If you're not familiar with the movie 'Tommy Boy' you may not quite understand the title of this article. Well, basically there's a scene in that movie where Richard (David Spade) is telling Tommy (Chris Farley) that his father could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. Selling A Ketchup Popsicle to a Woman in White Gloves, Justin Seeley, (2015).
Some years ago, I tuned in to a discussion by the late, great author Tom Clancy. He had - virtually single-handedly - created the military/political thriller genre during an era when American armed services still existed under the shadow of the Vietnam experience. His servicemen (and women - on one memorable scene from Red Storm Rising an Air Force F-15 Eagle driver with the apropos call sign of "Buns" splashes several bombers and a satellite a generation before the real military allowed women into combat roles) were virtuous, witty and supremely competent. He became an icon of sorts, the military loved him and he catted about in all kinds of regalia as though he had, in fact, filled the roles.
Except - he hadn't.
When the discussion began, it was amazing how reedy and shallow his voice was. He had, as the saying goes, a radio voice made for the newspaper business. Not all gallant warriors sound like Sam Elliott, or Lauren Bacall - given. Clancy sounded downright meek. But, that wasn't the most interesting thing.
His presentation had nothing to do with the military, or descriptions of guns or planes. It was totally about the business of getting published, and keeping the attention of your fans. That's what he found the most compelling part of his art. I turned it off. Who gave a crap about that stuff?
(Sound of throat clearing). Who knew, right?
Now that my novels have been released back to me, it's time to act like the small business person I am. I have engaged Heather Grady at Insit LLC (pronounced insight) to start marketing my writing.
Ketchup popsicle, anyone?