Saturday, July 29, 2006

Remember that crush . . . ?

Hi!

Anne McAllister back again. I don't imagine that I'm alone in having had a crush on a guy or two while I was growing up. I fell in love with a cowboy when I was five and followed him everywhere. I think it was a case of imprinting, like a duck, since I seem to have written my share of cowboy heroes over the years. And there have been other "crushes" that have found their way into my writing brain, too. One of them turned out to be so much fun that I wanted to share it with you.

I'm dating myself here (as all women who have been married long enough to have four grown kids will do), but when I was in junior high, there was a television program on called Laramie. Of course, given my predilection for cowboys, I watched it. But it took about two minutes to stop watching it for generic cowboys and start watching it for Jess Harper -- the brooding, rough-and-tumble loner who never quite saw things in black and white (even though the TV was). He was an honorable guy -- but that didn't mean always being on the right side of the law. Sometimes honor took him the other way. I loved the character. And I loved the guy who played him -- Robert Fuller.

About 15 years ago when I was at a writers' conference I was listening to historical western romance author Jessica Douglass talk about why she wrote western heroes (she said, "Put a man on a horse and I'll follow him anywhere," as I recall). And then she talked about Little Joe Cartwright (played by Michael Landon) and how she had fantasies about how Little Joe was her brother and they had wonderful adventures. And then, she said, "But then I saw Jess Harper and he was definitely not my brother!" And I knew exactly what she meant. I was a little concerned though that Jess seemed to be two-timing me with her!

After the conference, Jessica and I recalled our mutual passion for Jess -- and I wrote a book called A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS (ghastly cover. But I still love the book and the character who inspired it!) which had a hero named Jess and, even though it was a contemporary, paid homage to the character I had loved.

Jessica (notice the name? Wonder how she thought of that. Hmmmm) and I decided to put together a talk called "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" which we gave at RWA National a few months later. In working on it, we thought it might be fun to ask Robert Fuller what his views were. So we wrote him a letter. And forgot about it.

One snowy day a month or so later, the phone rang while I was trying to get hold of my husband to pick up our son at the dentist. It was nearly 5 in the evening and the only people who call then are vacuum cleaner salesmen. So when this man asked to speak to me, I thought, oh hell, a vacuum cleaner salesman, and said, "Yes, but I'm on the other line. Please hold," and I went back to trying to get my husband. Finally got him. Got another call from son at dentist. Went back to the vacuum cleaner guy. Said, "I'll be right back. Got to tell my son when my husband will be there." Told son. Went back to vacuum cleaner guy and said, "Yes. What can I do for you?" knowing full well I was not going to buy a vacuum cleaner. And he said, "This is Robert Fuller."

Of course it was. Because I'd put him on hold twice ! (That'll teach me!). Anyway, we had a very interesting conversation about Jess -- whom he thinks is the best character he's ever had the privilege of playing. And he and I and Jessica had a two hour conference conversation a couple of weeks later (He'd called her, too, and she was even more blithering than I was by the end of it). And we got a great workshop out of it. And I also got lunch.

A few months later when I was in California, he took me to lunch at a very nice place (whose name I forget) near the Warner Bros. lot and I discovered I had terrific taste as a thirteen year old.

Because he is a genuinely nice guy, he also helped me with the background for Sloan Gallagher, the hero of my GREAT MONTANA COWBOY AUCTION and put me in touch with the stunt coordinator who was my background guy for COWBOYS DON'T QUIT. All in all, a great return on a junior high school crush, wouldn't you say? (And I'm not even mentioning the kiss)

If I were having crushes now, instead of simply evaluating the "hero potential" of certain males of the species, I'd be keeping an eye on Hugh Jackman. Actually I have been keeping an eye on Hugh since my friend and fellow writer, Lucy Gordon, told me about him when he was starring as Curly in the British stage production of OKLAHOMA. And while he's had lots of memorable roles since, if you never got to see him in the Aussie film PAPERBACK HERO, where he plays a closet romance writer, well, you haven't lived!

Kate Walker and I had a running Hugh-in-a-towel thing going when we spoke at the NZ and RWAustralia conferences two years ago. I'm wondering if we should expand that hero workshop Jessica and I were working on to include Hugh. I suspect I'd recognize the Aussie accent and wouldn't mistake him for a vacuum cleaner salesman if he called!

So, there, now you know the details of the fantasy love of my youth. What about yours? Who did you have a crush on? Did you ever meet that person? What happened if you did? And did you ever write a book based on it????!!!!

Besides the three Code of the West books which are among the prizes today, if you want to enter a drawing for a copy of THE GREAT MONTANA COWBOY AUCTION , come by my blog and leave a comment saying so or email me at anne.mcallister(at)gmail.com. I'll pick a winner August 1st!

And because I haven't yet mentioned my most recent book, THE ANTONIDES MARRIAGE DEAL (which in a very roundabout way connects to THE GREAT MONTANA COWBOY AUCTION because it's all one big alternative universe that Anne McAllister characters live in) I'll give away a copy of that today. Lucy can pick the winner from among those who respond to this blog. Think Hugh when you're reading it. I did!

Thanks, Lucy -- and everyone else -- who has made this the best conference ever!

Hugs,
Anne
website: http://www.annemcallister.com
blog: http://www.anne-mcallister.blogspot.com/

68 comments:

Cathie said...

Hi Anne!! First of all, I used to pick up any of those harlequin books with the cowboys on them from my mom's room when I visted for a book each day! Its just something about a western and a cowboy and their toughness, some too beta heros that are the quiet but strong type. So now too I rarely want to miss a book thats a western! I so love talking cowboys, LOL. I love to watch the old movies. I'm not good with actors names because most of those movies are not closed captioned for the deaf, but I love to watch them on the weekends, pluz Bonaza, Pondersa, even Dallas! Sorry on my English, I hope you figured out what i'm talking about!
But as a teenager, I wanted Michael Landon from Little House On The Prairie. No I never met him, but I used to dream about being one of his kids, that I would be in the country there, the beauty, the horses, and so much. I still grab that show on TV if I see it. One day I want to get the DVD re-runs!
Thanks for sharing your story! It was beautiful to read.

Jen in WA said...

I think it is awesome that you've gotten to meet your childhood crush.

I'm sitting here thinking and am honestly having trouble coming up with a crush from my childhood (does Kermit the Frog count?). During high school, I tended to have crushes on actual people I knew (and not celebs).

Right now, my current celeb crush is Orlando Bloom (YUMMY!)... I think I'd be shocked speechless if I ever actually had the chance to meet him. :)

Cherie said...

I'm always attracted to covers with cowboys.

Is A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS still available any where? I would like to read it.

~Cherie K~

Cherie said...

my Crush as been and will always be jonny depp. and yes I would love to meet him although he is alote older then me. I don't care.
I just hope he dose not cut his hair again. well ok joaquin phoenix
is a close second.

~Cherie K~

Judy F said...

HI Anne. Yup gotta love those cowboys. Cool on meeting your crush. I have a huge thing for mr Jackman too....

I got to met a couple of local football players. And got to met Huey Lewis many years ago. I was very calm talking to him but my friend Karen couldn't remember her own name. LOL

Minna said...

My childhood crush was the magician David Copperfield. And no, I've never had the chance to meet him or even see his show live.

Meljprincess said...

I remember my first crush. I was in grade school and his name was Tommy Templeton. He and I spoke but that's it. Once, when my Mom picked me up from school, we saw him walking home and my Mom stopped to take a picture of him for me. He smiled but I know he was plucked! lol!

Pamk said...

lol cowboys yum they are an old favorite of mine started reading them a long time ago. And still have to read one occasionally

Julie in Ohio said...

My very first crushes were on Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. My dad was into their old westerns and in my house, you watched what daddy was watching or you didn't watch TV.
Can I just say that as youngin's Clint Eastwood and John Wayne were very easy on the eyes.

I was disappointed the first time I saw them in a "current" movie and found out that they were indeed ALOT older than I thought. :o)

Lois said...

I had a crush on two guys in my high school. One a little more nerdy like that the other, but they weren't what we'd consider nerds. They probably thought me weird, and probably still do! LOL :)

But my favorite crush was in second grade. He was a nerd, and this was 81/82, so it was just at the beginning of the personal computer, so when he said he had a computer, boy did I want to go to his house. LOL :) Wonder what the heck he's up to! :)

Lois

Julie in Ohio said...

To this day, I still love watching and reading about cowboys. :o)

Lois said...

Oh, but actorwise. . . love, love, love Sean Connery. Sigh. :) Love Gerard Butler's Phantom, love David Duchovny's Fox Mulder and love Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele. But since we're talking crushes, I won't put Darth Vader. Love that guy, just not like that. lOL :)

Lois

Carol said...

My first crush was Ricky Nelson! That shows how old I am! lol

Joyce said...

Way back when I use to read Zane Grey.

Barb V. in NY said...

I *do* love cowboys. Books with a cowboy hero are always a favorite.

I am giving away my age here, but as a preteen I had a huge crush on Paul McCartney of Beatles fame. I had all the records, and the fan mags. And he just turned 64, like his song. Yikes!

And Miss Judy F. -- Did we forget to mention that Reds baseball game last year with James Denton? That is a story worth sharing. LOL

Darla said...

Awwww, what a wonderful story! There's just something about a cowboy...my office manager thinks so too...Her husband is a Cowboy!

Tee said...

Truth be told, I loved John Wayne. I never had the chance to meet him but he honored my 21st birthday by passing away on it. Here I am thinking a great day in my life and the local paper informs me he has died. Its a day I will never forget. Oh I guess I should mention he was many years older than me too. LOL

Anne McAllister said...

hi all,

Thanks for sharing your stories, too! I'm glad there are others out there who have a thing for cowboy heroes. I think, at heart, all of my heroes are (even though some of them are soccer players or businessmen or beachcombing charter pilots or photographers). It's that lone wolf, independence that gets me every time. And that sense of honor and commitment to what they think is the right thing to do.

Cherie, I think you can get A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS through Amazon's used titles. Probably there are other places, too. Ask Harlequin -- maybe they'll reprint it!! (hehe). Johnny Depp is a great choice, too. Such talent -- and not hard on the eyes either.

Jen, of course Kermit the Frog counts! Why not? And so do all the 'real' people you had crushes on, too.

Minna, I'd love to see David Copperfield's show, too. He's got great charisma.

Lois, Pierce Brosnan was one of mine, too. My first Presents had a hero named Jake Brosnan. Wonder why! My editor knew!

Julie, the young Clint Eastwood was definitely worth a second look! Or third. Or more.

Wow, so many great guys -- on screen and off! Temptation on the hoof, I guess.

Judy F said...

oops Barb V. I forgot about that. Now that was a night to remember baseball and James Denton. YUMMY

Susan said...

Even though he's quite a bit older than I am, I have a crush on Robert Redford. It started the first time I saw Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

readingissomuchfun said...

Welcome back Anne. Glad to see you again. I am so lucky to have won your prize. I am realy looking forward to reading your books. I keep visiting your site and I see you have so many good looking books. Happy Writing :)

Great stories thanxs for sharing. I enjoy reading it.

I always had a crush on Johnny Depp. So many others as well.
Joey from blossom, Zack from Saved By The Bell, Vin Diesel, also Jordan from New Kids On The Block *G* not sure if anyone remembers them. So many more I can name I think I will stop now *G*

HUGSSSS
Linda.H.

ShelMel said...

That's so cool that you got to meet your hero - from TV!!

Hmmm, mine would be (don't laugh) Jon Bon Jovi. *sigh* I loved long hair and he was just beautiful to me. I had posters, albums, books, everything I could get my hands on.

My best friend and I went to a Bon Jovi concert and we spent HOURS after the concert cruising around town looking for their bus at hotels, restaurants and everywhere we could think of. We just knew that Jon would marry me and Ritchie Sambora would marry her if only they knew about us!! LOL

Hmm..... now that would make an interesting story......

Veronica said...

I love westerns so a cover with a cowboy on it I just have to pick up.

One of my crushes from childhood was Kerry Von Erich (the wrestler,he has since passed away) I did get to meet him at a wrestling match when I was 15. I had the time of my young life then.

Amy said...

I have to say I have alway's loved cowboy's and they are some of my very favorite Hero's.

Kathleen said...

Hi Anne!! Thank you for sharing your great story about your crush :) I love to read stories w/ cowboys...I think it has to do w/ the fact that there are no cowboy's here in Missouri(at least not in eastern MO) and I have never found a book I did not like that involved a cowboy. I need to find myself a cowboy!!! I look forward to reading your books!!

Patricia J said...

Cowboy books are so much fun to read.
Thanks for sharing your story Anne! Great blog!!

Lori said...

Hi Annie
I think that it is amazing that you got to meet your crush. How cool is it that he actually called and you got to meet him in person!!
My crush was Scott Baio. I absolutely loved him and I never did get to meet him. Right now, I think that Johnny Depp is pretty darn hot.
Lori

Kathleen said...

Anne, I forgot to mention that you have a really fun website!

Pam P. said...

My first cowboy crush was a young Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide. Later I had one on Robert Fuller, too, Anne - I remember Laramie. That is cool how you got to meet him and how he helped with your writing.

Maureen A said...

I'll take a Cowboy for Christmas..LOL :)

What a fun blog!

Cryna said...

Oh man, am I ever going to date myself with these...........LOL

My first crush was on Sal Mineo and most of you would probably never even heard of him. But think Rebel Without a Cause......but that was in my younger year.

Then along came Richard Camberlain as Dr. Kildare in the Ben Casey series starring Vince Edwards as Dr. Casey. Oh yeah my friends and I even had white shirts that buttoned just like the two doctors.

From there we move onto Lee Horsley who I could sit and drool over while my husband watched the TV shows that he started in - Nero Wolfe and then Matt Houston....I never missed an episode, and he used to tell our kids that the only reason I watched was for to see Lee. And he would be correct.

I never met any of them, but thank you so much for the walk down memory lane...........like I said I am really dating myself here.

Chantal said...

My crush since the age of 13 has been Mr. Sexy Johnny Depp. I have never met him, and I am afraid I would probably be arrested if I ever did meet him because I would not be able to stop from throwing myself at him.
My husband is aware of my crush and thinks I'm weird, lol. I have JOhnny Depp posters in our bedroom, a purse that says "Mrs. Depp" Every one of his movies, and an autograph from Ebay that may or not be his real signature. Gosh, he is a hottie.

No, I have never written a book based on my crush. If I did it would certainly be rated adult only though ;)

Amy S. said...

Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp

Maureen said...

Giving out this information really dates a person but my crush was David Cassidy from The Partridge Family.

Lis said...

Hi Anne! I love a good cowboy hero

Let's see, childhood crushes, Joey McIntyre from New Kids On The Block, WWF wrestler Shawn Michaels (still love him!!!) Never seen Joey in person, but when I was 16 I was lucky enough to be ringside and touch Shawn :o) One of the best days of my life *g*

KarenG said...

I have always had a love for cowboys and cowboy stories. I was a faithful watcher of Little House on the Prairie. I had a crush on Michael Landon. I still catch some reruns every now and then.

Karen

KarenG said...

I forgot to say I enjoyed your post.

Karen

Cheryl said...

I have always loved to read romances that featured a cowboy as the hero. Don't really remember my first real crush. I think it was probably Mark Shera in the old S.W.A.T. series. Yup, I'm dating myself too. Always went for the shy, quiet type. lol.

dulcie said...

I loved a Bonanza guy too, for me it was Adam, until I saw an episode with Candy, the Ponderosa foreman and have been in love with him ever since. I still love David Canary (who played Candy) even though now he's the evil Adam Chandler on All My Children. I never met him, but my sister in law stood behind him in line at the bakery once (he got a blueberry muffin). And yes, Adam and Candy both found their way into my books...actually, all my heroes tend to look like a young David Canary.

As for men a little closer to my age now, it's Gerard Butler all the way. Whew, that boy is one hot Phantom!

Rachael said...

Hi Anne,

Thank you for sharing your story.
I always had a crush on Jonathan Brandis.

Cynthya said...

I've never had a crush on an actor or musician. There are a lot that I like, but I don't want to meet any of them. In fact I don't want to know anything about their private lives--it's too disappointing to know that someone you admire hits their wife, is a drug user, just got a DUI, acts like a spoiled brat, etc. I prefer fantasy men, like I find in books. :)

Debby said...

Hi Anne,
You brought back some memories to me about my favorite cowboys. I love watching them on TV. I watch many of them now when I get a chance.

Anne McAllister said...

Thanks for sharing all your 'crushes,' gang. It's fun to see who everyone's faves were. For all you Gerard Butler fans, I trust you have seen him in Dear Frankie. Talk about smouldering. Whew.

Dulcie, I liked Adam, too, in the Bonanza days. But Jess was always "the one."

Debbie E said...

OMG! I have always loved Elvis Presley and I remember having an album cover that I use to drool over. He was so handsome and he could sing..... the memories.

I absolutely love reading Cowboy Westerns so this is right up my alley. Anne it is so great of you to share your story. Wow! We really are lucky to be able to share the same love of romance.

Thanks!

kim said...

that is great.

bamabelle said...

Hi Anne!

That is so great that you got to meet your crush! I love that story!

By the way, I love both cowboys and Hugh Jackman. See, great minds think alike lol.

bamabelle said...

Oh, my very first crush when I was about five was Magnum P.I. lol.

Annie West said...

Anne,

I have to admit that I had crushes regularly and devastatingly through my early years - I kept falling for the heroes in the books I read!

Yes, there was that cute guy in high school: tall, brooding and intelligent, but too shy to show any interest in girls at that stage. So it was paperback heroes for me.

And in that regard I have to second your comments on Hugh Jackman. I remember that presentation at the Aussie conference - the photo you had of him up on the big screen stopped the whole audience in its tracks every time. He's back in Australia now, performing in 'The Boy from Oz' - can't wait!

Annie
http://www.annie-west.com

Shiloh Walker said...

*G* I married the guy I had a crush on. My first major crush. And it never really ended.

We've been married ten years, official just this past thursday and we've been together for 15. :o)

no wonder I like romances... i married my highschool sweetheart, that is a romance.

Lucy, this was wonderful idea you had, the NANTY party. Sorry I wasn't around more but eh... kidlets got in the way.

Brandy said...

My first celebrity crush was Bowser from Sha-na-na! HEY, I was 5 years old! I've always liked the bad boy image, but married my own personal good guy. As for first crush on someone you go to school with, I was in 6th grade and had just seen the movies Secret Admirer. (see where this is going?) I left notes in his desk everyday until he figured out it was me, and then I denied, denied, denied! Of course he knew, and I knew he knew an his friends thought it was hilarious. I was so embarassed. Didn't stop me from getting my Mom to sneak a picture at Elementary graduation though.

Pat said...

I loved your Code of the West. ARe you done with that series?

Still waiting to get My Heroes have always......

Laurie said...

Growing up in Wisconsin ..I didn't run into any cowboys... SHUCKS! I remember an actor in a western Tv show by the name of Ty Hardin...blonde and sexy. I also liked Justin Hayward, the lead singer of The Moody Blues. Now, I think Heath Ledger is cute!

robynl said...

My crush was like canadianfriend's Richard Camberlain as Dr. Kildare; also David James Elliott in JAG. Yowzers!!!
I love cowboy stories; yummy.

Michelle B said...

What a great story Anne!

I had so many crushes when I was growing up! Not many on famous people though. The weird thing was that I didn't really know most of the guys personally. I had just seen them at a sporting event or around school. So I would daydream and make up personalities for them that were just what I wanted.

I never went so far as to write a book, though:) I much prefer reading than writing books!

There is one guy who I had a crush on after we had been friends a while. It never worked out, but I still think about Josh every so often. His brother, Alex, was the first pick in the NFL draft last year (2005) and they look so much alike that it really brought back those memories. The last I had seen of Alex he was about 8 years old! I couldn't believe he'd grown up already LOL.

Becky said...

Hi Anne! I love cowboys which is why my email is cowgirlrebel! I will definitely be buying some of your books. Any romance book that has cowboys in it is bound to be good. lol My first crush was on Lance Bass from N'SYNC. That is really gross to me now especially since just recently he told the public that he is gay. lol Now I rather have Orlando Bloom. Who can resist a pirate like Will Turner or an elf like Legolas Greenleaf? lol

Marcy said...

I always wanted the youngest brother from the Tv show "Here Come the Brides." LOL

I do love cowboy stories. ;-)

Cherie Japp said...

That is such a wonderful story about meeting your childhood crush. Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately, I do not have a similar story to share. I did not really have any crushes on any celebrities. I was just such a serious girl. While other girls among my peers would be falling in love with celebrities and making a big fuss I always had my face in a book. I was rather introverted and thought those girls went a bit over the top over a guy or guys they would probably never meet. The kinds of crushes I got were with guys I knew in everyday life, especially older guys.

Anne McAllister said...

Pat, I don't know if the Code of the West series is "over" or not. There are some loose ends I'd like to tie up -- and I am thinking maybe there is a Christmas short story I might just write and put on my website. What do you think?

Cherie, I was pretty serious, too. And I had my share of 'crushes' on 'real guys' as well. But the Jess one was special -- particularly the way it turned out!

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Anne,

I love to read Cowboy stories!

I had a crush on Jon Bon Jovi, but only till I heard how arrogant he is. Bon Jovi was guest in a huge TV show here in my hometown and my dad was there for the fire secruity. He asked them to sign my favorite album "Crossroads" and they said no, because they only sign their newest stuff and nothing else. I was really disappoint and they lost a huge fan, because I never bought another CD.

Ali said...

Hi, Anne :-)
I can't say I've had a crush on just one exact person, but always on older men. Actually, I remember, when I was a little girl, I watched a commercial, for Montana tourism, I think. I remember seeing a cowboy ride a horse across the beautiful landscape, and ever since then I've always wanted a cowboy and to go to Montana ;-) lol
Of course, I live in Texas and we have plenty of cowboys here, too :-))

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Mark St. Claire said...

In a way I'm not embarrassed to mention this, I was young and didn't even know what love or sex was back then, ok then again I did know what sex was, but didn't do anything until later on, but enough of that needless information. The one person I had a crush was the one and only Cher. That's right. LOL. No joke, I thought she was quite beautiful and sexy back. No we're never met, I'd like to someday. Not in an intimate way, because I really look up to her as role model. She's such a wonderful person, that just really attracts me to want to meet her. I wish I did be able to see her in concert, I would have loved it. I think it was when I was either 8 or 9 that I had this crush on her. I've never told anyone about my crush, it was just something I kept to myself, until now though. LOL.

That's so great you've got to meet your crush, it must've been so much fun to hang out with him.

Marcail said...

I had a crush on our parish priest. Imagine me telling him all my sinful thoughts and deeps and him being so compassionate and reassuring. When "The Thorn Birds" was published I felt I was enthralled. All my sins in print. I just love a non-judgmental man who will listen. Come to think of it I was sure Jesus was the guy for me. Purely platonic and cerebral. I love cerbral men as well.

KimW said...

In real life I had a crush on a college boy when I was in high school. Bad, bad, bad. Shouldn't got there when your so young. haha!

For celebrities, I liked Rick Springfield, Peter Frampton, Robert Redford and Jack Wagner from General Hospital. He's still hot today.

catslady said...

Oh here's a combination - Elvis Presley and then Yul Bryner (loved the bald head and accent). Then it was Mel Gibson for the longest time but now I too am on the Hugh Jackman bandwagon :)

Jodi said...

I had lots of crushes growing up.
One of my few crushes now is Matthew McConahay (sp is wrong!)

Dannyfiredragon said...

Today's crushes are Hugh Jackman, Orlando Bloom & Keanu Reeves

Melissa said...

I've always loved cowboys, especially John Wayne. When I was really young -- 8 or 9 I loved both of the paramedics on EMERGENCY -- Gage was one of the names it seems like -- early dementia keeps me from remembering for sure. As I teenager the first "real men" (not teeny-bopper geared guys) I had the hots for were Tom Selleck as Magnum, P.I. and Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele. Nowdays my tastes seem to be all over the place. Vincent D'Onofrio, Sean Bean, Miguel Ferrer, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, just to name few. So many men, so little time (big grin)!