The story behind The Scam and the Sun Dance adventure is interesting and entertaining. I think.
Scam was written in 1982 but, because of unfortunate circumstances, it disappeared into a trunk; it never left home but it had safe haven. I never throw my manuscripts away, I have a trunk full, so when it resurfaced in 1985, after my husband died-a terribly sad time for me-I was delighted to see it. It was a happy moment out of the past, an old friend come to ease my journey. I plunked myself down on the floor-my house was in the process of coming back together after a painful pause- and began turning pages. It wasn’t long before I was laughing so hard my side hurt, a welcome and unexpected gift. I knew the story, all the characters in the story, and how it ended, but I’d completely forgotten how I got them to their journey’s end.
Scam was written in the zone. All athletes and writers know how wonderful that is. We do our best work in that special space- Shirley McLain calls it channeling-but all I knew was that I had created a time-the 60’s- a location-Kauai’s North Shore, tossed in a generous pot full of people, knew how their story ended, and then sat back and taken dictation. I’d written it in ink on long yellow legal, a lenghty process, and, once a week, transferred one chapter-words, sentences and paragraphs- to blank paper on an ancient portable typewriter. But I had no idea, as I flipped smudgy papers right to left, how I got them out of the mess I got them in.
So pleased was I when I finished, I packed it up-as was- and sent it off to New York. Then, wonder of wonders, I got an Agent. Boy, did I think I was something! “Darling,” I’d say to my friends “I just spoke with my Agent in New York…”
This guy got me to the best Houses in the Big Apple and all who read it loved it. One Editor even said, “We could take it and make a hit of it.” But they all agreed, they wouldn’t touch the 60’s with a ten foot pole. Back it went to the trunk.
It resurfaced this year, 2011- and, guess what?-the 60’s were in style. It’s time had come.
However, to get to a publisher one must have an Agent and the odds of getting an agent today are 30,000 to 1. Everyone with a computer is writing a book. So, in August, I packed it up- cleaned up on a computer and bound in red dime-store binding- and hauled it off to an incredible friend, Arnold Meister. You can read his review on the back cover of the book. It was so glowing, I walked on air for a week; but he said something to me that really set me off, “Every actor or actress in the world would die to play one of these roles. All we have to do is get it in the right hands.”
…and that’s how Robert Redford and Sun Dance got in the act.
Be sure, before you read the next exciting account, you check out The Scam by Bettejo Dux. You’ll get to my new Website and Amazon. Enjoy. Enjoy. Maybe, if you live on Kauai, we’ll meet Friday at Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe.