After all, I’ve been a published author for about a year already.
Sigh. Sometimes I wish I had a more low-profile and ordinary life. It must be so relaxing to be, say, a movie star, or the first African-American President, instead of a literary sensation. Because once you get the reading public all riled up, your life is not your own let me tell you.
A month ago I sent a note of appreciation to one of my favorite writers, Nick Hornby, whose work I have loved since I first read Fever Pitch about 10 years ago. And, just because I could, I sent him a copy of my book.
I’d been in touch with Nick once before, back in 2003 when Bruce Springsteen was on his Rising tour. I knew that Nick was a huge Springsteen fan and that he’d never been to see Bruce in Bruceland (New Jersey), AND that he’d never driven on the New Jersey Turnpike with “Born to Run” blasting on the car stereo. Nick is English, you see, and could only imagine (as he listened to Bruce’s story about a town that rips the bones from your back that’s a death trap, a suicide rap) what the hell goes on over there in The Garden State.
So I sent a letter to Nick Hornby, via his literary agent in London, and I invited him to go with me to see Bruce at Giants’ Stadium. I had floor tickets to the last Saturday night show of Springsteen’s 10-night stand there in the wet lands. (For those of you who don’t know, Giants’ Staduim is built in the swamps of Jersey, otherwise known as the Mafia Water Park for The Dead.) I also said that I’d take him for a spin on the New Jersey Turnpike, all the way to exit 7 and back.
And I got a lovely, handwritten note from Nick in answer, thanking me for the invitation, but he had a new baby and a new book and couldn’t get away. So it’s not like we’re complete strangers.
So now it’s six years later and I have my first book published and I decide to send my book to my favorite living author, with my thanks for all the reading pleasure he’s given me.
And today I got an email. From Nick Hornby. Yes, THAT Nick Hornby. He said that my book is lovely, and it won’t be showing up at the local charity shop jumble sale any time soon.
You’d think that I would be used to this kind of fawning praise by now but no; it still makes me dizzy.