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“How’s It Feel To Be Famous?”

some-nerve“So how’s it feel to be famous?”

As if I’d know!

There are many levels of fame. Writers are way down on that list. How many authors could you recognize if you passed them on the street?  I couldn’t recognize very many and I read more than anyone I know.

Still, I’m getting this question (How’s it feel to be famous?) a lot. In interviews, at work, and from wiseacres who know I’m not famous at all. 

Being famous could certainly help sell more books. That would be nice. If my usefulness scaled with increased visibility, I’d be happy about that.

But I can’t think of a hollower, less worthy pursuit than fame.

More options? More freedom? Sure, sign me up.

More money? Why not? I like money.

Meeting more people? Absolutely, I like just about everyone and all of my favorite things require other people. Even reading requires authors who write the books I read.

But simply having more people be away of you just because? Nope. Then we’re venturing into the weird ghastliness of reality shows. The idea that you have less value than another person simply because more people are aware of that other person’s existence isn’t valid and it isn’t healthy.

Now: what’s everyone reading? I’m almost done with an advanced copy of Some Nerve and it’s wonderful. 




Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jerry Morris June 12, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Reading Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn’s Historic Ballpark, 1913-1960 by John and Paul Zinn.

  • Steven DS June 12, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I’ve been reading This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m almost done with it and really enjoyed it so far.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 13, 2013, 8:09 am

      I don’t think I’ve read any Fitzgerald other than Gatsby. Putting it on The List.

  • Jack M June 13, 2013, 5:48 am

    Reading Land of the Headless by Adam Roberts, an underappreciated British sci-fi author. On a planet much like Earth, those who are convicted of adultery, murder or heresy are decapitated but kept alive via technology afterwards so that they can repent and become closer to God. Weird, wonderful, and the writing is top notch.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 13, 2013, 8:08 am

      That does sound weird. On the list, thank you.

  • Jon June 13, 2013, 6:33 am

    Like Jerry I have a baseball book going, The Game of Brawl by Bill Felber which is about the 1897 pennant race between the Beaneaters and Orioles. Also reading Matt Bell’s novel In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods. Really enjoying both. Looking like they’ll fall in the top ten books of the year so far.

  • Jennifer June 13, 2013, 7:08 am

    Stay true Josh, stay true 🙂 (Stay gold even, as Hinton would say)

    I’m in the middle of Ordinary Grace by William Krueger

  • Holly Williams June 13, 2013, 9:01 am

    Dude, you’re awesome.

    I’m currently reading, “Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall: how I learned to love my body by not looking at it for a year” by Kjerstin Gruys. An excellent read, especially for those that have battled not only self-image problems but eating disorders as well.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 13, 2013, 10:36 am

      Glad to hear it. I get asked for recommendations like this at the library fairly often. Will keep this in mind.

  • Beth Gainer June 13, 2013, 10:25 am

    Hi Josh,

    I’ve been enjoying seeing your success as an author. I agree with you. Seeking fame is an empty ambition. It is nice, however, to recognized for a job well-done. But fame? Not a goal in and of itself.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 13, 2013, 10:35 am

      Absolutely. I do of course love that the book is being well-received and it’s fun to see the hard work validated.

  • Aaron Cance June 13, 2013, 1:14 pm

    I’m chiming in, Josh, to confirm your opening statement that writers are way down on the list of “recognizable” celebs, and to confirm, also, that you’re spot on in pointing out that writing’s not the way to find this attention. One of the best parts of my job is entertaining authors visiting Salt Lake for signing events. This usually includes taking them out on the town afterward for drinks, food, or both. Not one single time has anyone noticed who they were sitting next to – not even the time that the writer in question was a Pulitzer Prize winner with multiple books. If I mentioned his name in this space, I’m betting that nine out of ten of your readers would recognize the name (having read him or not), but, physically, he was invisible. In all fairness, I’ll close by noting that I work in the industry, and read quite a bit, and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have spotted any of these writers either.

    My apologies for the long post, but it’s an interesting subject.

  • Gillian June 13, 2013, 7:09 pm

    Hi Josh,
    Well, I just finished your wonderful book last night! I work in a library (as a library assistant), and was immediately drawn to the title. Memoirs are my favorite genre, and yours was different than any I’d read before. There’s nothing like reading about someone else’s life to make you think about your own.
    Today I started “Hedge Britannia” by Hugh Barker, a lighthearted look at the history of hedges in the UK (Yes, really).
    Can’t wait to hear about your next book.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 13, 2013, 8:17 pm

      Hi Gillian, I’m curious, why is memoir your favorite genre? I actually don’t read very many.

      • Gillian June 14, 2013, 10:13 am

        Hi Josh,
        I think I just love reading about other’s lives, in their words. It broadens my horizons. I especially enjoy travel memoirs and foodie memoirs (although I’m not a foodie), but have read lots of others too. I used to be a mostly fiction reader, but I think I am too picky. I hate to read a poorly written fiction book. I have surprised myself over the past several years by reading mostly non-fiction. I usually only pick up a fiction book if I have read good reviews, or had good recommendations (and I just signed up for your book club newsletters, so I have a new source for recommendations!).

  • Patsy June 14, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Hi, Josh,
    I have read two books so far this summer that I enjoyed very much–“The Silver Linings Playbook” and “The World’s Strongest Librarian”. Your title piqued by interest because I am a retired librarian (a much older UNT Library School grad) and former English teacher. Josh, I found your book to be both very informative and so well-written that I was eager to see what the next page would reveal. I have the privilege of presenting oral book reviews from time to time, and with your permission, I would like to include your book in one of my programs for 2013-2014. Finally, my compliments to whoever transfigured the printed work to digital format, they did a very good job. Thank you for sharing your life’s journey thus far. I look forward to reading your next book.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 14, 2013, 1:03 pm

      Hi Patsy. I’d be honored to be included, thank you.

  • Mike June 15, 2013, 7:55 pm

    Just finished your book. Not only is it informative, but an enjoyable read too. Some friends of mine have a son who was just diagnosed with Tourette’s. They told me about it, then Barnes and Noble emailed me about your book. I figured it doesn’t get any more obvious than that! I am about to start Brave New World by Huxley.

  • Jodi Kaplan June 16, 2013, 4:16 pm

    Reading “The Three Musketeers” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” The latter is part of a Library of America noir novels collection.

    When I grow up, I want the entire Library of America series.

    And, I hope you’ve replaced that Mark Twain set!

    • Josh Hanagarne June 16, 2013, 5:52 pm

      Jodi, it was the greatest thing. My agent and two editors actually replaced them for me one day while I was at work. I was so happy. I’ve got such great people.

  • Cathy Lim June 23, 2013, 8:49 pm

    I just finished reading a fantastic memoir a couple of days ago and now I’m visiting the author’s blog. I read voraciously but reserve high praise for only the books that I feel really merit it, and I’ve felt moved to want to recommend your book to a lot of friends. It just worked for me on so many levels. And just as the previous commenter said, one of my first thoughts on putting it down was, “By golly, this guy ought to get at least enough royalties from this book to buy back that set of Twains.” I’m so happy to hear you have them again!