Supposedly, everybody gets fifteen minutes of it. You know, either you do something fantastic, and you get all kinds of press—you saved a dog on the freeway, or you caught that little toddler just before he/she fell off the slide to disaster—or, you do something so incredibly foolish that your deed is infamous—that elementary school teacher who had sex and subsequent children with her preteen student, or the woman who forgot to wear underpants and went out during a windstorm in a skirt.
Some people get more than fifteen minutes. These are the celebs, the Nobel Prize winners, the war heroes, or the Olympians. These folks get used to being hounded for autographs and selfies. They have tons of Twitter followers. We all, at one time or another, wish we were famous like this. We imagine what it would be like to be asked for autographs, have people gasp when we walk into the room, or nearly faint at the sight of us. I think that would be fun. For a day or so.
Being a writer can make you famous. I am sure that everybody knows what Ernest Hemingway looked like. Or they recognize the name J.K. Rowling the moment it is uttered. However, very few writers—even bestselling ones—have a face or persona that the man in the street would instantly recognize. So it is very exciting indeed, to have an experience like I had in the post office the other day, where I went to send out some “Advanced Reader Copies” of my novel to reviewers. A woman I recognized but had not actually met hustled over to me, and uttered those words that all of us fame seekers hope for:
“Aren’t you Molly Campbell? Didn’t you just do something? What was it?”
Ok. It wasn’t fifteen minutes. Not even close.