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?
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....)