Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kara talks "I'm Stalking Jake!"

I sometimes (all the time?) glorify the level of dedication I had in getting I'm Stalking Jake! written and published as quickly as possible, and in doing so, forget that it was actually a horrendously difficult process that frequently left me wracked with insecurity.  In the process of writing my book proposal - which I wrote after the book itself - I asked Kara for advice because, in the panic of having to explain what I'd written, I managed to convince myself that I had just put all of that effort into something that was worthless.  Proving for the umpteenth time that she was an incredible friend (and human being), this is (part of) what Kara wrote back to me after reading a rough draft of the book.

(P.S. just passed 1,000,000 page views.  It's no Jake Watch, but for a blog about a book, it's done well for itself.)

Ok, first things first: your book is needed. It is necessary. [...] In some ways your book isn't really even about a blog. (well it is, but that's not all it is.) Your book is complex: it is about how you went after something you wanted, about how you lived essentially two different lives - one as Becky and one as Prophecy Girl, and how the online world (through a blog) allowed you to do that. 

Your book is completely about you. It's about how you set out to do something - to find something - to be something and possibly someone else in an online world, but also in the real world to express your admiration and appreciation for an artist - to be supportive while also serving a greater need to other fans. But, ultimately, your book boils down to your journey and how the events of your post-graduation years shaped who you are now. It's about what you learned and how you grew. It's about a college graduate with the world at her fingertips and how she survived, and not only survived but carved a niche for herself and became famous among a group of fans. It's about growth and learning and finding your own way and (as corny as all this may sound) about the lessons you learned - how dreams don't necessarily always come true, but then again, maybe your original dreams change as you work to achieve them because of experiences and things you learn...

Your book is funny. It is sad. It is uplifting as well as depressing at times. It is real and your delivery of adventure and the complexity of battling real emotions is felt by the reader. Yes, perhaps the lure of Jake will draw readers; but, really, Jake is simply the carrot in front of the horse. [...] Your book reveals how much popular culture and celebrities do influence the lives of fans, but even more it details how you make sense of this fandom in your everyday life. And by doing this, your book opens the door to a whole new sub-genre in the book-blog genre. This sub-genre is one in which a blog is merely a character. Ultimately your book is a memoir of your personal experiences and adventures and where they led you. Jake and the blog simply happened to be your personal carrots and outlets for creativity, which also speaks to the time in which you are writing and living...

Your book wasn't a challenge that you presented to yourself (or that someone else presented to you) in an effort to find meaning in your life. Your book isn't about overcoming extreme adversities, but about overcoming everyday life and the everyday trials that present themselves in an attempt to derail average, normal people. Everything out there is about the exception and not the norm: about people that I can't relate to, but that I pity and then feel relieved that they overcame things. They're about people that I don't know and people that I never wish to be. They're about people coping with things that I would never want to cope with. And because of this, they're out of my reach. Yes I feel empathy towards the writers and am amazed at the feats they have overcome and accomplished, but I might as well be reading fiction as my personal situation is nothing like theirs and comparing the two would be silly.

Your book is about someone like me - someone I could know (and, hey I do know!) and someone I could be. In many ways I think that a lot of people experience very similar things to what you write about. And therefore there needs to be a book about those people - about the real people and real experiences. One that describes and explains the blog, but even more than that one that describes and explains the life and adventures of Becky - of the girl we could know and who we could be. Ok, so not every one travels like you did to meet their celebrity, but given the opportunity to do so - who wouldn't? You simply had the connections and the opportunity to travel and be adventuresome. Your memoir is the one that people can relate to...

I'm sure there are a ton of memoirs out there. It seems everyone is writing one: which is why yours should be published. Because everyone writing one is writing one that has already been written. Yours hasn't been published yet. Yours is different and real. Yours is a tale of survival in the everyday world - something all of us, particularly immediately out of college, single, not knowing what we're doing or where we're going girls, experience...


  1. Congrats on 1M views! So glad I have a signed copy!

  2. This is lovely and true.

    1. :) Thank you. This was a happy random find in my inbox a couple of weeks ago.