Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Letter from a Decided "Nudge"

      To everyone who has heard Rachel Heffington speak about Fly Away Home, this is Callie Harper speaking. I butted into my author's usual blog space and schedule because, really: when have you ever known me to care about the proper time for saying things? See, Rachel is a darling author--really darling. She thought up someone as amazing as Mr. Barnett to play opposite me, and really (though there are several dreadful moments in my story when I wondered if Rachel really cared about my feelings at all) I think the book turned out very well. She's a little more honest about my inner thoughts than is really flattering to me, but one cannot know what one's author is up to, much less try to dictate the path of one's story. That is for God and writers.
       This bit of journalism, however, is not to speak about my story, nor to introduce you any further into my own heart (good heavens--Wade and I were quite shocked when we sat down and actually read what she had written!) but instead to lecture Rachel. So:
           You sat down and listened to me talk and ache and wrestle and yell at Wade Barnett, and you managed to take that wad of mess and formulate it into a tale. You deepened my character, you set me up for a blind date with a blackmailer, and I still managed to tell you my story. You wrote it. You created Wade Barnett and Jerry Atwood (whom, this far removed from my earlier memories, has improved ever so slightly in my opinion) and Nalia and Maralie Barrymore and all the rest. You brought in genuine celebrities and polished my story and theirs' until it shone like Nickleby's fur when he has just finished a cat-bath.
        You did all this, and you fearlessly sent us out to be shredded by the criticism of your friends and relatives and otherwise, and you took those cut-up pieces and pasted them back together, and though I couldn't see it then--and thought I began to be even more contrary than usual--you pressed through. My story is a historical romance, but we are lively enough together that even the boys who read it admitted it was darn good stuff and had little criticism to offer.
        All this you have been through, but now when it comes down to sending us off to an agent, you're balking.
       I ask you, Rachel, what sort of an author is it who just loses faith in her story and characters when the name "Agent" or "Editor" comes up? Listen. Do you think I would have even meet Mr. Barnett if I hadn't got up the courage to ask Mr. Shores for a job? I mean honestly now--he's twice as scary before you meet him, and he's a Ghengis Khan even after you've known him for years like I have.
     Do you think Ladybird Snippets would ever have flown if Mr. Barnett had not teased, cajoled, and cudgeled me into agreeing to his stupidity?
      I watched you write a blog post a day or two ago and you seemed very valiant then. You even made a little picture for the post so that your other friends might remember and be inspired by your call to small-courage. Do you remember?

       Then why in the name of the St. Evan's Post are you doubting yourself? If I had not left Nickleby with Jerry for the afternoon, he certainly would perform a compound-riposte against your backside and inform you that you're a stupid goose.
I tend to agree.
      Wade might use a more tactful representation, but I assure you that he shares my sentiments of the matter.

         In short, I broke into The Inkpen Authoress to tell you (and the world) that the very worst thing They can say is "No." The very worst thing you'll hear when you send a letter to an agent is "No." Perhaps they'll be rude and go further, but the fact doesn't change: My story is a good story. I'm a good character (if this letter hasn't borne witness). And you, my stupid Rachel, are a good writer.
      If you please to hurry up with your query-letter-writing, because I do not relish sitting here boxed up in your computer files. I want to see the world, because I think they'd love me. Yes, do smile. You know I've never struggled with false modesty. Adieu, Rachel, and Public. I must relief Jerry of Nicks-duty, and then change my dress because Wade and I are headed to the Stork Club to cover a story on Gregory Peck.

                      With all my love and best wishes,
                                                Calida Harper

1 comment:

Joy said...

Ah, I loved this post. Thank you, Calida, for being such a wonderful person and encouraging our dear friend Rachel to be brave and send out 'Fly Away Home' to agents - :D. Always, this novel has been fascinating to read and hear about and I really, really hope all the best with Miss Heffington's endeavors. God bless!