Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hunky bodyguards, Bowie, and Douglas Adams

Published on the old blog on 03/18/13

Last night, as I lay in bed with Arizona snoring happily away, my brain did its race-race-race thing as I tried (unsuccessfully) to come up with an original way to promote the new books and ensure a crazy-good launch for Summer at Mustang Ridge come June. And I realized I wanted to be David Bowie.

My former stratospheric career goal was to be so wildly successful as an author that I needed bodyguards at my booksignings. You know, the inhumanly large and forbidding guys who stand there and … well, I’m not exactly sure what they do in the context of a booksigning, but it looks really cool. And, well, hunky bodyguards. ‘Nuff said. But I’ve decided there’s a new level of cool out there: when the lack of promo is itself promo.

Mind you, I’ve been a David Bowie fan since the 80’s (Labyrinth. Need I say more?). And, since I was a hipster before it was cool (ha), I didn’t just glom his current stuff, I went back to his Ziggy Stardust days, telling anyone who would listen that it was silly to use Space Oddity as the background music of the moon landing when it was a song about an astronaut getting lost in space (even though said incident was well before my time), and using “Major Tom” as my first pony’s show name. Though that was an improvement over his perplexingly awful registered name of Star Jet Lode (American Quarter Horse Association, I’m looking at you!).

I wished for two different colored eyes, though not the history or head injury that had produced his. I giggle-snorted when Douglas Adams, in his brilliant Restaurant at the End of the Universe series described a character as (paraphrasing) looking like what would happen if you took a David Bowie, tied a David Bowie to each of his arms, and then tied a David Bowie to each of his legs. “In short, he gangled.” And there was the music. Some wonderful, some less so, but forming a lifetime body of work that continues to impress me today, even when catching a few minutes of Labyrinth on TV provokes more giggles than sighs.

The aging star had slipped out of the public eye in the last bunch of years, and I honestly can’t say I did a whole lot of “hey, whatever happened to …” except when watching the walk-off scene in Zoolander and hooting because hey, it’s David Bowie! Then back in January, he pops up and is all like, “Hey, I know I’m seventy-something and said I was done writing songs, but it turned out I was wrong. Here’s the new album!”

Turned out, he’d been working on it all cloak-and-dagger for a couple of years now, swearing the crew and musicians to absolute secrecy, and it actually worked. Save for one leak that nobody believed, the whole project was kept under wraps until they were ready for the big reveal, and it’s been selling like crazy. So there it is. When I grow up as a writer (and yes, it might take until I’m seventy-something and have a gazillion hits already under my writing belt), I want to be able to promote my book by keeping it a complete secret, and then whipping aside the curtain with a big TA-DAA!

A girl can dream, right?

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