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CONFESSIONS OF A COLLECTOR
WANT, ACQUIRE, POSSESS.
MATERIAL GIRL SUZANNE ENOCH MAKES A CONTEMPORARY SPLASH WITH A NEW NOVEL THAT REVEALS HER FAVORITE OBSESSION.
Hello, my name is Suzanne, and I'm a collectaholic. Come on, you can admit it too. You collect cute little ceramic cows or state spoons, Hallmark ornaments or snow globes.
Me, I collect Star Wars memorabilia.
I know there are some of you out there. I'm not talking about the owners of a small selection of thematically similar items; I'm talking about collectors. Obsessed people. People who work to support their collecting habit. People who might not snatch the new holographic
Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure out of the hands of an 8-year-old but would seriously consider it.
There's nothing like walking into a secondhand antique store and seeing that 25-year-old Star Wars lunch box marked down to $5. Heck, it's practically orgasmic. Not coming home with it would be both physically painful and unthinkable. Yes, it's a sickness, but hey, I'm aware of it. And I have no desire to find a cure.
So what if I've devoted an entire room in my new house to my
collection. Some people have hallways, wings or castles dedicated
to collections of art. I have one little display room… that holds about 1,500 pieces.
I have, at least, been able to use my obsession for the forces of good. Five years ago, I received a phone call from my editor. The E! entertainment channel was putting together a special celebrating the return of the Star Wars movies, and they were looking for a California romance author who was also a fan. I ended up being interviewed on a national special and getting more airtime than George Lucas. Apparently I know more about either romance or Star Wars than he does. Or it might have been because I worked for free. I'd like to say that it was my plan all along to mesh my obsession and my career, but that would be crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm just obsessed.
In fact, I had to take out extra homeowner's insurance to cover
my collection, which would probably be worth approximately $20,000
to $25,000. When I first saw Star Wars at age 13, it transported me
to this fantastical place. I think collecting bits of it is my way of trying to keep that sense of magic. My favorite piece is my 1978 Princess Leia. I found her at a secondhand antique store sans shoes—but she does have the cinnamon bun 'do. When I moved houses years ago, I put her in the front seat with me, so her hair wouldn't hit anything and collapse! And like any collector, I'm constantly searching for new pieces. (Currently I'm hankering for a 1978 12" Han Solo action figure, but can't seem to find any up for grabs!)
Being something of an expert on collect-aholism, I began to wonder whether I could create a character with a similar attribute. So for Flirting With Danger, a comedic romantic suspense—and my first contemporary book—I made the hero a collector. Rick Addison, who unlike me is a billionaire, collects antiques and works of art. In fact, he has a mantra: want, acquire, possess. It's a phrase he uses the first time he sees the heroine, and it's what he sets out to do. Of course, I also managed to work in a kid who collects Star Wars, and who knows the difference between a 1978 C-3PO and the 1997 reissue (I have one of each). I mean, hey, if you have an obsession, you may as well make it work for you.
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