Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You can’t (can you?)

This morning I received wonderful news. Really, it’s a dream come true. But first, a little backstory. (That’s what’s called a tease.) I’ve been a fan of musician Chris de Burgh since I first saw the video for “Don’t Pay The Ferryman” on MTV in the early 80’s. He continued to put out more LPs with other hits like “High On Emotion”, “Missing You” and probably his most known song, “The Lady In Red”. America’s taste in music changed over time, and while Chris de Burgh was still very popular in Europe and Canada, his popularity waned in America.
Chris de Burgh has continued to put out LPs and has done very well around the world. He’s sold over 40 million albums. As a fan, I’d buy each of his new works as they were released, even if I had to get them imported. In 2006, he released “The Storyman.” Included on this LPs was a song called “The Mirror of the Soul.” It’s epic. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. And, it tells an amazing story.

During this time in my life, I was writing “The Hidden Sun” as well as “The Waxing Moon.” And then I thought to myself, “The Mirror of the Soul” would make an excellent book.

But how does a person born in Wyoming and raised in Utah go about getting permission with one of his favorite artists, let alone ask him and his management for permission to write a book?

Just as with many parts of my life, I heard people’s voices telling me, “That’s not practical. What makes you think you could even do it? What makes you think they’ll even respond?” But … what would it hurt to try?

So, I went on a quest to find a way to contact Chris de Burgh’s management. After several tries, I was able to make contact. To my surprise, and delight, they responded. They requested an outline of the book. I realized that I would have a challenge writing a full length book based on one song. So, I decided to incorporate many of Chris de Burgh’s songs that interwove throughout the main story. I finished my three page outline and submitted it. Within a fairly short period of time, I got a response—including notes from Chris de Burgh himself! They gave me permission to write it, with the stipulation that they would need to review the final draft before I got the final permission.

Over the course of a year, I wrote, revised and had the book edited. I submitted it to Chris de Burgh’s management … and heard nothing. I knew Chris was in the middle of touring and releasing his latest LP, so I gave it time while I worked on other projects. I would send more emails time and again, and still, no response. I was starting to get worried. Did they hate the book? Are they being nice by just not replying? They had been so quick to respond before.

Finally, I loaded Skype on my computer and called England. I spoke to a wonderful lady there who told me they had a change in personnel, as well as a change in email addresses. It turns out, they hadn’t received my updates! I resent them the manuscript and as of this morning, I got the green light from them! Whoo hoo!

To make this more exciting, I had submitted the manuscript to my publisher and they had told me they were interested. And so, the stars are aligning. And all because I didn’t listen to the people who told me “you can’t” and instead listened to the voice inside me that said, “you can!”

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