Twenty Super Years Ago

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE Superman fan. I have been since I was a little girl. And today is a very special day in my Super-history. Today is the day 20 short years ago that I met Superman himself.

Now I’ve met celebrities before. I have tons of stories… some funny, some creepy, but none as extraordinary as the day I met Dean Cain on the wintery streets of New York City, November 22, 1996. Everything we did that day ended in disaster, and yet for some reason we were still guided through the day like a game of Sims to meet Superman.

Dean was scheduled to be on the Rosie O’Donnell show in New York City at 9am. NYC was a 2-hour plus drive for us, and the NBC studios suggested getting there early. So at 3:30 in the morning we were woken up by my mom blaring – and I mean blaring- the John Williams’ Superman theme song. I’ve never woken up at that time that excited before. By 4:30 we – my four sisters, Kelli, Kristin, Aimee, and MaCai- and my good friend Cindy, were piled into the family van and headed toward New York from Connecticut. We didn’t get far though, because our van broke down.

My father was persistent and we were all determined to get there though, so he brought the broken van home and we switched to his Ford Taurus, a 5 seater car for 8 people. Hey, we were rebels. It was tight, but we made it…a little late, but we were there.

Now came the awful part. We were in line, where it was first come first serve, for seating in the studio. All of eight of us rotated in and out of the spot, fairly close to the front for the next two hours. I didn’t switch too much, because I was too geared up to see the show. I probably only left to go to the bathroom, whereas the others would come and go for food or the gift shops in 30 Rockefeller Center. So when the studio people came by to pass out tickets this b***h behind us started making a stink about how we didn’t deserve tickets because we were always rotating, and she couldn’t leave even once to pee. We were like big deal. You could have left and someone would’ve nicely saved your spot. The people weren’t that mean, but this chick just made such a ruckus that I started yelling and shouting at her (emotions were really high) and eventually it was too much that I said, “That’s it. I don’t want to see Dean like this. I’ll constantly have a bad taste in mouth about the day.” And we left.

Outside Rockefeller Center I collapsed on the stairs, mind you right across the street from where the whole Kennedy family (Teddy and John Jr. included) were walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a service over John Kennedy’s death anniversary, crying my eyes out. I was so incredibly upset, because seeing Dean was something I was so close to and it was ripped from me by a nasty woman.  My mom hugged me and gave me the quintessential mom speech of how things happen for a reason and only God knows the reason.

As silly as it seemed, she still prayed with me on the steps that if it was in His will that God would see the desires of my heart and open the doors that needed to be opened.  I remember doubting her words and maybe even scoffing at the thought that God doesn’t care if I meet a celebrity or not. But the hour wasn’t up yet…

We walked the New York streets for a little while until it started to flurry and get rather windy and cold, and we decided it was best to go home. So we smooshed ourselves into the Taurus and maneuvered through NYC traffic, even switching off Fifth Avenue to Madison because Fifth was gridlocked. We were almost to the end of the street, when at a red light my sister Kristin said, “Eryn look, it’s Dean!”

Kristin, God love her, was a tease and I think I told her to quit it. But she turned my head to the window and said, “NO, LOOK… it’s Dean!” And sure enough, IT WAS!

Everyone started yelling, “GO!!” and my sisters pushed me out of the car, right in the middle of the road.

I ran out and stood across the street from Dean taking luggage out of his limousine and signing autographs to the few fans that were outside. I called out his name and he looked up and waved. I squealed to myself and without thinking ran across the street, nearly getting hit by a car. I remember seeing Dean’s face just drop as he said, “Careful!”

I was an idiot, I hadn’t even looked before running. But hey, I made it and in just a few more feet I was right in front of the man I’d been infatuated with for the last three years on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanNow, I know people always say when they meet people outside of film, ‘oh they are so much better looking up close,’ but wow – it was the truth. If any of you thought Dean was gorgeous on television, it’s a different story up close… he’s exquisite!!! Black hair, tan skin, tall, muscular!! oh my gosh, and his eyes… gorgeous almond shaped with sienna brown irises, accented with flecks of gold. I’m not kidding, he is beautiful!

Now, that 20 years have gone by I don’t remember everything he said or I said, but I remember little flashes. I know I asked for a picture and he said sure, but no one else was around at that point. The fans had left, he’d sent his assistant inside the hotel to check in, and my family hadn’t showed up yet. This was before selfies, too, so I had no idea how this was going to work, and I was so nervous and shaky. Luckily, I felt a had on my shoulder and my sister was there saying she’d take my picture.

I ran right to Dean and latched arms around his freakin’ tiny waist. I remember hearing his laughter and seeing his big smile so genuinely happy he was making me happy. It was funny too, because as I was hugging him, I remembered his muscles and leaned my cheek against his chest feeling those oh-so-firm pectorals, then thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I’ve died and gone to Heaven.’ In fact, my picture with him is the face I was making when I leaned in.

eryn-and-dean

My sister Kristin went next, then Kelli, with each of them taking the pictures for each other.

By that point, my mother and my littler sisters  (Aimee was 5, MaCai was 6) came running up behind us. Aimee was yelling out, “Superman! Superman!” and Dean turned around and I heard him aww out loud at her cuteness.

Mom, on the other hand, was embarrassing – as mothers often are- she was saying, “I can’t believe we found you!” and picked up sister Aimee and literally threw her – yes threw her – into his arms. He caught her with a thud, her back to his chest. Thank God he was a football player!

He then knelt and lopped his other arm around MaCai. I don’t know how it happened but I had the camera. I was shaking like a leaf! I was also holding my gloves in one hand. Dean did notice that the gloves were covering the lens and said, “Hon? Hey honey, the gloves are in front of the lens.”

 

I was more enthralled that he’d called me honey, then sighed and realized what he was saying, and tossed to them ground. He laughed at me and I took the picture.

am-and-dean

 

The cool thing about this day was that it wasn’t an end, but a beginning. Like my mom had said on the steps of Rockefeller Center, God knows the desires in my heart. My desire wasn’t just to meet Dean, but to have a writing career, to meet the man of my dreams who would become my husband, and yeah to always have a Superman in my life.

Because of Dean and this day, I took my love of writing and apply to my love of history to become a historical fiction writer and researcher for other my books. When I wasn’t sure of where to go after college, I chose California because I loved it so much after visiting Warner Brothers Studio (where Lois and Clark was filmed). Because I moved to California, I met my husband, got married, and had a beautiful baby boy. And after meeting Dean again a few years ago, it has opened up far more writing doors than I could’ve ever hoped for. And lastly, the friends I’ve met, because of this man, have been life-long, deep connections I hope never to lose.

So Dean, if you are reading this, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for opening so many doors. THANK YOU for the last twenty years. And THANK YOU for always being MY Superman.

dc-supes

 

 

Pathetic Writers

FFP headline!

cryingBoy and girl admit they love each other. Boy and girl lose each other. Boy and girl find each other. Boy admits his closed off feelings. Girl watches her boy lose it. Whatever it is, eventually as a writer what we create makes us cry. Sometimes even ugly cry, see photo above. It happens and what does that mean? Are we too involved in our stories? Do our characters become our friends? Are they an extension of feelings we can’t admit in our own lives? Or is our writing just that damn good? Who knows? But it happens.

Almost every one of my stories, with the exception of Falling for Shock (and not because it’s not good, but it’s just light-hearted), has made me cry. I like to think that it’s being so involved in our characters’ lives. To a writer we have created this person with likes, dislikes, memories, and flaws, and with those we can build a story. If I can’t attach myself to a character, the story fails. I think of two of mine books that haven’t made it yet – Seven Lives and Separated Souls…. both have really good plots, but I wasn’t feeling the characters. Seven Lives wasn’t my original story and it was so difficult to rewrite it into my words but keep someone else’s characters living. And in Separated Souls, which I still may give it another try, I had the idea of Falling for Shock hit me and those Hannel brothers just took over. A stronger, more formed character system pushed their way to the front and couldn’t be ignored, thus leaving poor Maggie and Sam somewhere in the past.

Oh well, but folks, I’m telling you – I’ve said it many a time… just wait for Rhys and Falling for Phoenix. He’s going to make you look like me at the top of the page. I hope you’re ready. Luckily you don’t have to wait long either… 41 more days! Cover reveal April 25th!

EXCLUSIVE: Dean Cain the Writer

 

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

As many of you know I created my character Mack in Beneath the Wall after the then 28-year-old Dean Cain from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997), but just recently I also made a more up-to-date version of him in my latest novel, Falling for Shock (now available on Amazon – just click the title). Dean was in my mind as the strict but friendly director of Oliver Hannel’s movie “The Shock”, Mr. Dean Clemens. How could I not give Dean another part, especially when he helped me with some of the research for the book. What can I say, I needed some inside information that wouldn’t normally be known to those outside the Hollywood industry and didn’t know who else to turn to. I was able to ask such questions as what type of wires are used for making a superhero fly? What kind of harness do you use? How many cinches are holding you in safe and sound? What happens when the lead is sick or hurt? Are there private medics on staff? How comfortable or uncomfortable are those spandex suits? Mr. Cain was more than obliging to answer any question I had openly and honestly.

 

Now, I bet you’re asking how a girl who had been a crazy Lois and Clark fan go from fangirl to friendly professional acquaintance to well-known actor? Well, if you remember last year around this time I was given the opportunity  to present Dean with a copy of Beneath the Wall for his personal collection.  He was excited and humbled to have been a part of my story and even promised to read it.  Since that day last year, he and I have stayed in touch on Twitter and through my work on another Superman’s site, HenryCavill.Org, Dean agreed to a telephone interview to discuss Batman vs. Superman, his appearance on Superman’s 75th birthday celebration on Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men and his current work on VH1’s Hit the Floor.

 

Princeton Tigers Dean Cain #11

Princeton Tigers
Dean Cain #11

That interview went amazing and after the fifteen minutes of questions were finished, Dean and I continued to chat about reading, writing and history. It was pretty awesome. For those of you that don’t know too much about Dean’s life, he is a Princeton graduate with a degree in History. Hmm who does that sound like – yep, me! And like me, he didn’t want his History degree for teaching or working in a museum, no, he wanted it so he could write. “I just love being able to tell stories,” Dean said. “It’s a great way to make a living. You can tell stories and you are constantly finding new ways to express yourself and your beliefs or tell stories and maybe affect people’s lives.

 

“Screen writing is a very different medium clearly than novels. You’re so limited in scope and I try to write them so they read more like a novel than some others do.  I like my screenplays to read like a novel and let the director go ahead and figure out what camera pushes he wants to make and things like that.”

 

Strangely enough, even though I’m not a screenwriter, I could relate. Telling stories everyday IS a wonderful way to make a living, well as long as you don’t get interrupted. “Hell hath no fury when you interrupt a writer,” I quipped.

 

Dean agreed with me that time and let out a boisterous laugh.  “Yeah, people can always tell when I’m writing because when my phone rings and I answer it, I say “’Hello [very clipped and monotone]’. Normally, I’m very upbeat and say ‘Hel-lo,’ but not when I’m writing. Then it’s all business. And the person on the other line says, ‘Oh are you working?’ ‘Yes [he replies again short and agitated],’ then it’s, ‘Good-bye,’ and they hang up on me.”

 

It was hilarious and somewhat surreal having a conversation with a guy I admired for years, chatting with me like we were old friends. But at the same time I was grateful. He didn’t have to talk to me, didn’t have to acknowledge me at all, but he did.  That says volumes about the character of Dean’s being. In the end I thanked him for calling and agreeing to do the interview with me.  To which Dean replied, “It’s my complete pleasure, Eryn. And I still have your book and I plan on reading it. It’s sitting on my desk right here. Unfortunately so are about 6 other work related things too.”

 

“Aww well, anytime you can read it will be great,” I said, but then remembered a little something about my books, that I didn’t tell him about. Sure they are historic and action adventure but first and foremost they are romantic. And where they aren’t Fifty Shades by any means, they are still sexy. Needless to say I felt the need to warn him about the romantic stuff. red-kiss-mark-md

 

Dean laughed at my warning and warned me in return. “I’ve gotta tell you, Eryn, that stuff doesn’t make me too uncomfortable. That may give me more incentive to read it, and reread it and reread it until your phone will be ringing again and you’ll have to tell me to stop calling you!”

Twenty-year-old me deep down inside literally swooned over his statement and I fanned and composed myself enough to say a proper good-bye. In the end, Dean added one final compliment that I will forever hold dear.  “I do appreciate anything I had to do with your journey into historical fiction and hero writing. It’s cool as hell.”

Eryn and Dean 11/22/96 and 3/23/13

Eryn and Dean 11/22/96 and 3/23/13

lc

Watch Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman NOW

Things Someone Should Have Told Me

So I’ve been thinking about what kinds of things to write about today and the first things that came to mind were my two precious dogs I lost this winter. But I don’t feel like crying right now and I didn’t want to have my first blog in a couple of weeks be depressing.  Some other day I’ll talk about Ellie and Jett.  Today though, I thought I would go through a few topics of Things Someone Should Have Told Me. Maybe some of these will be helpful to someone else searching for answers and truth while contemplating new ventures.

COLLEGE GRADUATE

Western CT State University my alma mater

Western CT State University my alma mater

Someone should have told me:

1) You will have one very big bill for the rest of your life and it keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to interest.

2) Things you love to do and study hard for will not be lucrative. When you get out of college you will find a job anywhere (mostly because of #1) and the degree you hold very rarely becomes the field you will make money in. But you will dream of using that degree for a very long time.

3) When you do finally get a job in your field you will never want to leave it, no matter if you are upside down in debt. It feels that good.

MARRIED LIFE

Eryn and Jon kissing

Someone should have told me:

1) You will be pulled between families sometimes and no matter which family you chose, they other will have something to say about it.

2) Money sucks. It causes fights. It causes jealousy. And you will take the bottom of the list on what you actually want – under bills, repairs, groceries, pets, children and slightly even with husband.

3) At some point you might eat a can of corn on the front steps, crying because you’re sick and your husband just lost his job. But be strong. This to shall pass.

4) No matter how much you are still in love with your husband and how much you don’t want to be one of those couples who doesn’t have sex for a month… it will still happen. I still haven’t learned this one. I refuse to believe it’s true, but in the back of my head, I know it is.

5) Compromise is a must, even on stupid things like picking out a new comforter for the bed.  Just once I’d like something to be all my idea.

*Bonus – No matter what happens, your heart may swell a million times over because of how much you are in love with your spouse.

MOTHERHOOD

Mother and child

Someone should have told me:

1) You’re house will never be clean even if you do spend all day on Saturday in your sweats, scrubbing everything from top to bottom. By the next day, it will be messy again.

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2) There will be times you won’t get to wash your hair for four days. Whether they are newborns, beckoning your every minute; toddlers getting into everything; or school kids who tell you they need cupcakes made for class the next morning at 8pm. Take a shower when you can, not when you want to.

3) If you have a boy you must learn about superheroes, guns, soccer, football, legos and mud.

4) Learn to sew. You will be sewing holes in knees three weeks after you buy your son a new pair of dress pants.

5) Get over your fears. You will find that you don’t want your fears transferred to your children, nor do you want to look less than capable in their eyes.  They hold you in such high regard that when you can’t come through for them when they need you the most, it breaks your heart in two seeing them trying to cope alone while you’re petrified.

* Bonus – You heart will swell with how much you love your child. It will lurch with every stubbed toe and scrapped knee.

PETS

(L to R) Jett, Ellie & Earl

(L to R) Jett, Ellie, Earl
My 3 Welsh Corgis

Someone should have told me:

1) Any pet you buy your child will be yours with a dooky name. I have a fish that I solely take care of named Spiderman Tailfin.

Spiderman Tailfin

Spiderman Tailfin

2) Dogs get old and grumpy like old men on a front porch yelling at the kids that pass by except they bark.

3) They don’t make doggie diapers for overweight Corgis.

4) Sometimes they are taken from you before you are ready to say goodbye.

5) They will be your best friend even when you are angry and upset. They won’t leave your side for a second and sometimes are even used by God to nudge you and make you remember that you are not alone.

JOBS

Working girl

Working girl

Someone should have told me:

1) Even though kindergarten was far away there will always be someone who is a tattle-tail just to get ahead of you in the working world.

2) We’re not adults, we’re grown children. Work places are just as bad, if not worse than high school.

3) Working for someone sucks. At some point you will realize you are doing work for someone who is making more money and doing less work.

4) FICA is mean. You don’t make $12 per hr. You make $9 thanks to taxes.

5) When you find your perfect career, don’t let it go!

WRITING & PUBLISHING

DSCN0864

Someone should have told me:

1) Writing partners can be such a helpful and amazing tool. Just be careful because some may only use you for help, but not give any back.

2) You will meet people from all over the world!

3) You can’t please everyone, including agents and publishers. Just keep trying, you’ll find the one who loves your work just as much as you do.

Promote any and every where. Even on your car on a cold and rainy day.

Promote any and every where. Even on your car on a cold and rainy day.

4) Being a writer is actually three jobs in one: a) writer b) an advertiser c) a marketer and each one will frustrate you.

5) Competition is fierce. You might hate your best friend one day because their numbers are higher than yours.

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed my little commentary. Just a few of life’s lessons that I wish I had an inkling of before I stepped forth into the changes in my life. Some are good, some are bad, but overall they are life and life is precious.