August 24, 2010

15-year-old you and your celebrity crush (and a contest)

Blog, you’re not 15 years old yet, but a lot of us passed that milestone awhile ago. And it’s to those folks that I pose the non-musical question, who was your celebrity crush when you were 15? Post your answer in the comments and you might be glad you did. But more on that a little later.

There are a couple of reasons why I choose the age of 15. One is the fact that 15 is in that interesting transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Most people have passed puberty, but not by much, so are still confused and overpowered by their new desires and attractions. Many people still cling, at least on some level, to childhood beliefs like knights in shining armor, magical princesses, and wishes coming true. There’s nothing like a celebrity crush when you’re 15. That rock star, athlete, or TV actor can make a mighty big impact.

My second reason is that Maria Grandinetti was 15 when she fell for Captain Eternity. She and her friend Sue were having a sleepover for the occasion of Maria’s 15th birthday, way back on June 22, 1974, when they discovered a late-night science fiction movie show on a local Milwaukee TV channel (remember UHF?). Said show was hosted by one handsome, sexy, mysterious space alien character who called himself Captain Eternity.

The cancellation of the show in the fall of that year did not deter Maria, like many teenagers, from clinging to her devotion to the Captain. He captured her imagination in a way that she never got over, not even 16 years later when the opportunity arose to track down the actor who played the role. Since this story is a novel I wrote, Maria was successful in the attempt. And the man she found was just as compelling, enigmatic, and attractive as Captain Eternity was.

Okay, now back to 15-year-old you and your celebrity crush. (“You” meaning our readers, Blog, not you, who sadly are not yet 15.) Picture yourself having the opportunity today to get to know that person, even have a relationship with him or her. Opens a whole weird can of worms, doesn’t it? The other day I read that a women who crushed on Eddie Munster back in the 60s (of “The Munsters” sit com) actually finally met him and they are currently dating. And taking it slowly, as any wise person would, and indeed, as Maria Grandinetti also knows she must. How exactly would you deal with the real person behind your imagined beloved hero or heroine? How can you really integrate fantasy into reality in such a dramatic way? And wouldn’t it be scary and fun?

Well, it is scary and fun when it happens in The Resurrection of Captain Eternity. I wrote this book circa 1990, which is when it takes place (Maria is a reference librarian in the days before the internet brought us all the info we can google). I published it in 1998 when the publisher slated to do so went out of business before it could be released, and I first opened my little publishing house, Living Beyond Reality Press. Being then too poor to pay for ISBN numbers, till now I have not been able to sell the paperbacks anywhere but through LBR Press.

But happily, I just published the novel in ebook form at long last! (It was a bit tricky utilizing files from 1990.) It’s available in pdf, epub and mobi formats, from LBR Press as well as Barnes & Noble’s nook store, Amazon’s Kindle store, and coming soon to Border’s ebook store. Woo hoo! In celebration of this spreading of Captain Eternity fever, for every ten people who tell me their celebrity crush from when they were 15, I will give away one copy of the book in a drawing. Your choice of formats, even the good old paperback one of which I still have plenty of stock!

It may be 20 years old, Blog, but I just reread the book and it is still utterly relevant to the experience of celebrity adulation and how we deal with it. Every generation has its Elvis Presley, Leif Garrett, Corey Haim, Jared Leto, or Rob Pattinson. And most of us have experienced that exquisitely painful longing for the unattainable idol. The dream that attaining him or her just might be possible is one we’ve all harbored. And what if it was?

What if, indeed, Blog?

So post away, readers, no later than midnight, Tuesday, August 31. I’ll contact the winners on September 1.  And if all else fails, the paperback’ll cost ya a mere $5.95 plus Media Mail postage, while the ebook is only $3.95! (See what a cheapskate I am with my contest prizes?) All you need to know to buy a copy is on the Captain Eternity page of my website.

Oh, and my celebrity crushes back in 1971? David Cassidy, Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (wow)...

and Malcolm MacDowell in “A Clockwork Orange” even though I was too young to see the movie. (He’s kinda dreamy to this day....)

Ah, fifteen....


  1. I don't think you can consider me for the contest, because I already own the book. *and LOVE it and read it about once a year, as I have told you often.* It is one of my favorites and I think everyone should read it. :)

    I will, however, play along for the fun of it. I was a little bit younger than 15 when I discovered my crush (I was almost 13), but it was still in full flower- perhaps not reaching it fully- at 15. That crush was Pavel Bure. He remains my One True Hockey Love. Pavel was amazing--not only was he super dreamy, but he still is the best skater I've ever seen, and he was a natural goal scorer, the perfect combination to someone who was a new-ish hockey fan. He was super talented, and super cute, what else could a 15-yr old ask for? Oh and he was mysterious and foreign and had a sexy accent besides. I had the pleasure of watching him play live 3 times-- and he scored a goal the third time I saw him.

    I couldn't imagine actually meeting Pavel, though I dreamed about it (literally) several times. I think I would prefer to meet him now- as an adult, than as a teenager, because I would get more out of the interaction. (not that I am likely to EVER meet him- Pavel was reclusive even in his superstar days, and has since retired and moved home to Russia. What he's doing there, I don't know- even the internet is quiet about it- though he often spoke of going into politics. Since I don't read Russian, I can't even translate any random news articles about him.) But his poster is still on my wall as my favorite hockey player of all time, and I still occasionally drool over pics of him. :)

    The other crush actually happened when I was 15- and is even more nebulous- he is a completely fictional character- from a BOOK. His name is Arithon s'Ffalenn, and he came from the imagination of The wonderfully talented Janny Wurts, in her Wars of Light and Shadow books. You really have to read the books to understand, but Arithon has it going on- he's a pirate (always dreamy), Prince (even better), musician, magic wielder, and oh yeah- he's pretty cute too! (he's the dark-haired, tortured-looking one.) Her books are magnificent, the characters are brilliant- very human- flaws and all, and the stories themselves are very fun to read.

    For the record, I am still quite in love with those two fellows, real or not. Others may come and go, but those have been consistent. All I have to do to re-capture Arithon is open a book, and, thanks to the internet, I can re-live Pavel's glory days. :)

    What a fun exercise!!! :)

  2. Sam, thanks SO much (a) for your compliments on the book and (b) for your fascinating stories of your crushes! Pavel Bure was/is very attractive, I agree with you there. So bittersweet that he disappeared from your life in that way! And I am very intrigued by Arithon, who sounds very much like my type. I wonder if you can get those books for the nook...I must check! Anyway, this counts as an entry regardless. You've been a huge supporter of the book for years and if you win, we'll find a suitable prize for you!

  3. You already said mine ~ No contest it was David Cassidy! There was no one else on earth for me. Could I imagine dating him now? Not really ~ I am totally head over heals in love with my husband of 23 yrs. Could the 15 y/o me imagine dating him ~ only every day!

  4. Yay! To me no teen idol type before or since could compete with David Cassidy. Those eyes...that hair...that smile...swoon. I still get a little crazy when I hear him sing "I Think I Love You." LOL Thanks for posting, are entered!

  5. Thanks, Diana!

    It is a little sad about Pavel, but I keep hoping he will be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame (he is eligible and certainly deserves it, despite never winning a Cup) and if he does- I AM GOING TO GO TO THE INDUCTION! Toronto is only a few hours away, and any excuse to go to the HHOF is a welcome one, but if Pavel made it, it would be a celebration. :)

    You should check out the books, I think you would enjoy them. I don't know if they are available digitally yet, but I do know she just re-released them all in paperback, so they should be at most bookstores. (which is very good news indeed, because for a while, they were out of print.) As I said before, they are very well-written epic fantasy. My only complaint with Ms. Wurts (and it's a testament to her writing style and the complexity of her work really) is that her books take a long time to write and that series is still unfolding. However, she is very communicative on the message-board of her website, and her work is so wonderful that it cannot (and should not) be rushed. But I wish we could get them faster!!!

  6. Greg Kinnear. I thought the guy at the video store was God because he gave me a huge poster of Kinnear.

    I hope I win this, I've wanted to read that book for the longest time!

  7. In 1985 I was 15 years old and I had a major crush on Ralph Maccio, Rick Springfield and Prince. Yup...and none for any deep and meaninful reason...HA! I thought Rick Springfield (Jessey's Girl) was so "HOT" in the way he played his guitar and sang and Prince (Little Red Corvette & Raspberry Berret) just moved in such an awesomely-nasty way I couldn't take my eyes off him. Ralph Maccio (The Karate Kid) was "WHEW" "WOW" "I want him to kiss me like that"! My gushing over Ralph Maccio went deeper than Rick or Prince, tho. Ralph stirred something deep, deep, deep in me - I'm serious, too. I saw him kiss that girl (the blond co-star) and OMG, my loins about jumped out of my body... MMMMm, hummm...he did that to me whay back in the day when I was just a little 15 year old, pip-squeek in 1985.

  8. I was OBSESSED with Rick Springfield when I was ~28. Seven years back I took my daughters to see him in concert and it was his 50th birthday. The guy is unreal...he doesn't lose an iota of sex appeal as the years pass. See also Ralph and Prince, also good. So adorable to picture you swooning over The Karate Kid!

  9. I liked Shaun Cassidy and Rick Springfield.