One of my all-time favorite movies is the 1991 comedy “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. When I chance upon it on TV, I can still sit there on the couch, point at the screen and laugh out loud. And when the Heimlich Maneuver scene unfolds, I go into a full-on fit with tears streaming down my face — at which point my wife pats me on the leg and whispers, “I think I’ll leave you alone.”
“What About Bob?” features an annoying but harmless “multiphobic obsessive compulsive psychiatric patient” (Murray) who won’t leave his successful psychiatrist (Dreyfuss) alone. All the good doctor wants is a restful, Bob-free family vacation at the lake; problem is, Murray’s Bob Wiley follows him there. As the stalking continues, Bob slowly drives the doctor loony.
I got to thinking of this movie today — right after I sent my literary agent, Jeff, another email. You see, I don’t want to annoy Jeff. I don’t want to keep sending him emails, as he already is overloaded with them. And being that I am capable of sending Jeff too many emails, I suddenly realized that I risk becoming the literary equivalent of Bob Wiley, the annoying client who won’t leave his savior alone.
But on the other hand, Jeff is about to start telling book editors about my novel, and it’s a major moment for me. I want to make sure I’ve given Jeff everything that could help him, which is why today I sent him a kind of cheat sheet to my book. It summarizes some of the selling angles we’ve discussed, and it offers my crudely developed list of editors who’ve bought novels similar to mine. Mindful of possibly becoming the Bob Wiley of Jeff’s world, I did promise to “go away” for a long time and resume work on my next novel.
Have any of you sent your agent any sales leads? Or would that be too annoying, too Bob Wiley’sh?
September 5, 2007 at 8:59 am
Who doesn’t love that movie!
I would think Jeff will appreciate the cheat sheet — saves him some work. As far as sales leads — he’ll probably start with editors he has relationships with, but your list can’t hurt. Tenacity is a good thing and you don’t look at all like Bob (at least not yet).
September 7, 2007 at 9:38 am
I wouldn’t worry too much! It’s bound to excite you. At the same time though, when it’s published he’ll be taking his percentage, so don’t you do his work for him! 😉
September 13, 2007 at 2:54 pm
i was JUST looking to buy this flick last night because it’s just so fun, but, alas, i ate sushi instead. But thanks for reminding me that i need to buy it .. cuz i’m worth it.
As for your personal correlation — i say, tell that mofo that if he doesn’t return your calls, you’re going with “so ‘n so” then slam that mofo of a phone down. (not too hard, tho — they’re expensive, particularly for starving artists.) Do it!!!