How did you DO that?

There’s a question about Geek Knits that keeps coming up over the past year. I’ve talked about it in interviews, at libraries, convention panels, so I thought I should post it here as well. The question I keep getting asked is “How did you DO that?”
As in:
How did you get Adam Savage to be in your book?
How did you get Kyle Cassidy to take the photos?
How did you get assistants, handlers, etc, to read your email, help you schedule, and get their client to your shoot?

So here’s the short answer.

I asked them.

I mean, obviously, right? Nothing happens if you don’t ask.

Now here’s the slightly longer answer. I said “Please” and I meant it. I said “thank you” and I REALLY meant it. Sure, I absolutely had some luck and a few “ins”. I have a couple of writer friends who are famous, and typically once one famous person signs on that another famous person knows, they’re more likely to say yes as they know I’m not just some crazy person looking to lock them into a basement and eat their hair to absorb their super famous person powers.

So I called in favors. My friend Kerrie knew Miracle Laurie. I begged and pleaded with her to put in a good word for me, vouch for me, whatever it took. Did the same thing with my friend Quiche. She knows people. I begged for introductions, emails, phone calls, whatever she could do to help me.

And here’s the other part that helped: Sincere gratitude. My friends helped me out, I am grateful for it. I never expect it and I would never treat them differently if they had told me they couldn’t do anything to help me. My friends are my friends because I love them, not because they can boost my career.

I took the “no”‘s with grace. And there were a lot of them. People said no and that’s okay. I asked famous people to take time out of their schedule and let me dress them in a potentially goofy knitwear. Drew Curtis wore a knit fez, Paul and Storm wore Vulcan gloves and sang to a stuffed worm. I had John Scalzi cruelly convinced that he was going to model “skants”. So I understood when people said “no”. (This does not mean however, that my geeky heart didn’t break a little when Adrian Paul gave me a “no”. I’ll admit to going on a wine induced Highlander binge afterwards and getting a little choked up.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the answer to “how did you…?” is simple.
Be nice. Not nice for the moment, nice overall. (Famous people did not get famous by being dumb and having the wool pulled over their eyes).
Say please and thank you. (You know, like Mom and Grandma taught you.)
It’s that simple.*

*except in the case of Kyle Cassidy. I had to drug his whiskey, drag him into the Wisconsin woods and threaten to break his favorite camera. **

** Not really. Kyle is super cool and loves art and he said yes right away.