I am a blonde. Sigh. Still, I know that if the public didn’t want it, the media wouldn’t be in everyone’s face.

Do any of you ever get tired of the crap that comes out of the media, particularly the entertainment field where authors are firmly entrenched? I sure do and it makes me wonder about what I really feel about my chosen profession. A lot. Sigh.

And don’t get me wrong. I do like attention at writer meetings, conferences and book signing. But most of the time, I can shrug it off and know it’s not my life. Not really. Sure, it’s a part of my life and writing is a lot of who I am BUT it isn’t everything. I don’t know about you, but I do other things besides writing and all it encompasses.

I’ve already had one fan creep me out years ago. This woman came up to me at a convention all gushy and told me she was my biggest fan. I’m thinking, honey, you’re my only fan as this was five years ago and I only had one book out. She oohed and ahed over everything I had on the table which I took in stride. I signed everything for her, gave her my business card and smiled a lot. When she walked away, I figured it was all good and went on my merry way.

Later in that same conference, she’d come up and start talking as if she knew me. Occasionally, she’d follow me into the bathroom and other places. After a while, it genuinely made me feel all weird as all I wanted to do was get away from this person who thought they knew me intimately. I had never had that type of attention…not even when I was an editor…and I’m not kidding there.

Between the weird fans and the in-your-face photographers and reporters, it makes me wonder sometimes what I was ever thinking. I feel like starting a petition asking for support in making a law against the ones who get right in your face forcing them to back off.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my fans for a variety of reasons. One being 99% of them realize that I’m a normal person with a normal life even though I do live in a strange little town in the southwest. Matter of fact, I would say I am downright lucky as my only negative fan experience has been the one I’ve described. I would say that one in 5 years is fantastic as I know a lot of my friends who have at least one a year. I have a fair share of exposure and have had genuinely good experiences.

This week, I just went on media overload and it makes me look at the big picture. It doesn’t matter if I’m a little fish in a big sea, when you see others getting bombarded day after day, there’s something that makes you want to shrink back into yourself.

Now, I know you’re wondering what brought this up really. Since I wrote last week’s blog, I’ve had a few things happen. Some good, some not so good. I’m definitely getting back on the promotion trail which is good. Things are finally falling into place with my writing and with deadlines in place, I am finally getting into my stride. The not so good thing was that a reporter friend, at least I thought he was until this week, finally got around to reading some of my stuff. Big mistake as he decided to get into my face to tell me why I was writing pornography and how wrong it was. I keep my cool and said that everyone was entitled to his opinion and that I respected his. But when he told me it was his right to get into my face to let me know he didn’t approve, I almost lost it. Bad.

His right? His right to get into my personal space and tell me I was a bad person? To try and force me to do things his way? I wanted to beat the man about his head and shoulders repeatedly with a bat. It didn’t matter what my rights were at all, all that counted were his. It really didn’t matter that the book in question came out last year. It didn’t matter if I wrote erotic romance because if I wrote about sex, it had to be bad.

I let him have his tirade as this happened in a semi-public place and watched him leave with an evil glare. The moment he was out of my sight, I called his boss whom I went to school with and asked him what was going on. He was as shocked as I was and vowed to keep this reporter away from me forever. I will never send a press release to this small Nevada paper again. Matter of fact, I’m not sure I will ever pick up a copy again.

What are your experiences regarding fans? Do you feel that the paparazzi sand reporters should be reigned in? Let me know as I would be interested if any of you have had similar experiences and feel the same. Thanks!

Till next time…



AP Miller said...

Wow how horrible! I can't say in all the years I have been published or an editor that I have had any bad experiences. All of them have been positive. The reporter was out of line for commenting on what you write...if he has sexual hang ups then he needs to keep them to himself. Had that happened to me I would have blasted him then filed a complaint with his employer.

I write erotica and porn. I am proud of it and it shows in my sales. There is nothing wrong with sex, it's a normal part of life. You should have asked him how often he has sex and if he has such a hang up with it them maybe he ought to practice celebacy.

If you can't stand the heat...get out of the kitchen.


Julie Robinson said...

Lynn, i am so sorry to hear about these experiences! Wow! Although I am not published, I can relate in a different way. My dad was a big name in politics over here. He still dabbles (and so do I), but I know what you mean about people whom you've talked to once suddenly thinking that you're their best friend.

I think that's why I'm not so stupefied when it comes to meeting 'famous' people---i.e. published authors. Writers, like politicians, have families, and lives full of family ups and downs. But what's really bad is when people want to be your friend, just because of who you are and the connections you have.

Now if I did get published writing erotica, I would probably have to use a pseudonym. I know a lot of people who are deeply religious; and I know people who would think it was cool. But it's like my dad used to say, "It doesn't matter if you're in politics or you're teaching, you can't please everyone." Both my parents were teachers, and I did it for a short while. So the same goes for writing.

As far as the media propaganda is concerned, I just won't say what I really think!! Except to take everything with a grain of salt. And when you hear news, use your common sense. Question things!!!
My son has a t-shirt that pretty much sums it up:
It isn't illegal to think yet!"

As for the paparazzi and all that chaos, who has time for it?? Lynn, I must commend you on your classy behavior. I think I would have had to cry afterwards!!

Bill Kirton said...

Scary - all the more so because, obviously, unlike people whose claim to fame is simply that they're 'celebs', most writers don't seek the personal exposure that goes with the 'fame' territory. Good to hear, though, that you reacted to the journalist who was trying to impose his own ideas of what's 'right' on you. So many writers are so desperate for recognition that they tolerate all sorts of uninformed, even malicious garbage.

As for those who decry erotic writing as pornography, their disapproval says more about their own psyches than about the literary value or relevance of the work they're dissing. Your attitude's spot on, Lynn. There are parasites at every level of existence - ours have got cameras and autograph books.

Jenni said...

Interesting post. I have been in the entertainment business all of my life. Doing modeling, acting, dancing as a child and young adult. Nothing note worthy, but it is a very interesting business. Now, with my first book out, once again, I have entered the world of entertainment. Persoanlly, I don't pay much attention to the media. It honestly drives me nuts. I don't really care what stars have for breakfast or how many times they have been to rehab (although I did watch celebreity rehab, my guilty pleasure). The media also drives me nuts regarding the news, especially this outbreak of swine flu as I was in Mexico when it happened. I'm fine. The family is fine and more people die of regular flu every year than will be effected by swine flu this outbreak. Yes. It's newworthy, but come one, 24/7? And really, report it, and be done with it.

As a fan and a reader, I do my best to respect the authors I admire. When at conferences I will approach them at book signings, talk with them, ask them to sign my books, then give them space. Most are very gracious asking about what I write and so on. Many have resulted in wonderful friendships. But seriously, they really are not any different from the rest of us. They eat, shower, have families and maybe play some poker with friends on Thursday night. I guess my point is, appriciate, respect and enjoy their work, but stay out of their personal lives. The word personal is just that, personal.

The whole media thing is a pet peeve with me because I have found that so many stories are blown out of the sky with this insane 24/7 reporting. I remember the chase with OJ - did we really need to sit in front of the tv and watch that for hours? No. I am now at the point where I watch the regular nightly news and I enjoy the Today show. That's about it. I still read the paper every morning and of course, I will watch the presidental election night all freaking night.

OK - went off a tagent there. Sorry you have had some bad experiences. People can be so strange. However, some good material for books in all these stories!

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Patti. It was quite an experience!

But being the writer I am, I plan to use it in a story. I'll get the last laugh. LOL!


Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Julie. It's good to know that someone else has close to the same perspective.

My parents too were the grain of salt type of people. And my father always said that not everyone would like you.

As far as using a pseudonym, I can understand people using different ones for different things. I was just afraid it would give me a split personality and decided long ago I couldn't do.

The main contributing factor I can see is that I live in the same town as I grew up. I really wanted to move away when I got married but my husband fell in love it, so here I will remain. Every one has an opinion here. LOL!


Lynn Crain said...

I so agree with you, Bill.

I guess why I'm so surprised about those people is that they think it's okay to behave this way. My parent taught me proper behaviour from the moment I was born.

And I'm a big fan of the do-unto-others club. I certainly don't want to be treated like that so why do it to someone else.

Though, I am sure that sometime I will be giving at least one of them a piece of my mind.


Lynn Crain said...

I so hear what you are saying, Jenni. I have been guilty of myself watching the celebs in reality shows because that makes them real. They aren't gods, they're just made up well! LOL!

My first experience in Hollywood was at a party put on by a famous screenwriter in LA. I was very dazzled until the screenwriters wife took me and a friend aside and gave us all the skinny on everyone. Suddenly, Hollywood seemed very normal. Then she looked at us both and told us never to lose perspective again. It was a good lesson.

Yes, the media is one of my pet peeves as well. They can make or break a person just by reporting their so called 'news.' And as we all know, not everything is news worthy.

After 9-11, it took me months to watch the news again because I didn't want to see the incident again. Now, they're doing it with the swine flu and frankly, 1000 cases does not make a pandemic. They have people running scared and I'm afraid the time is coming when everyone will live by their words.

Sigh. Tangent's are good sometimes. It gets it all out.

Take care and good luck with your first book! I know that is an exciting time.


C.R. Moss said...

eek. that reporter wasn't doing his job very well. he was letting his personal issues in when he should have been more un-biased. glad you called his boss. is that paper strickly in your part of the valley or is it connected to one here in town? this way for future PR we know what to do.
I can't say i've had any weird experiences yet with fans & i don't quite know how i'd react if faced with any. it's a cross that bridge when i get to it scenario. i think that authors are in a slightly different category than others in the entertainment business and that we don't really have to worry about photographers waiting outside our doors and following us around ~ unless we get hooked up with a celeb... I say bring on the fame of the big named writers! I can always claim eccentricity and hide in my cave. lol!

Pat McDermott said...

Chiming in late here. Glad to see you're planning to turn this experience into a story, Lynn. Writing is a such great outlet!

Lynn Crain said...

I have to agree with you, C.R., as I don't think he was doing his job very well at all.

Still, I know that this is the price for putting myself out there and it makes me know the reasons that a lot of us hide behind a pseudonym.


Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Pat, and I agree with you. Writing is the best outlet ever!


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