Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ah, Me

Happy summer solstice, BGs.

Got my electronic copy of the latest Aspiring Retail today. The magazine’s full of information on ICRS—the International Christian Retail Show—in Denver. (The performance formerly known as CBA.) I’ll be there, along with most of the other folks in Christian publishing. I’ll be meeting with folks and signing copies of Violet Dawn galleys at the Zondervan booth on Monday.

One thing I won’t be doing—going to a special party Monday night.

I’m not invited.

It’s a “Personality Party,” see. For personality-laden authors, and the booksellers dying to meet them.

Apparently I am quite dull.

It was bad enough before. ICRS used to have “personality booths.” Certain authors with the “P” distinction would sign their books in these special roped off areas, for which the publisher paid extra money. I’d just sign at the Z booth.

But now—oh, man, rub it in. It’s a party. For two whole hours. They’ll probably have streamers and everything.

In the P booth days, I'd bemoan my fate to my friends. Relegated to Dull-dom, I declared that some bright, shining day I would grow a Personality. Now, staring at the P party in bold font on the magazine’s schedule, I have given up. This is my fifth ICRS. I’ve loitered in Dullsville, while the P authors have graduated to a night’s event.

I must admit, I saw a full-page ad for three authors who’ll be showcased at the P party—and felt a twinge of vindication. I hadn’t heard of one of them. Then I remembered it didn’t matter. Well-known or not, they possessed a personality. Give them a few years, they'll take over the world.

But I'm not bitter.

Tell me, what do I have left to do? To try? For five interminable years, I’ve parked myself before a mirror, practicing expressions. Accents. Certain suave tilts of the head. Coy looks through my lashes. Nothing has worked.

I am doomed.

But not to worry. Ever the fighter am I. Somehow I shall keep my chin up at the convention. Maybe I’ll find other dull authors to hang with on Monday night. What a time we should have. Think the waiters will notice us?

Or perhaps I shall plant myself in front of my hotel room mirror. Practicing yet again. Hoping against hoping that in 2007, that bright and shining year . . .


Illuminating Fiction said...

If it would help, Brandilyn, I'd give you my accent. I just need to figure out how to transfer it to you. ;-)

If I ever make it to an ICRS, I’d line up to spend time with you. I’m happy in Dull-dom. Who needs personality? It’s so overrated.

Unknown said...

I think you have one of the most distinct personalities in CBA. Funny and unique. I mean that. Now put that violin down and pick up your gee-tar, or if you really want to stand out, your hot pink, bedazzled banjo. ; )

Stuart said...

Here's the lowdown, Brandilyn.

It's all about protection. They have to protect all the other author's personalities from yours! Your personality vs theirs would be like launching a starburst flare into a room full of sparklers.

Thus they figure they can let you supply all the personality needed to sustain the entire ICRS show floor, while they concentrate all the personality of those "other authors" into a single room in an attempt to amplify said personality though concentrating the sources. :)

I mean, if somebody ever figured out how to control and concentrate YOUR personality, you know what they could do?



~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Stuart, gotta love ya, man.

I feel so very much better.

Anonymous said...

My how P-retentious! I can understand the appeal of having a invite-only party to P-romote their favorites, but I think stardom is not a Godly attitude to cultivate in anyone. You should stage your own D-ull party to counter it.

Grady Houger

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Grady, where ya been! It's great to see your name pop up after all these months.

johnny dangerous said...

I've been to CBA and it's quite a circus. The local newspeople, of course, highlight all the cheesy merchandise such as "Jesus loves you" dog collars and such. -- Dave Long, in the "Faith in Fiction" blog, is discussing the pros/cons of series this week. He suggests that character-driven series don't work well in CBA/ICRS. But your series seem to be doing ok. Is your work an exception? What's your take on the viability of series? My guess is that you'd be upbeat about them, while Dave's view is a bit gloomy.

Karen Eve said...

Do you really want to cross over and just hang with the elites and not be able to talk to the real people? You might actually decide the leave the peasant world of BGs and go into some other aura where Gayle writes your blog each day, while you are surrounded by your minions who fulfill your every wish, such as setting up all your do-lunches, painting your toenails, counting the sequins on your jeans, etc. Somehow I have the feeling that I'm not making this sound bad.
BTW - if the booksellers have to pay extra to get to the P's, do the P's get a cut? Hey, a girl's gotta ask all the questions you know.
So who are the P’s anyway? Are you going to spill the beans?
God Bless,

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Johnny D., I haven't been reading Dave's posts of late. But I expect the emphasis is on "character-driven." Series in general have always been popular in CBA. Although I work hard on my characters, suspense is considered plot- rather than character-driven.

Karen--hey, I resemble that remark. Painted toenails? Sequins on the jeans? I'm there, babe.

No, the P's don't get a cut. They get the extra publicity/marketing, which is very good for them. For all my teasing, I don't bedrudge them that.

Mary DeMuth said...


I'm livid.

Horribly so.

Frighteningly so.

Personality!!! Sheesh!!!

You've got the best personality ever ever ever. I'm guessing you were voted "Personality Plus" by your senior class. (And cutest babe).

Well, I felt so stinkin' small last year at ICRS and I expect to feel even smaller this year. I think I'm shrinking! If I see you, I'll be sure to stand on my tiptoes (because of my shrinking) and hug you and we can comisserate, okay?

Jason said...

If *you* don't qualify for capital "P" personality, then I wouldn't WANT to see who made the party.

Don't worry - we know you've got enough personality to light up the whole net. A room? Too small for you!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Good grief, if you're considered dull and lacking personality, this group must be GLOWING with RADIATION!!!

You are Miss Personality plus, well, plus dead bodies. :-)

Kristy Dykes said...

Sorry about my late post, but I've been in Dothan, Alabama, at the Dykes's family reunion with 60 others.

Thanks, Brandilyn, for your transparency, and for your humor. You brightened my day.

Shoot, not only am I NOT a Personality after years of trying, I don't have the big book contracts you do!

You asked, "What do I have left to do? To try? ...perhaps I shall plant myself in front of my hotel room mirror. Practicing yet again. Hoping against hoping that in 2007, that bright and shining year . . ."

Kristy: If I were you, I'd plant myself in front of my mirror, take out those contracts, and run my fingers over those silvery symbols $$. And then I'd smile as wide as a dinner plate.

But me, being Kristy Dykes, who hasn't achieved her dreams in publishing, well, to quote you, Brandilyn, I'm not bitter...

Please laugh.


This is a joke.

I think.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Oh B, rest assured, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. A hip and savvy lady like yourself? With all the spunk and personality of a superstar? Bah on those ICRS people who don't think you fit the mold. Good for you! You're making your mark where it counts...with your readers. Stick with it.

Tiff/Amber Fiction-filled Life

Pamela S. Meyers said...

You???? Dull????? NOT!!! What are they thinking??? I once heard about those booths at CBA. Didn't realize it'd turned into one big giant party. Are the same people always showcased? You my friend, can create your own stir at the Z booth. Who needs a designated party????