Watching the Oscars Sunday night, I didn’t feel the tiniest bit jealous of the gorgeous starlets floating down the red carpet, so weightless the tiniest breeze might have blown them into Oz, but when Diablo Cody picked up her statue for writing “Juno,” now that made me crazy. You expect movie stars to be young and beautiful. But writers?
Here’s the latest sensation. A girl who can craft zippy dialog and strip. She’s the hot new thing, with those great big eyes and Cleopatra hair and her recently edited tattoo And of course (I kept reminding myself) she’s only 29. Oh yes, and did I mention she can write.
Now here comes me, a relatively pleasant-looking woman of a certain age (not 29), coming out with my second novel in a few days. In fact, it’s coming out on March 4, the day of Ohio and Texas primaries, and I’m suddenly thinking: I know what Hillary’s going through. Yes, March 4 will be quite the day for both me and Hillary, though truth be told I want to be Obama too. I want to be Obama and Diablo Cody. I don’t want to be a relatively pleasant-looking woman of a certain age, with (you should pardon the term) experience. I want to be an ingenue.
Here’s the deal. It’s a second novel. Cousins and friends say things like “Wow, it’s your second novel. That’s incredible. You’ve really got a career.” But the book industry says: not a debut. Don’t expect the same kind of attention you got last time, kiddo.
What can I do — short of getting a big “Warren’s girl” tattoo and a Cleopatra haircut? Well, I do have the hair appointment later today. Then there’s all the usual stuff: e-mail blasts, Amazon blogs, local bookstore appearances, advertising on my own blog. And of course there’s always naked begging. Please please please please please buy my book. You don’t want to see a grown woman cry. Or do you?