By Jack Engelhard
Once, yes, I did give in. I went on the Today Show and was interviewed by Matt Lauer. That’s when Indecent Proposal first came out. First my novel, then the Paramount movie. When I watched the replay I kept referring to myself as “That guy.” As in, “Who is that guy and what is he talking about?” I wondered why “he” had no eyebrows. Was it the lighting? I came in with eyebrows!
Why is “he” not more glib? He is awfully glib at home. Where is the wit? Where is the wisdom? Where is the charm? I had it when I left the house.
My agent at the time and all the rest them said I did “beautifully.” What they meant was – I did not make a COMPLETE fool of myself and that makes it “beautiful.”
I mean it – writers should stay home. We have no business going out there to market. That’s why God invented salesmen. That’s why we write. So we won’t have to sell. It’s called – or used to be called – the gift of gab. We should have it for the typewriter, but not for the camera or the microphone. Most of us – novelists – are grumpy and moody and that’s no way to make a sale.
(I did spill my guts out on the hardships facing a writer in the novel Slot Attendant.)
I also did Larry King. This was on the radio. Larry said I was about to become rich and famous.
I bring this up because another movie has been made from one of my writings. This time it’s “My Father, Joe,” taken from part one of my book of memoirs, Escape From Mount Moriah and filmed by Canada’s A-List film-maker Nikila Cole. The book is my baby. The movie is her baby. I did my part. She did hers. (The movie is being premiered in Toronto, Sept. 12.) Am I about to become rich and famous AGAIN?
Friends advise me to get out there and “market” and, oh yes, “network.” Who? Me? Never. Not my style. Writers should write and then shut up. Let the writing do the talking. Over the years I’ve declined book tours and book signings and I will do so again. Yes, I am a party pooper. Don’t call me Shirley and don’t call me Ishmael, but you may call me a hermit, even a recluse.
I’ll tell you this. I think all my books are pretty darned good. They should all be bestsellers. Some are; some are not. A reader asks why I am not doing more to promote The Bathsheba Deadline, since this novel was prophetic enough to foresee all that’s going on up to this very minute, like the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque. My answer is that I can do no more.
Like I said, I did the writing. The rest is up to the good people who do the marketing, the advertising and the networking. Actually, the rest is up to God.
Jack Engelhard’s international bestseller Indecent Proposal (the source of the Paramount movie) has been re-published and re-issued and is available from Amazon. His latest books are The Bathsheba Deadline and The Girls of Cincinnati. He can be reached at www.jackengelhard.com