Regardless of your politics, a Kennedy is American royalty. And I remember how I felt as a kid when I heard Ted Kennedy, Jr.–also a kid at the time–was going to lose his leg to cancer. I wasn't the only one who thought this family had gone through enough already. We weren't far off in age, and I remember it clearly.
Recently I was invited to a cocktail party where Ted Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Kiki, also happened to be. I was talking to Kiki––no way could I talk to Mr. Kennedy. Did I mention he is a Kennedy?––and she asked me what I did for work.
“I write books for children and teach other writers how to market themselves,” I answered.
“Wow,” she said. “Any books I would know?”
This can be a very awkward moment in a writer's life. If you say a title and the person hasn't ever heard of it, and frankly, with 1.3 million books published every year, what are the chances? (This is why you need to be using video to build your platform and market yourself! But I digress …)
I take a deep breath, I just couldn't envision that Kiki Kennedy, as lovely and down-to-earth as she was, would know Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job. I figure I'll pick the book that's been out longest.
“Who Hops?” was the name of my first book, I tell her. From behind us we hear a booming voice.
“I have that book!”
Kiki and I both turn and her husband, Ted Kennedy Jr. He who is the late Senator Kennedy's son and JFK's nephew, smiling. He says, “I bought it for myself because I take off my leg and hop around the house. Who hops? I do!”
Why am I sharing this? (With Mr. Kennedy's permission, by the way.) Because you just never know whose lives you're going to touch. Get out there. Build your platform and market your books so readers will find them. Get them into the hands of your readers!
And by the way, what a sweet guy that Ted Kennedy Jr. is.