I wanna be adored.

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
Apologies to The Stone Roses for stealing the title of one of their songs from their breakout album, which I acquired yesterday at a car boot sale. I hadn't listened to it for a while, but I wanna be adored made me think about how we sell ourselves as writers. Lead singer Ian Brown wrote the song to admit that he'd sold out, by going for a more commercial sound—to be liked by more music fans.

In the 21st-century, we're expected to share details of our lives as part of the process of marketing our writing. Having a blog and a website devoted to our books is practically compulsory, expected by one's literary agent, publisher and readers. And, what about your social media posts, where you scintillate and captivate new readers?

No one likes a grouch, however good their writing. You have to play nice, at least occasionally when interviewed, if you're going to improve sales of your books. Some people are naturally charming while retaining a depth of intelligence that shows they're not being smarmy. I think of J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Walter Mosley and Jeanette Winterson when I say this. I'm sure that you can think of other examples of accessible authors who you enjoy hearing talking about the creative process.

I've spent most of 2019 building an author platform, attempting to come across as nice, for want of a better word, as well as someone worth reading. Having spent the last decade living in a flat at a petrol station, socialising and dating not at all, my life has been devoted to reading and writing. I have lots of imaginary friends! :rolleyes: The concept of being adored is laughable, but whether I self-publish my Cornish Detective series or I get picked up by Hodder & Stoughton's The Future Bookshelf publishing opportunity, I need to ingratiate myself with potential readers.

Some will hate my books, others will think them OK, while a few may adore them. And me?

It would be a strange situation to be in, where your fans believed in you more than you believed in yourself, demanding more and more from you.

Best not to take yourself too seriously. Neil Gaiman put it well in an interview:

You have a very open relationship with your fans."

"Yes. We have an open relationship. Obviously, they can see other authors if they want, and I can see other readers.”

Do you want to be adored?

I prefer Cormac McCarthys way of dealing with the press,fans and so forth. But I also understand that there is a reason he can do what he does. I find that going to authors websites or their social media profiles is not fun. They plug their latest book from time to time and spend the rest of the time speaking of politics. If I ever get to the point that I feel my 'fans' need to hear my opinion for their own good or the betterment of society, it will be a sad day.
One day authors might return to speaking of writing, reading and other things that they should. That is my plan.

I don't care if they adore me as long as they continue to read what I write.
FWIW Paul, I think you are totes adorbs.

On being adored, I have to stand with Katie and stick with family and friends. I had a stalker once! Unfortunately, it wasn't half as exciting as it should have been because, not unlike the sentiment expressed in this recent thread, I didn't realise I was being stalked (he was a bit prominent and "always-there" and rang my mother a lot and set out his future-life-stall (he had two tractors, one combine and a lot of acreage) but I thought he was just a common-garden creep) until the police got involved because he had been reported for following me and they did the Irish "Will ya leave the young wan alone, ya big eejit" and he buggered off (I weep now at the loss of acreage, but anyway).

And then another time my dad was in the garden and this missile thing (I know, it sounds insane, but it is true) whizzed past his ear, through the trees and across the field. Police got involved and the Special Branch appeared. They followed us around in their car (big, black, very obvious) which was a bit embarrassing around school friends and so on. And then one day I was going for one of my long, meandering walks around the country roads (actually, it was on one of these walks that Larry Murphy tried to bundle me into his car) and they followed me: I was on the road plugged into my walkman and they were in the field. It was Autumn and mucky and they were wearing suits and shiny shoes. Dreadful timing for them, weather-wise.

Anyway, I was marching along when I noticed our bachelor-farmer-neighbour, Gerard, was shadowing me in his big blue tractor after spotting the lads following me in the field. Which was all grand until I had to turn around to go home and I was standing there waiting on the little narrow road so Gerard wouldn't run me over while he did his 15-point turn while the two wally's hid behind the hedge in the field. That was the end of my walks for a bit until they realised we had no subversive organisation affiliations and left us alone.
OMG. Emily. A spot of quiet country living. Though you can encounter a predator in a crowded place. I had a near thing once in a car-park with plenty of other people around. How did you get away from that vile creep Larry Murphy?

That one needs adoring with the killing hex.
I was walking, plugged in as usual to my walkman, and he pulled up close alongside me. Sticking his head out the window, he said he'd give me a lift into town, and I replied that I wasn't going to town. He had The Weirdest Eyes, and just felt weird, shuddery-weird, so all my antennae were on high alert and I started walking backwards away from the car. He opened the door and started getting out and said, "C'mon, get in" and I just legged it to a house a few metres away and ran around the back and hid. I was shitting it.

It was only a couple of years later when I saw his picture in the paper (he had big blond curls and those eyes), I was like, Awwww, feck......
omg, Emily, that is awful! Glad you're ok.

I do all the social media "look-at-me" BS we are supposed to do and I HATE IT! It's awful. After a while, I had quite a following on Twitter. (especially hate Twitter). I made an off comment when I had my dander up and within 36 hours had lost 16k followers. I guess for a moment the "it" thing to do was to UNFOLLOW me. lol I don't know that I'll ever gain that much momentum in either direction again. A fluke! Just not a good one. lol

I had a stalker once. He was creepy and made me soooo uncomfortable. He wasn't from on-line but from a local writing group. ha! I wonder what old Todd is up to these days. Probably creeping around a new girl.

It's good you paid attention to your gut instinct. There is a book called The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker. In it, he gives the statistics for people who are attacked when they stay in situations they were uncomfortable in, out of a feeling of needing to be courteous. Shockingly high number, although I can't recall exactly. Seriously! Heaven forbid you offend someone who might want to bury you in their basement. Crazy!

And I do want to be adored. But on my terms and by those I choose.
And I do want to be adored. But on my terms and by those I choose.
That's it in a nutshell, isn't it?
My brother is in a band and they are super-famous over here and it's all great etc, except in many ways his life has been narrowed down. He can't go out for a night out with his friends anymore and even family social events (our family is huge) are a nightmare because he's demented. My other brother is getting married next year and he's dreading it. We had a number of family funerals over the last year and you would not believe how many people asked him for photos and autographs... at a funeral!!! It's trying to keep the balance right of courting the "fame" and enjoying the success but allowing yourself enough air to breathe so you can live and create. A tenuous tightrope.
So true. And your poor brother. I mean, good on him for pursuing his art and achieving great things but how sad he has to sacrifice peace. (And this coming from someone with a fondness for Irish bands) but being harassed at a funeral is beyond ridiculous.

I really don’t get it. Celebrity is such an odd thing. It seems there is no rhyme or reason to it. For instance, the famed murderers Bonnie and Clyde had a cult like following here in the States. They were murderers. Cold-blooded killers. Yet when their bodies were brought into town from where they had been killed in a standoff with Texas Rangers (whilst in Louisiana) people wailed and chased after the caravan and ripped their blood soaked clothes and tore strands of hair from their heads. It’s as if sanity was lost from the collective population for a moment.
Good point about Bonnie and Clyde. One thing to consider though was the time of it during the great depression and any bit collected could be turned into food money. But fasciantion with serial killers and such bring out the worst in people. I saw a documentary once about women who would writer to killers and then marry them lol
Good point about Bonnie and Clyde. One thing to consider though was the time of it during the great depression and any bit collected could be turned into food money. But fascination with serial killers and such bring out the worst in people. I saw a documentary once about women who would write to killers and then marry them lol
True, @Jackson Banks there was surely monetary reasons behind a great deal of it, which would explain the stealing of their clothes, but wailing and true mourning speaks to a different kind of obsession. My (soon-to-be) ex-husband's great uncle was one of the men in the group tasked with taking down Bonnie and Clyde. His name was Ted Hinton. He grew up with Bonnie and had been fond of her since they were children playing together and his heart was broken over the whole affair, and it particularly rubbed him the wrong way when people would "misplace their affection" as he called it, for someone they wouldn't know if they passed them on the street.

It's an odd quandary, to want to be a best-selling author/poet/playwright -- a name on tongues across the world -- but still wanting to go to the druggist in sloppy clothes when you aren't feeling well while remaining anonymous.
Exactly @LeahH. Love is not necessarily the same thing at all as adoration. I will come out of my cave when I need to, or else on my own terms, and real friends know where to find you. Folk can be fickle, and why not? Strangers owe nothing more, and celebs so easily become hostages to the worst in human nature. Doesn't mean I don't want my writing to find readers. But readers are those who get the story the writer has to tell, and they feel it or they don't. And the more invisible the writer, unless it's memoir, the deeper the source of the story. Lowering a bucket into the well of wyrd, where we all came from, then trying to draw it back up again with the story inside it.

@Rainbird Big weddings! Did NOT want. We went off down the registry office, 9 in the morning, my pa, Il Matrimonio's mother, my brother and his wife as witnesses. In thick, Dracula fog which lasted all day. Late In May. The smiling lady registrar asked Il Matrimonio, "do you take Judith?".....and he said, "I don't know. Can I have a look at this Judith before I make my mind up?" Then obviously, he decided to proceed with the choice already in the shopping basket, and back home again for a lovely nosh up prepared by my ma, with immediate family and neighbours. About 20 people. It was so easy and lovely. A few nights away afterwards, and a lovely walk on the Eildon Hills in the strangest, milky blue sunshine. And even with plenty of champagne, it didn't cost stupid money.
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