Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015: Wow, What a Year, with More in Store for 2016!

A few friends stopped in during my book signing
for Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography
at Bogart's Bookstore and Cafe
in Millville, New Jersey. I love this place!

On Friday evening, December 18, 2015, I enjoyed a night of book signing, music, and conversation at Bogart's Bookstore & Cafe in Millville, New Jersey. This was the latest in a string of book signing events I have done since Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography was published in September, and I have to say, I'm hooked! I love every second of it! There is nothing I love more than meeting people who like and appreciate Bob Crane, or who didn't know a whole lot about him before talking with me and who walk away with a more profound understanding of who he was as a person. 

Whether it was during a presentation before a large audience at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland, or casual conversations with curious shoppers at independent bookstores, one by one, people are starting to learn about Bob Crane. He was more than Colonel Hogan on Hogan's Heroes, more than a murder victim, and more than a means to a profit via scandal and sensationalism. He was human—and a good human at that. 

By far, my favorite moments are when people approach me with pre-conceived notions about Bob because of what they have already seen in the media but who change their opinion after meeting me. Initially, they use words like "creep," "pervert," "deviant," and "sick-o" to describe Bob, only to discover they have been misinformed. One lady came up to my table on Friday night and said, "Oh, that guy. I know all about him." After a few minutes of talking with me, however, her demeanor changed. Before she left, she said, "Thank you. I'm so happy and relieved to know he wasn't a jerk! I always liked him on Hogan's Heroes. This makes me feel so much better!"

Other favorite moments include learning that people have driven great distances to meet and talk with me. At the Nostalgia Convention in Maryland, one person drove all the way from Texas, and on Friday night, a gentleman and his wife drove up from Delaware. I'm completely humbled and touched by their gestures, and I only wish I had more time to talk with them! 

What I'm discovering is what my gut has always told me: people want to like Bob Crane. They just want to be reassured. I know because before I wrote this book, I was one of them. They loved him on Hogan's Heroes. Those who were lucky enough to hear his radio programs on both the East and West coasts loved hearing his shows. But since his murder and the sex scandal that followed, many have been unsure of what to think of their favorite POW or radio personality, especially when all the media has ever seemed to focus on were his murder and sex scandal. Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography is different from anything else that has ever been done for him. It puts everything in context, presents the facts, and dispels the myths. It's okay for people to like Bob Crane again! And for those who have read the book and/or talked with me, their outpouring of gratitude—and often with emotion—speaks volumes.

As we close out 2015, I am happy to say this has been a tremendous year for me. The first half was spent finishing writing and formatting, and the second half was spent promoting the book and enjoying its success. After production and publishing expenses are paid off, author profits will go to various charities in Bob Crane's memory. The reason for publishing this book was never to get rich; it was to simply do Bob justice by telling his true story.

As we move into 2016, more book signings/author appearances will be announced (save the date: February 6, 2016, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in Deptford, New Jersey). I'm trying to work out some appearances in the Midwest and in Los Angeles, and I'll keep you posted as those develop. More radio interviews will be conducted. And of course, we will keep up our ongoing efforts for Bob's induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. The year 2015 was a remarkable year for me, and I anticipate 2016 will be just as exciting and rewarding. Thank you to every single one of you who has supported and helped along the way! 

Stay tuned—more good things are on the horizon!

Happy Holidays!