Sunday, February 13, 2011

CKR: Nov - Dec 2006

(continued from CKR: October 2006...)


“CKR” Diary Post No. 10
November 16, 2006
There's not much to report, but it's been a while since I updated you all on the progress of this novel. Well, "progress" probably isn't the right word, but it will have to do. For now...

At Randy's suggestion, I was supposed to have read the first 3 chapters of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, then re-write the first 3 chapters of CKR, switching from third-person prose to first-person. Well, since I haven't been able to concentrate for long stretches, I can't really write anything of substance. So, instead, I ended up reading the entire book. AWESOME comes to mind. Brilliant does, too. I wanted to dig in and really study it, mark up the pages, highlight the good parts, slap post-it notes on exceptional passages. But I didn't, for fear that I might accidentally "steal" something. I don't mind being influenced by talented artists, but I don't ever want to be accused of plagiarism. But back to CKR:

I'm expecting to dive into the manuscript again in January. My debut novel, IMMORTAL BONDS, is due for editing any day now--possibly any minute--and everything else will have to take a back seat 'til it's finished. I'm crawling out of my skin with anticipation.

The publisher still doesn't know CKR exists, so the only deadline I have for this book is my own. Even after all this time, the story is still driving me, but knowing all of you are waiting for it sure does boost the level of expectation. No pressure, right? Sure. My ass.

I'm still haunted by the idea that I'm making a mistake by writing a book outside the genre of the first one (paranormal). The fact that I'm a chick attempting to write from a man's perspective doesn't help. But why does it have to be black and white in publishing? Why can't I be "That writer who dips into everything," from paranormal to mainstream, horror to erotica, historical to romance? Who says I have to stick to one thing? Kid Rock doesn't stick to one thing. He's a "funky, country, rock, soul, singin' MC." A "long-haired, redneck, rock 'n' roll son of Detroit." Saying fuck a lot, along with an occasional suck my dick, doesn't get him much radio play, but, all-in-all, he seems to be doing okay for himself. What's wrong with following his lead? Isn't that why he "chased me" around Florida for four days, inspiring me to write CKR in the first place?

The plan to contact him is still a go. Professionally, I don't believe I can use his name in the title without permission. If I didn't plan to promote the book, I probably wouldn't need it, but how's anyone going to know about the damn thing if I don't plaster the words "Chasing Kid Rock" on every piece of paper, posterboard, website, postcard, bookmark, and t-shirt that isn't nailed down? But, although I certainly don't know him personally, I've spent enough time researching his career to assume he'll be okay--and possibly flattered--with this book. And I can't believe he'll be any less excited about it than I am. When the "big day" comes, you can bet I'll run straight to the keyboard and tell the world!

As soon as I have a draft of the "new" first chapter, I'll share both the original and the new versions, so you can see the metamorphosis first-hand. Until then, keep checking the blog for updates on the release and availability of the first book and, of course, more P-List (and other) posts.

“CKR” Diary Post No. 11
November 30, 2006
Have you heard the news? After THREE weddings (because, apparently, one--or even two--wasn't enough to prove their love to friends, family, and the rest of the stunned world), Pam and the K-I-D are calling it quits. They made it a whole four months. I thought for sure they'd last at least six. (Did anyone have a pool going? Who won?)

Perhaps the bigger news though, in my opinion, anyway, is Borat. According to reports, the couple's screening of the movie was rumored to be the "final straw." Ordinarily, I wouldn't give a shit. I haven't seen it yet, but I'll be going ASAP, because the premise of "chasing Pam Anderson" sounds a bit familiar.

Of all the celebrities, models, bimbos, and trailer trash starlets that Borat Sagdiyev (aka Sacha Baron Cohen) could have had the hots for, he had to pick the one Kid Rock wanted. THEN, to give the knife in my back a little twist, he made Pam look like an idiot (in KR's opinion) and pissed Rock off enough to call the marriage quits. What do you think my chances are, now, of getting Pam's ex to support a literary project titled Chasing Kid Rock?

Thanks a pant-load, Mr. Cohen. Nice fuckin' timing.

I feel a lot like I did when I was working on Immortal Bonds and hurricanes kept trashing my settings; first West Palm and the rest of South Florida, then New Orleans. It seemed like every time I finished a chapter, mother nature flipped me the bird and sent me back to the keyboard. In the end, everything worked out, but it was stressful. I thought I had enough to worry about these days. Guess that's what I get for thinking.
It's possible that the controversy stirred-up by this movie could work in my favor. Eventually. But things look pretty lousy right now. All I can do is plod on, finish the manuscript, and hope for the best. Tell you one thing, though: I'll think twice before I ever consider writing another novel with a celebrity's name in the title.


“CKR” Diary Post No. 12
December 9, 2006
I was recently given the opportunity to pass a personal message on to Kid Rock. Of course, the offer came from a new friend here on MySpace—this virtual community hasn’t yet ceased to amaze and surprise me. I’d mention his name, but I don’t want him bombarded with mail to the point that he changes his mind. If he DOES want to reveal his identity, I’ll let him do it himself. Needless to say, I was immensely appreciative. And terrified near the point of unconsciousness.

Faced with the question, “What do I say to Kid Rock?” a blur of responses filled my head: I love your music—I admire your style—Your drive and business sense inspire me—So much so that I’ve written a book with your name on it—It’s called CHASING KID ROCK, but it’s not what you think—It’s not about you, it’s for you—And I’m really proud of it. In the end, I said something that I later thought was lame and uninspired. But I kept thinking of the question. And the answer. So, I went back to the Diary, the step-by-step account of the literary journey that started back in February of 2006, and reminded myself of how far I’ve come on this ride. In the process, I stumbled across an entry I made on Sunday, May 7, 2006:

Scott and I sat on our patio until 2:30 last night (or would that be this morning?), talking about the book and what I hope to get out of it. Because my husband’s not a big reader—I joke all the time about his reading only Florida Sportsman and Fortune magazines and having zero interest in fiction*—the fact that we discussed the book for a couple hours is amazing in and of itself. But he knows me better than anyone (sixteen years of marriage will do that), and, like me, he’s a Kid Rock fan, so he understands how deeply personal this project is and how passionate I am about it. He also knows that I know what I’m capable of. Of course I want a bestseller, what author doesn’t? Of course I want it to be well-written and funny and explicit and controversial and everything that Kid Rock is, but, at the end of the day, this book is really just a big “Thank You” note to express my gratitude for filling the last decade of my life with a kick-ass soundtrack. And for inspiring me to fast-forward through confidence and bravely embrace Cocky, because I know I’m good at what I do and “it ain’t braggin’…if you back it up.” If that makes me a groupie, so be it. And if I sell a million copies, even better. Fuck the critics and the people who will think I only wrote this book to make a buck. They have no idea what it’s like to be not merely inspired but driven. To lose sleep, skip meals, ignore family and friends, and let everything around me go to shit because I believe with everything I am that I can take this book where it needs to go. And, despite the obvious commercial possibilities, I’m doing it for only two people: the man who rattles my car speakers every day and the man who shares my bed every night. I wouldn’t be where I am without either one of them…and it’s payback time.

I’m asked all the time, “What’s CKR about?” The title lends itself to a great deal of speculation, but it’s not anything that anyone will expect. And I like it that way. The style, storyline, and theme are 100% Kid Rock-inspired, but readers won’t have to be fans to enjoy it. In fact, introducing him to non-fans is kind of the point. I want people who don’t know him to have a new appreciation. I want people who don’t like or understand him to learn there’s more to his over-the-top, profanity-filled stage persona than meets the eye. If through literature I can introduce this man to a new audience and send a new legion of fans his way, then I will have done what I set out to do. But, if all that happens is he reads it—and likes it—I will consider it a success. Next time someone offers to pass a message to him for me, that’s what I’ll say.

** NOTE, 2/13/11: By the way, Scott’s read a boat load of books since then, from 1776 (non-fiction) to A Face Without A Heart (fiction). Reading more was his 2006 New Years’ Resolution and he’s done very well. Of course, flying around the country every other week helps. Just thought I’d let you know...

(to be continued...)

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