Sunday, February 1, 2009

Top Ten Advantages to Being an Unpublished Novelist

I think I may have mentioned one or two posts ago that my third novel, my Air Traffic Control thriller, is nearly polished to the point where I will be comfortable shopping it to agents/publishers. I have every confidence this manuscript will get snapped up and become wildly successful, thus proving two things:

1) Hope really does spring eternal, and
2) I need to enjoy what's left of my anonymity while I have it (See #1 above).

Anyway, here is my Top Ten List of things I'll miss when I'm no longer an unknown, unpublished novelist:

10) I still have plenty of time to select a cool pen name.

It's really important to project the proper image to the reading public, so the pseudonym becomes critical. My problem is I can't choose between my three favorites. Steffen King? Don Grisham? Harry Eisler? Tough call.

9) No annoying autograph hounds and paparazzi bothering you when you're trying to eat at a restaurant.

Drawback to this - People get really nervous and call the police when you approach them with a permanent marker and try to sign their shirt.
*Note to self: Don't do that anymore - can't afford the bail money!

8) No need to develop fascinating but self-indulgent theories about writing!

Nobody cares what I think about plot and structure, or about writing authentic-sounding dialogue. Or about much of anything, now that I think about it.

7) Don't have to worry about making the sequel live up to the first book.

'Nuff said.

6) No need to pay hefty income taxes to Uncle Sam on my royalty checks.

There aren't any!

5) Don't have to compose those pesky dedications that go in the front of each book.

Might not seem like a big deal, but those things are a potential minefield. Who do you include? Who do you leave out? Whew. I'm sweating bullets just thinking about it.

4) I don't have to wonder whether my friends are lying when they claim to have read my latest book.

Of course they are!

3) No need to worry about choosing between Cate Blanchett and Mila Kunis to play the female lead in the film adaptation of my book.

I think it goes without saying that this is a real time-saver.

2) Don't have to worry about fielding all those calls from Oprah begging me to be in her book club.

No more call-screening for me; I can answer my phone!

1) Don't have to practice an appropriately modest and self-effacing acceptance speech for those award dinners and banquets.

"I would like to thank my ninth-grade English teacher, Mr. Piccolomini, to whom splitting infinitives was a crime on a par with armed robbery..."

Bonus advantage: You don't have to eat all that rubber chicken they serve on the banquet circuit!

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