Saturday, August 26, 2006

Annie Wilkes, misunderstood fan

The first few times I saw 'Misery' Kathy Bates scared the living Hell out of me. This movie was scarier than any horror flick with monsters and goblins, because it was totally plausible in my mind. I would watch it over and over again, holding my breath while James Caan plotted his escape.

I recently watched it again just the other day, and my my my, how my feelings have changed. Some of the authors I have worked with have been so unpleasant, and condescending. I began to see Annie Wilkes in a new light.

About 4 months ago, I worked very hard on an author event here in town with a very famous author (We'll call him Paul Sheldon for continuity's sake). Paul was out promoting his new book which was due to debut on the New York Times Bestseller List at #5 that week. I got him interviewed by the local paper, and made sure the local literacy foundation would reap some benefit from his appearance. TV stations came to cover the story, and there were radio spots as well. I was also working on a handicap: The only time his schedule would allow the signing was on an afternoon in the middle of the week, when most people are at work.
The day of the signing came. He was gruff and not very personable. Showing up 45 minutes early, he got bored and left less than an hour into his signing scheduled time, as soon as there was a gap in the line. As you can imagine I was mortified. Almost as soon as he was out of the door, more people showed up with books in hand. I went right back to my office and called his publicist (who sounded like Lauren Bacall). I will say she was great, as was the head of publicity, who made a generous donation to the literacy foundation and sent a box of autographed books for them to use in fundraising.

It is now very easy for me to watch the 'hobbling' scene in 'Misery' because I can super-impose my own Paul Sheldon over James Caan's face...

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