A MOTHER/DAUGHTER CONVERSATION

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Molly D. Campbell is a two-time Erma Bombeck Award winner. Her debut novel, KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE, is a top-rated Young Adult crossover story about family secrets, love, loss of innocence, and family ties.

Marion Campbell Kammer is a 1995 graduate of Oakwood High School and Ohio University. She is Vice President of Talent at Talentworks, a boutique talent agency in Los Angeles. She has represented such celebrities as Melissa McCarthy, Mayim Bialik, Josh Brener, Luke Perry, Nick Carter, Sandra Bernhard, and Carmen Electra. She resides in North Hollywood with her agent husband August Kammer, and their absolutely adorable two-year old son, Charlie.

Sometimes they talk on the phone.

Hey. When you were in high school , would you have believed that you would end up where you are today?

What, in my living room?

Get serious. A top Hollywood agent, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. 

No. I knew that although I loved being in shows in school,  I knew that I wasn’t really destined to be an actor. I thought maybe I could go to LA and be a producer. I just knew I wanted to be in the television and film business.

So you ended up as a talent agent.

Right. When I got to LA, I interviewed with a producer, who advised me that if I wanted to produce, I needed to learn the business. The best way to do that was to work for a talent agency. I started out as an assistant, and the rest is history. I never became a producer, obviously. What about you, Mom? How did you end up being a novelist?

The empty nest. Once I managed to get two children out there and paying their own bills, it got sort of boring around the house. Rather than spend much time making casseroles or Swiffering, I started a blog. Which you never read. 

I am a busy woman. But I hear it’s pretty funny.

Thanks, honey. I know you’re busy, by the way. Every time I come out there, you are always on the phone making deals. And you never want to take me to any restaurants where I might see a movie star. 

Ugh. Mom. We don’t do tourist things.

Remember the time we were in the grocery store and I spotted Bill Nye, the Science Guy? That was a red letter day for me.

How could I forget? You ran up to him and started singing the theme song to his show: “Bill! Bill!” And you wonder why I don’t take you any place. So anyway, then you wrote a book?

Yup. And I was lucky that my publisher, unlike you, read my blog and “discovered” me. And the rest is history. Question: What do you think makes you a successful agent? Is it because you are so bossy?

Mom. Chill. Ok, maybe the bossy part. But actually, it takes persistence, tremendous confidence, excellent organization skills, and attention to detail to be a good agent. And people skills, because actors demand a lot of coddling, calming, and smoothing. What about you? What does it take to be a successful writer?

That depends on your definition of success. If you are talking about making big bucks, I have no idea, because I am not a New York Times bestselling writer. But if you mean how do you get people to read what you write? Persistence, tremendous confidence, excellent organizational skills, and attention to detail. Oh, and creativity.

Not plagiarism? You copied what I just said.

It was a good answer.

This has been great, Mom. I have a phone call coming in, and I have to meet a client for lunch at a restaurant where I probably won’t take you the next time you visit. It has been good talking to you.

You know I am proud of you, right? 

Of course. You made me what I am today. Well, maybe Dad had something to do with it. You know, the people skills part. Gotta go.

This has been great. Is there any way you could get me Matt Damon’s autograph?

Bye Mom.

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