Excuse Me, Sir, Can You Spare Your Name?

First of all, great game last night. I was hoping that the Forty-niners would pull it out, but…I really didn’t care that much. My team lost three weeks ago and I was mainly watching for the commercials.

Speaking of commercials. Living where I do, the God Made a Farmer ad was my favorite. Not funny, but made me proud to be the product of rural America.

Other favorites:  Joe Montana stain, Leon Sandcastle, Stevie Wonder and the voodoo dolls, and…ah, we’ll leave it with those three because what I really want to comment on is:

The Three Worst Ads of the Night.

1. Who on earth thought any of us would want to see a supermodel make out with THAT guy. He looked like Pat from the old SNL skits. Furthermore, who took that thought and said, “You know what would make this whole idea better? Extending the kiss and amping up the sound effects. Yeah, let’s do that.” Now I will grant you that they are getting a lot of buzz today, and maybe that was their goal, but I will tell you this. We have a new Carl’s Jr. opening here in the little town where I live. And I will not be going. EVER!!! And the reason I won’t be going is because I boycotted them long ago when they came up with the idea of showcasing the sound of people chewing their food. That is the most disgusting thing in the world and they think it will make me want to buy a hamburger? It makes me want to vomit. So, no Carl’s Jr. for me, thanks. And you can add GoDaddy.com to that list after last night. (Okay, they were probably already on the list, but they definitely moved up to the second position after last night.)

2. I know a good idea for an ad. Let’s make a beer that is bottled all in black and we will have a bunch of people dressed in black dancing with gold highlights on their faces and skin so that they look like rejects from the Capitol as described in The Hunger Games. Definitely a can’t miss.

3. Did anyone tell Calvin Klein that 1) This is a sporting event, therefore the audience will be made up of at least 50% men, and 2) umm, dude, kids in the audience?  I was watching with my 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Thanks, Calvin. You definitely provided me the most exercise I got during the evening as I scrambled to grab the remote and change the channel. Not that I wouldn’t mind looking that good in my underwear, but still.

Now to the main topic of the day. Endorsements.

I hate asking people for help. It’s almost a disease for me. What is even worse is asking someone for help that I don’t know.

Now, just the other day, I was informed by my publisher that at this point in my book’s young life, I needed to get out of my comfort zone and ask anyone with notoriety that I might know to read my book and provide an endorsement. I felt a little sick. The problem is, I live in a small town and I don’t know very many people with notoriety. In fact, almost none.

Now, I do know Stephanie Meyer. She and her husband lived in the same ward we did back in our Arizona State days. She even threw my oldest daughter’s baby shower when she served in a Relief Society presidency with my wife. The problem is, that was almost fourteen years ago and we haven’t exactly kept in touch. So, I would feel a little awkward about calling her up and saying, “Hey, remember me? I know it’s been fourteen years and all, and you went on to massive wealth and popularity while I…not so much. But see I have a book coming out and…well, hey, you up for giving it a once over?” Something about that just feels wrong.  But I probably could have pulled that off were it not for the second problem. I don’t know how to contact her. In fact, that’s likely a much bigger problem than the first one.

So, that left me with a couple of options that I have taken advantage of, but still not many. So I did what any little brother does and ran to my big brother for help.

Jerry Rapier runs Plan B Theatre company in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is well known and well connected among the Utah arts community. The awards and accolades he and his projects have racked up over the years are quite extensive and could command their own blog entry themselves. My salesman of the month award from Countrywide Home Loans just prior to the housing crash pales mightily in comparison.

I felt silly having to reach out to my brother for help, but I didn’t see many other options. Thankfully, he was more than willing to help and immediately sent my book to Eric Samuelsen, playwright, retired BYU professor and former president of The Association of Mormon Letters, an organization dedicated to the production and study of Mormon literature and its enjoyment by all. I didn’t come up with that last sentence, it’s on their website.

Needless to say, I was thrilled Eric Samuelsen would even be willing to take a look at my book. My greatest hope was that he wouldn’t hate it. Three days later, I received the following endorsement:

“So you need a book cover blurb? Tell me how this one works:

“Man, I liked this book. Warm and human and real. A novel about growth and loss and pain, about Mormonism and judgement and forgiveness, about recovery and redemption. I read it in one afternoon, just couldn’t put it down. A winner.”

That’s my honest response. Really really liked it.”

I’ve never been so shocked in my whole life. When I had started writing THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, my greatest hope was that it wouldn’t suck. And now, THIS??? I have to admit, I cried a little. (To be fair, Jerry said he liked it, too. But he’s my brother. He has to say that.)

And so, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you. I don’t know if either one of them will read this, but I wish to express a massively huge thank you to Jerry Rapier and Eric Samuelsen. Your willingness to help me is immeasurable and something I doubt I will ever be able to repay. And since Jerry is continuing to hook me up, additional thanks are directed your way.

I have to admit, I’m now getting a tad excited for August.

THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER, by Ryan Rapier, arrives in August 2013 from Cedar Fort Publishing.

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2 thoughts on “Excuse Me, Sir, Can You Spare Your Name?”

  1. You so could have gotten Stephanie. I am sure she knows how it works. Ryan, really, you gotta think outside the box. There are ways. But glad you scrounged a good one up.

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