The story behind the book Drunk Mom reminds me struggle that the song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" went through. Eddie Schwartz wrote the song and couldn't find anyone who believed in it. There's a funny story about a label flying him down to LA to record some demos but they didn't want to do that one. He begged them and said, "Let's do it; if you don't like it, leave it off the demo tape." He recorded "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," they hated it and the producer ordered the engineer to erase the reel to real 1/4 inch. I mean, they really hated it.
Lucky for Eddie, the engineer had already made a cassette tape of the demo. It was another year before anyone showed an interest. Peter Frampton was going to record it but while he was on tour, unknown, Pat Benatar was with her agent listening to demos at "Brand X" music and she heard the song being played through the wall. She just had to have that song. The agent didn't think it was a good idea but Pat Benatar wouldn't have it. Zeitgeist's influence in the sausage factory rock industry of the day was just waiting for a feminist anthem to break the trampy 80's mold. Pat Benatar (with Eddie's song) became a sensation in every music market in the world. Looking back, having any man sing it would have been uneventful.
Remember, no one who was in the know at gate-keeper central believed in the song. They were wrong. Drunk Mom: A Memoir has released in Australia and in Canada. Based on the splash of publicity the book is about to get in the UK, that market is about to drop the book too.
The USA says, "No way." According to Drunk Mom's Doubleday Canada (Random House) team, Random House USA acquisition loves the book but sales say it is unmarketable. People love "Momoires;" people love crash-and-burn addiction stories but never the two shall meet.
I bet, Random House will soon see that if they don't release it, someone else will and like Eddie's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," Drunk Mom will have her Mother's day.
The book was like heroin for me. I couldn't stop reading and everything else was secondary. Around 1/2 way through I thought I should try to pace myself because I would soon be out. I regretted it being over. Jowita has a real ease with wielding a metaphor. One addict she describes in treatment as being the type of person others are drawn to, like a camp fire. English is a second language for Jowita but she is never apologetic or overcompensating. The story is unabashed and beautifully vulgar.
Here are two "Hit Me With Your Best Shot's." One by composer/writer, Eddie Schwartz and the one that changed the world, by Pat Benatar.