Off The Wall: Vacuuming in the Nude

Mike – Your mother’s new book sounds hysterical. And the cover made me laugh out loud. I just wanted to tell you I pre-ordered my copy. Is it as funny as it sounds? Does your mother really vacuum in the nude? Samantha Schneider

Hi Sam

I can’t tell you if my mother actually vacuums in the nude. If she does, I would prefer not to know. I can tell you that she has written a very funny book about the business of rejection, perseverance, encouragement, and the many things people do to get attention. As some of you know, my mother accumulated sixty years of rejection slips from every major publisher, but never gave up on her quest to become a bestselling author, which she finally achieved at the age of eighty. This book explains how that happened.

I can also tell you that she was uncomfortable with the cover the first time she saw it. The illustrator is an artist I know named Jamie Buckley, who just happens to be the father of thirteen children.

“Oh, Michael, I don’t know about this illustration. I look too glamorous. Too slender. Do you think Jamie could frump me up a little? Maybe add a few pounds?”

“We’re trying to sell books, mom. Not scare people away.”

“But it doesn’t even look like me! I mean, the face does, but where are the varicose veins on my legs? The liver spots on my hands? The crow’s feet around my eyes? It’s not realistic. I wouldn’t want people to think that this is how I see myself.”

“Well then, why don’t we fire Jamie and just hire a photographer? We’ll strip you down, lose the barrel, give you a real vacuum, and let it all hang out. How would your Little Facebook Friends like to see that, staring out from the window of Barnes and Noble?”

The silence lasted about ten seconds.

“Well, I certainly don’t want to fire a man with thirteen children. I guess it’s fine the way it is.”

I just finished the foreword a few minutes ago and hope it does justice to the book it precedes. It’s her best work so far, and you guys are going to love it. Pre-orders are available here.

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