I have been given a C+ in marketing. That's not the worst grade a person can get. I mean it's not an F! But having grown up never satisfied receiving anything less than an A, this has been a hard pill to swallow.
Actually, the grade was given to me by one of the kindest, sweetest, holiest men on God's green earth, Deacon Tom Fox of Catholic Vitamins. He's such a nice man that I'm sure he wished he could give me a better grade than that; but alas, among his many other fine qualities he is a man of integrity and cannot tell a lie.
Deacon Tom had me as a guest on his podcast--to discuss my Catholic YA novel, Erin's Ring. To say that I was a nervous wreck leading up to our phone chat is putting it mildly. My grade before the recording session began? A+. I was doing A+ work in nervousness. The experience didn't end up being as terrifying as I thought it would be, and wonder of wonders, I was able to carry on a somewhat normal conversation with Deacon Tom. I may have talked a bit too fast, as is my wont (I'm sure I got an A+ in speed-talking), but I didn't do all that badly.
A few weeks after the podcast, Deacon Tom asked if I would be willing to record a short Catholic Vitamins promo. All I had to say was this: "Hi, this is Laura Pearl, author of Erin's Ring, a Catholic story of faith and family found in a young teenage girl's search for the origin and meaning of an Irish Claddagh ring...and you are listening to Catholic Vitamins--a podcast with over five years' history nourishing Catholic Faith from A to Z..."
Easy peasy, right? WRONG!
When I tried to speak the way I normally do, I went much too fast. When I slowed it down a bit, it sounded like I was reading a script. Very gently, with a chuckle, Deacon Tom told me after two takes that my efforts had earned me a C+ in marketing. And then he asked if perhaps my husband (who's had lots of practice making PA announcements from the cockpits of airplanes) would be willing to do the promo for me.
So...my husband--my back-haver, hero, and favorite person on earth--did the promo, beginning, "Hi, this is Tim Pearl, husband of Laura Pearl..." And he sounded like a total pro. In one take, he had it nailed. And Deacon Tom gave him a well-deserved A+.
here is a recent review of Erin's Ring, posted by my Aussie friend Erin of Seven Little Australians and Counting.
Thanks, my hero. And thanks, Erin. You both earn top grades. It takes a village to promote a work of Catholic fiction--and I'm so glad to have you in my village!