3 days until Albany and still no sign of land. Michael Phelps got $1.3 million for his book. Dara Torres got over $2 million for a two book deal. Proving conclusively once again that in the book business it's much more important to be famous than to be a good writer. Many of my friends who are good writers do not yet realize this and they labor under the illusion that if they become better writers they will have a better chance to succeed in the book business. This is simply not true. I keep telling them, you have to become famous to make it in the publishing business. Better to have a menage a trois and impregnate Sarah Palin and her teenage daughter than to write a genius novel full of exquisite language, an intricate yet satisfying plot, and deep funny quirky amazing characters. The problem is of course, how do you get to have sex with Sarah Palin and her teenage daughter? Many of my friends who are good writers have now realized the fact that fame is how you succeed in the book business, and being smart people, they know full well how not famous they are, and how their skill set, social circumstances, and birthright have conspired to make it almost inevitable that they will never be famous. And this group of sad people usually turns to drugs, alcohol, the writing of romance novels. But that's what you get in a culture when you worshiped fame. A bunch of people specializing in just getting famous. Without any sort of skill or substance to offer the world.
3 days until my next event, in Albany, to the Barnes & Noble, Thursday night, September 18. I've had a nice correspondence with Jeff Berman, the distinguished professor from the University at Albany who is going to be joining me and Arielle on the panel. In the last couple of days, I have scoured the Internet, surfing and searching for everyone and anyone in the general Albany area who might want to get some help with the memoir they are writing. I sent the event out to all these listing places on the Internet. And in the end I did make a great contact with Amy Williams, President of the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. They're doing something called the memoir project, in conjunction with the this really amazing writer/teacher Marian Roche Smith. I would love to do something with them, they sound so cool. It was one of those times when you're doing research and you come across something that's so beautiful and perfect, exactly what you're looking for. Again, I liken it to coal mining, my grandfather having been a coal miner. It's like you chip away looking for something shiny and gold. But it's all rock. Hard rock. And you have your axe, and you keep pounding away at the hard rock. Then all of a sudden there it is. A vein of gold. The memoir project in Troy. That's what it was like when I first saw it on the Internet. And then when I got my e-mail back from Amy Williams, it was so gratifying.
Then the next event is at the Strand bookstore, the granddaddy of all bookstores, the mother of all bookstores, Monday night, September 22, with Jim Levine, a darned good agent, and Mike Daisy, international storytelling sensation. Jim really didn't like me to call him a super agent. I said, "But Jim, you are a super agent." But Jim kicks it old school. To call yourself super is not how Jim Levine rolls. And I respect that. Don't buy the hype. Which is again what makes Jim Levine such a mensch. On Monday I'm going to put posters up all over the neighborhood around the Strand. I sent out a bunch of e-mails to my New York people. And Christina Foxley, who runs the events that the Strand, she's very good, I went in and met with her last week. She's very sharp. And she has a real genuine wine Rolodex on her desk. So impressive. I really like working with people who are professionals. People who know what their job is, who stay on top of their shit, use common sense, take advantage of opportunities when they appear. So tonight I'll send out a bunch more e-mails to New York people, writing teachers, writing groups, memoir groups, and who knows, maybe I'll find another Amy Williams. Well, that's my two cents worth, and with inflation I owe you one.
Causes David Sterry Supports
Sex Worker Rights