Misadventures in Hero Worship
I’ve always considered myself blessed that I don’t like sports or celebrities. I’ve not really had to have the “Joe Paterno” moment in my life because I could care a less about most people society puts on pedestals. Still, I’ve put a select small number of persons on my own private pedestals and recently have learned that even my cerebral heroes are simply human . . . in all the flawed context that entails.
First, I had a very particular person I will not name commit to writing the foreword to my book (not the person who is now actually writing the foreword). This person didn’t say, “Maybe, let me read it first,” or “No,” or “Let me read it and then see if I have time.” No, this person said, “Yes.” Then the deadline was missed, which doesn’t bother me. Then after much follow up I was told that this person would not write the foreword – no reason, no apology, no suggestion of someone else to do it. Just, No.
I still admire this person and always will, which is why I won’t share the name publicly. Some people know and please don’t tell, but it really hurt me, not that I was told, “No,” but that I was told, “Yes,” first. It would have been so easy to just say, “Maybe.” Oh well . . . my hero was human.
My second misadventure in hero worship happened yesterday. I visited an admired writer’s facebook page and asked if she would just watch an 85 second clip of my book trailer and if she liked it to email me and I’d send her a copy of the book. Later that night, I got a response like, “Never going to happen, too many people ask me for favors.” Which actually was fine. I didn’t care. But then there was a CAPS rant posted using similar language saying that if people didn’t stop asking her to read their work she would remove the facebook page and that only people who wrote for 20-30 years were good writers (I must look younger than I am, as I’ve been writing for 20 years).
This bothered me a little bit because I was very polite and I’m actually a published writer, not someone trying to scan notebook pages of my unedited work and asking for someone famous to make me famous. I just really liked her books and her writing inspired me.
Then, the rant suddenly disappeared and the writer said someone hacked her Facebook page. Considering that this transpired at nearly 1:00 am her time and certain phrases used in the rant harkened back to her three books that I’ve read, it all smells a little fictitious to me. Also, only that rant, my original request, and the reply to it were deleted. It was as if I was erased, edited out of my own experience. So . . . either she’s a liar whose embarrassed about being so cruel, or she really got hacked by someone whose only act of malice was trying to stave of would-be writers . . . to whose benefit?
I’m not a would-be writer but an in-practice writer and have done the work to get published, and I hope that if someone with a book coming out asks me to read it, I will either say, “Maybe, if I have time,” or “No, I’m so sorry I’m too busy,” or “Let me read it first and then I’ll get back to you about whether or not I want to make any public comment.” No one has asked yet, but if they do I hope I do a little better than my heroes have done by me. But then again, I’m no more or less human than they are.