Apr 6, 2007

"THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME, THE CLOSER I GET"

Bocci balls, you guys. Read this! I, of course, got permission from the source of this email to post it and will allow your comments fuel the result.

Dear Ms. Guth,

I am a really big fan of yours. I have read
Three Fallen Women three times and every time I have read it, I get more and more out of it. Your writing is brilliant, incredible and has even been haunting at times.

My purpose for writing is two-fold. First I am curious if you are aware of any sort of fan club for you and your writing? I found many places on the web that had very positive things written about you, but nothing official so I wonder if you have a fan club offline or something? Secondly, if not, I wonder if you would consider starting one, or really, letting me start one. I am sure you would have many members. I will not start it if you are uncomfortable, but I think it would be really cool and lots of people would join it and you could maybe be involved a little so you'd feel comfortable with what was happening with it.


The email goes on, but that is really the crux of it. Initially, I laughed at the thought of this. Then, I thought well, it couldn't hurt. Then, I laughed again. Then, I emailed back and forth with this fellow and got his permission to post part of the email here so we can suss it all out in the comment section.

I think my only hang-up is something in the vein of a fear that having a fan club might make me look... uh... what's the word I want? It might make me look ridiculous? Which is silly because plenty of authors have fan clubs and they don't look ridiculous and I am really very touched to have such wonderful readers and should probably let them run with their whims. Anyway, what gives? What do you think? Let's work this out. How should I handle this? At this moment, I am on the fence.

27 comments:

posey girl said...

Couldn't hurt. What is the worst that could happen? Isn't popularity how authors sell books?

dan m. said...

Maybe I could start a little group on MySpace instead? I just think it would be cool. If you are uncomfortable don't worry.

(I'm the guy who wrote her that email)

Amy Guth said...

Aw, damnit I thought writing my best would sell books. I've had this all wrong. :)

"jew" "girl" said...

honey, build a bridge and get right over that. GO FOR IT! it's fantastic. with a little guth jhush it could be high camp if ya know what I mean!

Amy Guth said...

You know, Dan, it isn't really an issue of being uncomfortable, it's just... well, I guess I am just more inclined to modesty in this area...? But, as Posey Girl pointed out, it probably would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I think your problem maybe is fear of success.

Amy Guth said...

No, it really isn't a fear of success issue, or I probably wouldn't have submitted the manuscript in the first place and probably wouldn't be so aggressive about remaining freelance. And, really, did a fanclub ever make or break a career? Not likely.

I think it is more a fear of looking ridiculous. :)

Any other authors out there with fan clubs that care to chime in? How do you feel about it?

dan m. said...

Anonymous, no! Plug into the buzz. She's works hard for her success, she's definitely not one of those writers that sit around and can't get over themselves enough to submit anything. She works it.

holly said...

You charmed the hell out of all of us here in New Orleans. If they make you a fan club, I'll join it!

clg said...

You sure did! It was great to meet you in nola. Your reading was great-- come back down for a full length reading sometime!

As for the club, well, why not?

Amy Guth said...

Haha, Schwartzy, you crack me up. New phrase alert! Build a bridge and get over it. Love that.

cunningham said...

NO WAY! People might think you're behind it and then you'd maybe look like a psycho.

dan m. said...

it would be a good way to measure how people are percieving you...?

Eric Spitznagel said...

The only way you'd look even slightly ridiculous is if you personally started the fan club. I could understand why that might be misconstrued as nepotism. But if a reader adores your writing so much that he wants to start a fan-run website in your honor, how can you possibly say no?

Plenty of writers have fan-sites that they occasionally collaborate with - Chuck Palahniuk's readers even started a "Writer's Cult" that Chuck contributes to with exclusive updates on his latest projects - and nobody accuses them of being egotistical assholes. If some people think you've secretly started it, well, that's their problem, not yours. There's no shortage of jealous hacks who need to believe that more successful writers must be the architects behind their own buzz. Look at what happened to Dave Eggers.

I say do it. The world needs more Amy Guth.

new york hack writer guy said...

you're a lot better known that you give yourself credit for. people know who you are whether you realize that or not. let the guy do his thing and enjoy your success. some of us have been in the middle of the industry for years and have been published (three times, each with major publishing houses) and haven't seen half the success and word of mouth you have. but that's because your book is remarkable and anyone who has met you really enjoys being around you. i've never met you, but plenty of people I know have and they all remarked that you're different because you're quite humble and charming and funny. i say roll with it, sister, you only live once. keep up the great work.

Pretty Pink Ink said...

David Cassidy had a fan club - and you are way cooler then he ever was.

You already have a great website, a very cool blog - how about a message board to discuss your work? Maybe a mailing list...

I think that Poppy Z brite has that kind of thing going on.

I think that when most people think fan club, they do think of David Cassidy etc ... and it doesn't have to be that way.

By the way, I still have my membership card to the Shawn Cassidy fan club.

Amy's Mom said...

Ok. I have had time to mull this over, so here goes. I totally understand the worry of looking ridiculous, but as long as you didn't start the club, I don't think that would happen. But you know what? I think New York hack writer just might be on to something. You probably are more famous than you think. Maybe it is time for you to realize that you really are talented and smart and charming and worthy of all of this recognition. All of this work that you have done forever is finally starting to pay off.
Do you remember when you were little and total strangers would come up to you and tell you that one day you were going to be famous? For crying out loud, you were just a little kid! But there was something in you that everyone saw.
Maybe your time has finally come. Enjoy this ride you are on. There is no telling where you will wind up. Let it happen. You deserve it.
Let Dan do his thing and see what happens. You might be surprised.
Love,
Mom

miontorus said...

I'd recommend keeping your independence. Isn't a Blog sufficient for that purpose?

I came across your Blog this afternoon looking for an image with the google search engine that might show downtown Chicago flooded. This was after reading an article earlier today about Lake Superior warming up. I had a dream after moving from Chicago to California some years ago that downtown Chicago flooded. I worked in the Sears Tower for a number of years.

I'm a schmuck, I'll admit, because I was drawn in to your Blog by your pictures (and that you are a writer in Chicago with a google Blog). I don't remember the exact chain of links that brought me here, but the image on your novel THREE FALLEN WOMEN certainly got my attention. Now, this image has great meaning for me, as you'll see by where I placed it in the Blog that I've just started. The Blog is in the early stages, but it should start cohering in the next month. I hope you're not put off by the topic, and that I have a photo of your novel there, as this reflects on a topic of which I have a great interest.

As they say about the End of Days: "Build a bridge and get over it!"

Sincerely, miontorus
http://apocalypseanydaynow.blogspot.com/

Leah said...

I say, "Go for it!"

Amy Guth said...

Ma Guth, I have no memory of anyone doing that! They did? Freaky.

Amy's Mom said...

Yes it really happened. You were real little, maybe 3 or so. Freaked me out for sure.

Amy Guth said...

Weird, Ma Guth. I had no idea. Well, there we have it, then. What the hell was I doing when people said that? This wasn't the time i tried to give a stranger your department store charge card, was it? Did they mean criminally famous? Nyuk, nyuk.

Amy's Mom said...

Actually, as I remember it, you were just standing around looking really cute. This lady came over and was saying how beautiful you were and kept giving you the eye. Well, with my overactive imagination, you can probably guess the kind of things running through my mind. Anyway, she finally said that she just wanted to tell me that one day you were going to be famous and to take good care of you. Then she turned and left me standing there with my mouth hanging open. And you naturally said something (rather loudly from what I remember) about how you were going to be the most famous ballerina in all the universe. Which lead to the the ballet shoes and tutus, etc.
It happened another time when you were older after a play you were in. One of the cast members( don't remember his name) told me that one day you would be famous and "probably forget about all us little people". I assured him that I would not let that happen.
And one other time one of your friends, got mad at you and I was talking to her and she blurted out that she was mad because you were going to be more famous than her. She just knew it.
So there you have it. Three times. Threes are good, right?

Amy Guth said...

WHAT?!? I don't have any recollection of any of this.

I used to love ballet class. Uh, until my teacher told me my knockers were too big for ballet. (I was a bit of an early bloomer) Eh well. But, I remember that yellow tutu I had, and as I recall, I wore it with purple and pink tights from my witchy Halloween costume, so then it was punk rock. There you have it, folks.

Amy Guth said...

Miontorus, what the hell are you talking about? My bookcover is a photo of a drain. What do i have to do with the end of days?

miontorus said...

>>Miontorus, what the hell are you talking about? My bookcover is a photo of a drain. What do i have to do with the end of days?>>

I'll try to explain. Wouldn't want your mom to think you have crackpots for fans - she has high hopes for you. I posted your book cover right next to a passage from the Book of Revelation. I actually saw that image in a dream years ago when I lived in the Bay Area. The sun is described as a "black sackcloth of hair" -- a very fitting image for a drain, which is black, and captures hair. And, the blood. The passage describes the moon being blood red. A drain is a fitting metaphor... I mean, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the picture on your book cover was Hitchcock's PSYCHO. Remember the shower, the drain, the blood. What was Hitchcock getting at there? Was he filming "just a drain?" Who picked the art for your book cover? Is it a fitting symbol for your novel? Didn't you say in an interview that if you had to write a thesis, it would be about ritual and symbolism?? Also, you talked about that ancient Greek device for tracking the planets and stars... in the book HAMLET'S MILL, by Giorgio De Santillana, he argues that all myths (and dare shall we say novels?) have their roots in the planets and stars, as does the Book of Revelation. Giorgio talks alot about ancient myths predicting a great whirpool in the ocean at the end of days (a "drain" shall we say).

miontorus said...

here's a link to a picture someone drew about the passage in the Book of Revelation that is somewhat similar to your novel cover:

http://www.jrbell.com/cgi-bin/pics.cgi/200