LORI: (Should we tell him that it’s the genre writers who get recognition while they’re still alive and literary writers whose genius isn’t discovered until after they’re dead? He probably better start calling Nondescript ‘Mainstream.’)
PETE: “Literary” writers — the sort who turn up in the Guardian Books section with Quite Right Indignant opinions About The State of Free Verse Poetry About T.S. Eliot and the Iraq War — give me the heebie jeebies, and then they give me a rash. Maybe in the second draft, I’ll magically insert an Elf-Lord into the book, just to get me away from it.
Anyway, my NEXT book is pure fluff. It’s a big cookie. Pure sci-fi. That should keep me safely a hack. You can both continue to e-mail me. 😀
KRISTINE: I wonder what his agent will think? He’ll be at one of the big book signings in New York, where they serve bottled water and espressos to the patrons who’ll sit for a reading, then send their assistants out with Fluffy to piss on the sidewalk while they make sure to be seen next to the Author during the photo ops. His agent will be asked what his next brilliant project is going to be, and he’ll turn to Pete, eyebrow raised, and Pete will say “Oh, it’s fantastic! There’s Elf Lords, space ships, and stuff blows up in every chapter! I call it “My Career: Things That Go Boom” 😀
PETE: Hah! Yes! Sounds perfect! ….What the hell am I going to drink at a high-falutin’ New York signing full of espressos? I hope someone can give me a cup of SOME kind of tea. And if it’s Lipton, I am LEAVING in a huff!
I mean think about it. It has to suck if you’re just a literary author. You don’t get to go to any conventions like ComicCon, or ICon or DragonCon, or WorldCon or AAANY of those, because nobody there is going to sit and ask you inane detailed questions about the technical workings of your……World War II coming-of-age story (that’s what it is, isn’t it? Oh man.)
You paint scary pictures, Kristine… 🙂
KRISTINE: Liptons? Heavens no, they’ll have a special commissioned blend of tea leaves plucked by monks and rolled by virgins. They’ll use distilled water to boil, so you’ll never actually get to drink it because distilled water does not boil. But the tin, which holds .5 ounces and cost more than your advance will be very attractive and impress everyone who sees it.
PETE: ….can’t I just throw some cheap shit in a bubbling pot and pour it into a chipped coffee mug, please?
(It amuses me no end, your descriptions of the “literary” world. It’s like the book world, channeled through Sex in the City, and mixed with allllll those STUPID agents and authors and publishers you see in movies and TV shows.)
LORI: There are other cons, Pete, where literary authors would be more at home.
PETE: Probably. But would there be comic books, action figures, and people dressed as peculiar belly dancer versions of Boba Fett? (First time I typed that, I typed “Baba Yaga” by mistake, because I was reading about her this morning. SO maybe there’s a belly dancer version of Baba Yaga. Shuddddder.)
KRISTINE: I think there are “gatherings” where people eat cheeses and grapes and have debates about what the author “really meant” and other metaphors.
PETE: “Where IS the author anyway, Chaffon?”
“Oh, Enrique, he’s in the kitchen.”
“With the cheese platter and the chardonnay, Jean-Paul?”
“No, he’s hiding underneath the pantry shelves and he throws Asimov books at anyone who comes near him. Whatever an ASIMOV is. *sniff*. I should have gone to the Christian Fashion Show instead.”
KRISTINE: Chaffon: Oh my Great Good Lord! Who let that homeless man in here?
Jean-Paul: Chaffon, my pet, that’s not a homeless man. That’s Pete Tzinski, the author.
Chaffon: But he’s – – he’s, *un*washed!
Jean-Paul: Yes. He’s deliciously insane, isn’t he? I think it lends a sort of–oh, what’s the term they use on that MTV? Street thread, wheat cred, something.