June 23, 2007

I Made John Grisham Famous!

Now wait, hold on. Don’t leave yet, just because you think Beth has finally driven me over the edge. I’m telling the truth, this really happened! Well, in a sorta kinda roundabout way anyhow. And pssst, it’s a secret, just between you and me! Don’t go telling him, I’m sure he thinks he did it all by himself and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Also, I may need him for a blurb one day. He’ll probably do it, too. After all, just look what I did for him.

A few years ago Beth and I had started writing a book called MURDER ONLINE (you can read the first chapter and reviews on our books page.) We got three chapters written and since we had a completed synopsis, confident thing that I am, I talked Beth into doing the agent search thing. We’d already had three books published by major publishers so we figured we could sell on proposal. We looked at a lot of agents, then picked five names out of Jeff Hermon’s book, completely unaware that the agent, who for some reason sounded most interesting, was John Grisham’s agent (at the time). We sent five queries out and settled in to write the rest of the book while we waited.

Four days later we got a call from this agency, which I won’t name. A lady there with a very nice voice told us that our book sounded lovely and could we send the full, because The Big Agent would like to see it.


We explained that we only had the three chapters done, but we knew from experience that we could write and edit a full chapter a week, so it would be several weeks. The nice lady said to hurry up and finish it, the market was hot for this kind of book, so get it to them as soon as possible.

At the time, Beth still had a full time job. Out of necessity, you understand, she has to be here when I’m writing my parts. But she told the lady they’d have it in their hands within a couple of months.

During this time, Beth mentioned the agent’s name to a couple of writer friends and they said, “My God, that’s John Grisham’s agent, didn’t you know that?”


No, we didn’t. But now that we did, fame and fortune was On The Way!

You never saw anyone write so much so fast. Every evening and all day on weekends we plowed on, daydreaming, when we had the chance, about walking down the Trump Towers stairway toward all the adoring fans waiting on the main floor with champagne, toasting us as we glided, not walked actually, in our shimmering gold gown cut up to HERE and down to THERE, while heading straight for the draped podium where our Pulitzer was waiting.

(Trump Towers IS where they hand them out, right? Well maybe not, but for us maybe they would. Never hurts to ask.)

We finally finished the book. It took us about three months, but finally, off it went.

Meantime, we were, well, at least in our minds, hobnobbing with The Greats. Talk about an ego trip! I think it was about then that one of our writers’ club members handed us a pair of torn thongs at one of our meetings and said, “This is JUST to remind you that WE knew you when you had HOLES in your pants.”


The irony was, we were sitting there with holes in our (cotton) pants anyhow. Just wearin’ ’em out until we could afford our new satin Victorias Secrets.

Well, that comment did puncture our shimmering gold balloon just a little…

Now you understand, by this time we had developed, we thought, a good relationship with The Big Agent’s office staff. We had, while we were writing, kept them updated on our progress. We were friends. Good friends. Drinkin’ Buddies. Our children would meet and marry. We would all vacation together. That kind of friends, you know what I mean.

(That’s always a mistake. But I make those all the time, nothing new there.)

Late one afternoon we heard a thud! at the door. We knew what it was before we hit the living room (we’d heard it before) (we still hear it) and opened the door. But just for kicks, since even in our idiotically blind state we knew a returned manuscript isn’t a good sign, we figured we’d open it anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I always say. Although wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said it first? Anyone know?

Anyhow, there was no note. No nothing. Just the manuscript.

We called the agency to find out what happened. Now, we’re not sure of the exact sequence here, but we were told that the agent, who was living in Florida, had died, so someone down there had sent the manuscript back. Without a damn rejection letter. I mean, it’s a simple thing, isn’t it? “We cannot represent this book because the agent just died.” Or, God forbid, “We can’t represent this book because it ______ . (You fill in the blanks.)

We have to figure our manuscript killed him. We take full credit. Makes sense to us. At least, to me.

Right about that time we heard that John Grisham had left that agency. THEN, and ONLY THEN, his career REALLY took off bigtime. And he owes it all to me. Because my book killed his old agent and the new one did everything right.

Well, using Hotclue logic, he does owe it all to me, doesn’t he? After all, if it hadn’t been for me (us)….

But hey, don’t tell him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. He thinks he did it all by himself.

So that’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it. Thanks so much for stopping by, y’all! Come back again soon. You never know what you’ll find here. We love you all, you KNOW we do!

Cheers, Hots and Beth. Sarge says tell y’all hey, and she’s getting anxious to shoot a few more commercial Furballs your way.

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  1. LOL! I knew you were going to write this up as a blog and you finally did. I love this story. Sorry I haven’t stopped by for a while but you know how it goes.

    I hope John Grishman fans the world over are giving a sigh of relief and including the two of you in their nightly prayers.


  2. Oh, I’m sure they are, Gabrina. I’m SURE they are.

    Cheers, Hots







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