Who You Know

- by Barbara Meyers

My father used to tell me “It’s not what you know it’s who you know.”  He was a wise man able to offer a pithy remark for just about any circumstance and his words of wisdom stuck with me because they are true.

On the morning of my thirty-second wedding anniversary (apropos of nothing except to show readers I am able to stick with something once I start) my husband brought in the local newspaper and said, “There’s an article here you might want to read.  It’s about an author who sold the movie rights to her book to the Hallmark Channel.”

Yes, dear that’s just what I want for my anniversary.  To read about someone more successful with her books than I am.  I told him probably what happened is she wrote a book that would have gone nowhere, gave it to somebody who knew somebody who worked for a movie producer who passed it along up the food chain and wah-la!  Movie deal.  Not like I haven’t read about this exact scenario a time or two before.

Since I feigned complete disinterest, my husband tossed that section of the newspaper into the recycling bin along with the rest of the day’s dull news.  The following day I decided perhaps I’d like to read that article after all.  Without complaint my long-suffering husband dug it out for me.

According to the article this author distributed her first published book to family members, one of whom lives in California who passed it along to a friend who is a Hollywood producer…

Am I psychic or what?

The article goes on to say the author wrote the book in five- and ten-minute snatches over five years until she finished it.  I guess I’m not the only woman who can stick with something once she starts.

A little more digging unearthed the fact that the book was self-published through a company I’d never heard of and the author also garnered an agent whose name meant nothing to me.  Good for her.  I’m sure this author will need an agent.  Now.

It’s a good thing none of us measure ourselves by someone else’s “success.”  I made sure my husband knew how essential it is to write a book with movie potential if you want to see it made into a movie.  Many romance novels lack that key element because they contain too much internal conflict and monologue.  (My husband is well aware of this because over the years I have reiterated it to him every time an article like this appears in the local paper.)

So what if another author sold movie rights to her self-published book on a fluke?  I’m not jealous.  Not the tiniest bit envious of her “success.”  That doesn’t make her a better writer than me.  It doesn’t mean her books are better than mine.

I know everything I need to know to be successful.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be doing a Facebook search for those long lost cousins of mine in California…


  1. What a great story Barbara! Sometimes life can surprise. Like you, I wish I had a California relative. Thanks for a great read.

  2. If I had a dime for every person who’s pointed out another “unknown” author’s success in order to, um, inspire me? Thanks for your insight.

  3. Thanks for commenting, ladies. I try to look at the lighter side of the writing life because sometimes it’s all just a bit too bizarre. All Ninc bloggers appreciate feedback. It’s nice to know we’re reaching you.

  4. Great post! You made me chuckle all the way through, mostly because you speak the truth and I recognized it.

  5. Thanks, Nancy. :)