A major publisher chose to publish Tinkerbell Hilton! To be honest, I have not read the book. (I can not stomach putting it above the miles of unread books that have been suggested by friends that I have every intention of reading.) Presumably, Tinkerbell tells the story of what life is like with Paris Hilton. Celebrity. Glamour. Sex. Fashion. Pampering. The story of traveling in the purse of the rich and famous. Maybe that is compelling to the brand-obsessed-fame-driven-wealth-absorbed people who may still have jobs and houses and can afford to buy books. At some level, I can relate. I have been known to waste hours watching Bravo and E, hoping that something will rub off or fascinated by the beautiful train wrecks on the screen.
What makes my story less appealing and marketable than that of a chihuahua? Before I decided to publish my memoir independently, I was rejected by many agents. All of them said they were not interested in what I had to say. Very briefly, and often generically, they would thank me for my interest and wish me luck on my journey. I had researched and sent letters only to agents that handled memoir, thinking they would be more interested than random agents. Not one asked to see pages. Not one responded personally to any aspect of the query letter. Most did not even respond to my query.
Now obviously there was a writer involved who had to have solid writing skills, but the situation still stings. My story was not the Hollywood version of life. I don’t have the access to power and influence like this two pound bundle of love. My story does not let people escape from the reality of flabby stomachs, depleted bank accounts, and 13 year-old Hondas that must keep running. But really, my writing skills can’t be that poor. How could they have learned that in a one-page cover letter? My story is not that boring? Or is it? This is where my less-than purse proximity to that which may sell enters in. It can’t be my lack of writing ability, it has got to be the fact I am not a sure thing. People don’t already buy my perfume, or watch my TV show, or download my mugshots. I guess I am not in the middle of my 15 minutes, so no one really cares what I have to say.
Maybe that is the truth. Maybe having a diamond collar immediately gives you something to say. Maybe people want to escape rather than think. Maybe people need Vegas birthday bashes, affairs with Greek shipping tycoons, tans that don’t fade, and persona professionally crafted by teams of publicists and lawyers who keep you out of trouble even when you are repeatedly caught red handed. (Escaping accountability is sexy in the harsh reality in which most of us live.) Tinkerbell can speak the secrets to which we all wish we were privy. Tinkerbell can name drop. Tinkerbell can make us feel a bit more hip and in. Maybe I will read the book after all.