I remember the day that they first came to the door. It was about a month after my first novel had come out. My agent had seemed pretty excited about its prospects, but me, being me, I wasn’t so sure. I was just happy to get paid.
Then all of the sudden the phone started to ring. Reporters from the local press were asking to interview me.
My mail box started to get letters from across the country. I didn’t open them right away, not until the pile really started to grow suspicious. I discovered it was fan mail.
The letters kept pouring in, the calls kept coming and then there was the knock on the door.
Not satisfied with writing or calling or waiting for my Agent to set up an appointment, the reporter had just decided to stop by.
I was just glad I had already showered.
The microphone was shoved into my face along with the bobbing of the huge video camera as it tried to get the best angle on my damp hair and drooping face that hadn’t yet been woken up by the coffee percolating away in the kitchen. I had smile dumbly and eventually convinced them I would be a whole lot more interesting in an hour or so.
In that hour, I had my Agent on the phone and a hair dryer in hand.
The first interview actually went pretty well. They were local, and aggressive and just looking for a scoop. I was happy to oblige once their eager beaver attitude simmered. It was the next week of similar interviews that became more startling.
Flying from coast to coast, up at dawn for the morning program, up till mid-night to endure 5 minutes of a comedian who hadn’t actually read the piece but wanted to joke about it anyway. The attention provided by the various staff who chose my clothes, made up my face and made sure my hair was bundled artfully was actually fun for the most part.
It was my fifteen minutes of fame and I savored it for all it was worth. What I didn’t expect was the hovering anticipation of those who had already made it through the 300 pages I had spent months crafting. They were already drooling for more. The questions about the sequel, the next novel, the continuation of the story started to get more pressing.
I had it in my head of course. There were notes already sketching out a plot and new twists to employ on the protagonists, but it was hard to get that going when you’re on a plane at 2am and waiting to have cameras shoved in your face.
Off camera the reporters and writers seemed to understand. On the record though they started prodding into that gaping hole with more pressure.
I called my Agent again. I wasn’t going to get anything done with all of them staring at me, calling me, asking to talk with me. I needed space. I needed time. These fifteen minutes, I told her, were up.
I wanted to get back to what I was good at doing. If I was lucky, it would turn into another fifteen.