Back when I was binge watching episodes of ‘Scandal’ – after coming to the party two years too late – I remember sighing with relief when Olivia took Jake’s hand and finally decided to run away with him in order to “live in the sun”. All this Fitz and DC political stress was just too much! I wanted Kerry to have some peace. But where would that leave the show and the rest of the Gladiators, I wondered? How could Kerry Washington abandon them?!? Would she send IMs or post cards? Thanks to the power of Hulu, I didn’t have to wait to find out. I dove into the next season headfirst.
So there was Olivia/Kerry, sunning herself on the beach, clad in a gorgeous white halter swimsuit, sipping on ice water and staring out into the endless blue horizon. The wind played with her curls. Her lips were parted, as though she were anticipating something. (Kerry’s lips are always parted in anticipation. I love that about her mouth. That, and the way she says ‘NO’.) Next to her drink sat a book: Gone Girl. The camera panned on it for a while before cutting Jake who had suddenly materialized and bent down to greet her with a kiss.
In that few seconds, I shifted from a voracious ‘Scandal’ consumer to an affected author, impressed by what those few seconds must have meant to (and for) Gillian Flynn, the book’s author. The exposure the book got in those few seconds was unquantifiable! (Challenge to my friends who work in the field of valuation. Pull out your Hogwarts wands and try to work out the worth of that incident if you can!)
As I suspected, sales of Gone Girl received a bump in the weeks following that brief moment of exposure. But in that moment, I only had one thought…and it wasn’t about book sales.
Man, I said to myself, I would love to see one of my books in a television star’s hands one day. How cool would that be?
And then I left the thought at that. Guess what happened almost a year and a half after I had that internal dialogue? Wait!! No, no… don’t guess! Let me tell you!
I was on Instagram yesterday when I received a private message from a friend whose name translates as “a glow” from our local language. She said:
“Not a very clear shot, but isn’t that a copy of Daughters of Swallows on ‘An African City’?”
Well daggonit if it wasn’t! I was amazed…even more amazed that my glittering friend had recognized it so quickly. Well spotted, Glow.
So let me tell you what you’re looking at if you’re unfamiliar with the show. This is Nana Yaa, the lead character on An African City, played by MaameYaa Boafo. She’s obviously in her bed…alone. There may be a dude about to pop over for a quick shag or snake his way uninvited into her room from the balcony. I don’t know – and you never know with An African City. (I haven’t watched Season 2 yet.) But whatever. The point is Nana Yaa is in her bed, with MY book in her hands on what is arguably one of the most popular web series in existence today, in Africa or otherwise. A fleeting thought – a daydream had actually come true!
I had no idea that the show’s creator (Nicole Amarteifio) was going to incorporate Daughters of Swallows as a prop in the story line. A few folks have asked me about the legality of using my books image without my consent or permission. My answer is I don’t know and I don’t care. Nana Yaa could have flung the book away from her in disgust and declared that “Daughters of Swallows is boo boo and I can’t believe I wasted unrecoverable hours of my life reading it!” before filing her nails and guzzling a liter of wine to soothe her aggravated senses. I wouldn’t have cared.
Because there is/was MY book.
On the screen.
Just as I hoped it might be one day, once upon a dream.
Thank you, Nicole, cast and crew of An African City for making this fantasy a reality – and most important of all, thank you GlowY for bringing it to my attention. 😉
Now lets see if I can dream up three million dollars in sales…