SO… This is gonna be fun.
A lot of you know the story of my story, and if you don’t, you can read it here.
A year ago, when I was starting to get knee-deep into the story, Samantha (who is the main character… everybody say, “Hi, Sam!”) let me know she was in public relations for a NASCAR team. I sort of fought on that one. I mean, really? I like NASCAR. I think Mark Martin pure ol’ rocks in every way. I don’t like Jeff Gordon or Kyle Busch (which, I think, makes me a REAL fan… just kidding). And I really wish Michael Waltrip could catch a break. I’m an old-school racing kind of girl, who misses Dale Jarrett and Terry Labonte, loves the fact that Jeff Burton is still going strong, and wishes the powers that be would ease up and let the boys race.
But, I digress. I like NASCAR, but writing a novel with a main character on the “carpet” side of the sport? Well, it just smacked of writing for a niche. I figured I’d get laughed at when I got around to making proposals. Still, God (and Samantha) wouldn’t leave me alone. So, a PR rep for a NASCAR team Sam is.
Guess how much research info there is out there about public relations mangers in NASCAR? Just about zilch. I found nothing. So I thought I’d email a few race teams to see if they’d answer my questions. I aimed for the lower tier, figuring they’d give me the time of day since I’m pretty much “nobody.” The whole time I’m emailing them, God has Jeff Burton’s name running around in my head. It was like when you get a song stuck up there that just won’t go away. I tried to ignore it because, in case you don’t know, Jeff Burton drives for Richard Childress Racing. And if you don’t know who Richard Childress is, then… uhm, we’ll just say he’s one of the big dogs in the racing world. The late Dale Earnhardt drove for him.
And that is why I kept saying, “God, I will not call RCR. That’s crazy talk, God. You don’t know what you’re saying.” (Ha ha) Four or five non-answers later, I sat down at my desk one day and argued with God about this whole RCR thing. And then I caved and said, “FINE! I’ll email them, alright?” Uhm, no. He made me CALL. I, little bitty nobody Jodie Bailey had to pick up the phone and dial up Richard Childress Racing. Uh, yeah. This is so gonna work, God. They’re too busy. There is no way they’ll help me out. Just… none.
Well, lo, and behold, God knew what He was talking about. (Who knew?) The nicest lady took me seriously and patched me through to the voicemail of their director of communciations. And he called me back.
God bless that sweet man, he has spent a year walking me through my Sam’s job via email. I have tried not to be a nuisance and to limit my questions to less than once a month, because racing is a seriously busy job, especially when you are at RCR. But he has been wonderful and quick to respond to my queries and has made my story ring true. I am beyond grateful for his time and I owe him tons for the help I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. That’s humbling beyond belief, to have someone take the time to help you out when they don’t have to.
And now, God bless him yet again, after a year of putting up with my questions, he is working to allow me to observe one of his PR managers during the Atlanta race this fall! Folks, I’m beside myself. I thought it was past awesome that someone who does my Sam’s job would take the time to answer my questions. But to let me observe someone doing the job in person? That. Rocks. I get to watch a real live Samantha in action. I get to follow in my character’s footsteps.
Now that? THAT is awesome.
God blows my mind…