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Brothers Gotta Plug
Book promotion as a family affair.
I don’t talk much about this in my newsletter, but in addition to writing novels and columns for various publications, I also do a lot of contract work for my publisher. Much of it has to do with their online presence, including marketing and promotional videos, and it at times entails working pretty closely with the publisher’s other authors.
Being that I’m kind of a people-person, I usually enjoy the correspondence, and find a number of my fellow authors to be pretty interesting. I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that those with a knack for storytelling would have fascinating life-stories themselves.
Among my publisher’s authors is a master sculptor, a neurological surgeon, an owner of an art museum, a legendary actor/comedian/impressionist, a nationally-ranked triathlete, an accomplished virologist, a former FBI Special Agent, and multiple television and film producers. The list goes on, and those with perhaps less exotic resumes often aren’t any less interesting. Lots of intriguing life-experiences contribute to the stories that are eventually written about and find their way to publishing.
I’m going to share one such example this week, since a revelation surrounding it knocked me back on my heels the other day.
I’ve been working with an author new to my publisher named Richard L. Quinn. He has written a wonderful family-life novel titled Blue Aviary, which released earlier this month.
Richard knows a lot about family, as is evident from this line in his author bio: “If not for his ten brothers and sisters, Richard Quinn might have been an only child.”
The quip gave me a chuckle the first time I read it, as did the next paragraph: “He grew up near Lake Superior in Michigan’s north. He joined the Navy during Vietnam, then attended Michigan State University with hopes of being a doctor. Instead, he became a carpenter. He’s been told it was a decision that spared lives.”
Anyway, I’ve been working on promotional efforts for Richard and his book, as I do with many other authors and books, and I’ve found that Richard is perhaps a little more reserved than most of the individuals I deal with (though reserved is a pretty common characteristic among writers). So, when he forwarded the marketing team a video-promo for his book last week, I was pleasantly surprised.
Richard humbly asked that we let him know if the video had a place in our marketing efforts, and he mentioned that his brother was the person in it. At first, it struck me as a little odd that his brother — rather than Richard himself — had starred in the on-camera plug for Richard’s book, but it quickly occurred to me that, because the novel is about family life, having a family member do the pitch could creatively make sense.
Then, I clicked on the video-link Richard provided. What came up is what you see below.
Holy Dharma Initiative! It was John Locke from the long-running ABC series, Lost!
More accurately, it was actor Terry O’Quinn, whose work I’ve been enjoying since long before the aforementioned role that won him an Emmy in 2007. Terry’s been starring in television and film since the early 1980s, and he’s a phenomenal actor. And here, as it turns out, he’s Richard’s brother. Clearly, talent runs in the family.
What’s funny is that, as a fan, I’ve long followed Terry on Instagram. And I actually saw that very video in my Instagram feed the night before, but got distracted by an incoming call before he had mentioned Richard’s name and held up his book.
Anyway, to answer Richard’s question: Yes, the video does indeed have a place in our marketing efforts. I enthusiastically expressed as much in my reply to him and the rest of the team, which compelled one of my marketing colleagues to privately tell me I sounded like a “fan-girl.”
But I do try to be a professional, which is why I’ve resisted every urge to email Terry (whose email-address was in the forward-exchange) with all of my unanswered questions about Lost. Because folks, I’ve still got a few.
Anyway, congratulations to Richard on the release of his book (which I hope you’ll all check out). Congratulations to Terry on his success as an actor. And to my own brother, Jim: Why can’t you be famous and help me sell books?
Question for Daly Grind readers: Who was your favorite “Lost” character? Let me know in an email or in the comment section below.
Friends in High Places
Last week on The No BS Zone video-cast, Bernie Goldberg and I were excited to have on special guest A.B. Stoddard from RealClearPolitics. We had a great conversation about President Biden’s trip to Ukraine, the 2024 election, and more.
A.B. is one of my favorite commentators, and she’s been covering DC politics for many years. She also happens to be a friend. I met her at a Weekly Standard event in Colorado Springs back in 2018, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. She was even kind enough to give me a book blurb for my fourth novel, Safeguard (which, by the way, is currently only $2.99 on Amazon Kindle).
Bernie and I have been working on adding guests to the show, and we couldn’t have asked for a better one than A.B.. And of course, we’d love to have Daly Grind readers become Bernard Goldberg members, and join us for lots of weekly news-commentary content. 😉
Here’s a sneak peek at last week’s episode.
Obligatory Dog Shot
Dog beds are hard.
Have you picked up your copy of RESTITUTION?
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This pretty-well beaten up (but still playable) album from 1973 features a couple of comedic legends, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks. I hadn’t heard of the 2,000-year-old man skit until I came across this piece in a record store, but I later learned it originated in 1960.
Reiner used to “interview” Brooks, who claimed to have been two millenniums old. During the interviews, Brooks would offer various insights and observations from his long list of life-experiences (which drew lots of laughs from live audiences). The two retired the act a few years later, but brought it back for this album.
It’s extraordinarily funny and quite irreverent (as one would expect, especially from Brooks). There are also a few exchanges that are downright offensive by today’s standards, but of course, the 60s and early 70s were a very different time.
If you’re curious about this silliness, you can listen to the album here.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading today’s Daly Grind.
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Take care. And I’ll talk to you soon!