“May I get a photo?” I ask, embarrassed by my own fangirling.
Dana Fuchs, goddess with a whisky voice, pushes back from the table. “Come here.” She pats her leg. “Sit down.”
I sit on the lap of an honest-to-god rock star and movie star. She kisses my cheek, wraps her arm around me, and presses her face to mine for the photo.
Dana Fuchs had just poured herself into her performance on stage, singing and dancing for almost two hours, yet she was tireless while meeting fans after the show.
Dana’s been on Oprah and headlined concerts across the US and Europe. She’s a blues musician, rocker, and movie star. She starred as Sadie in the Beatles musical Across the Universe. She was the lead in Love, Janis, an off-Broadway play about Janis Joplin.
If we want to talk about reasons people could think they’re hot shit, the 6-foot-tall singer and songwriter has plenty. (Picture the love child of Janis Joplin and River Song.) Yet she’s the most approachable person I’ve ever met. During the night’s performance, she serenaded a fan with ‘Happy Birthday’ and gushed how honored she was he spent his birthday with her. After the show, she asked about me. She wants to read my book, she said. We both laughed at our propensity to cuss in public. When a lady offered vodka shots, Dana passed one to me. We three toasted and tilted back our glasses. (Dana sipped white wine instead.) She thanked me profusely, hugged and kissed me goodbye.
What writers can learn
I’ve been fortunate to meet hundreds of writers. I’ve seen writers love and connect with readers, and I’ve shaken my head as aloof authors ignored the people who make their living. For instance, three young authors were touring. Instead of greeting readers as we arrived for their event, they clustered in the staff area of the bookstore, in sight but off limits. One reader confessed she’d traveled almost four hours one way and stayed overnight to see one of the authors. “Thanks,” the author said flatly. That was it. The reader left after the signing with no one-on-one time with the author. I didn’t hear the author ask about the reader. She didn’t shake the reader’s hand. There was definitely no lap sitting.
I’m an introvert. I’m shy. I can sympathize with all sorts of social awkwardness. But I’ve got no patience for writers who can’t show a little love. There’s no room for aloofness in a writer’s life. Get over it.
Chuck Wendig jokingly encouraged authors to get in snits and trash hotel rooms and generally act like motherf*^#king rockstars. I want authors to act like DanaFuching rock stars and show a little more love and gratitude.
If my day ever comes, you better believe I am.
Listen to Dana
See more and listen at Dana Fuchs Band website.
Elle Blair is blogging her writing process today.
Join us at James River Writers!
Saturday night my family gathered at my sister’s farm. It was almost midnight, but that didn’t stop us from lighting the bonfire. We ate marshmallows, uniformly charred on the outside until perfection, laughed, roasted apples in the coals just for the heck of it, threw said roasted apples at each other, and had this conversation:
Me: “Daddy, is there somewhere on the farm you wouldn’t mind broken glass?”
Dad (with a gleam in his eye): “Why?”
Me: “I want to make Molotov cocktails.”
Dad: “Yes! As long as I get to help.”
I love my family. Who else encourages literary career exploration through improvised incendiary weapons?