Thursday, September 11, 2008

ALIEN SPACE MONKEYS IN THE ROOM...

As a writer you've heard about the elephant in the room?
Well there is something more insidious.

Tooloose is suffering from angst.
He's been busily writing his abducted-by-alien -space-monkeys-cat-rehab-memoir and it's going pretty good. ER...as good as it can get without opposable thumbs.
In between getting distracted by batting around the crumpled pages of his manuscript he's tossed aside.
And coming down from that last catnip high (hey, he's in rehab...I didn't say it was successful.
It's finally occurring to him that maybe this publishing and writing stuff might be harder than it looks.
We had a talk about this just the other day.
"Meow?"
"Yes, Tooloose. I know editing and revising is difficult, but you just have to power through it."
"Meow. Meow."
"Yes. When I wrote LOTTERY, I pretty much wrote it for myself. I was compelled to write it."
"Meow?"
"No, Tooloose. I have no idea what kind of advance you'll get. I have no idea if it will be enough for you to live on."
"Meow, Meow."
"I don't think you can prevent your litter mates from buying a copy and reading it. I don't think it works that way. Why? Did you write something bad about them?"
"Meow!!"
"I see. Well you'll have to cross that bridge when you come to it. Your publisher will have lawyers who can determine libel."
"Meow?"
"No, Touloose. Not everybody will like your book. But that's okay. Plenty of people will. You've kind of limited your market as most cats can't read."
"Meow?"
"Well that's a choice you have to make. I think non-fiction is more compelling, but sure, you can change it to fiction."
"Meow."
"Yeah I know vampires are really hot right now but remember how long it will take to get your book on the bookshelves even if it IS published this year. I don't think you can predict the market like that."
"Meow."
"Yeah I DO kind of like the title 'Blood-Sucking-Cat-Vampires-Meet-Alien-Space-Monkeys: Fight to the Death' but I thought you wanted to write your cat rehab memoir?"
"Meow."
"Tooloose, I told you. You can't predict what will be popular. You have to write from your passion. Not for who you think might read your book. Otherwise what's the point?"
"$$$Meow$$$!"
"Tooloose, your focus on money does not show me you have a true commitment to the arts."
"Meow!"
"Okay, sure. We'll let the blog readers help you decide.
Should you stick with your abducted-by-alien -space-monkeys-cat-rehab-memoir or be 'market driven' and...what's that Tooloose?
You have an idea?
An orphaned kitten wizard that is sent to a Cat Magic boarding school and is the focus of a divine feline prophesy?

Oh man.
Help me blog readers...

17 comments:

Lisa R said...

Touloose,

Non-fiction...stick with it. You have a great story and you should tell it truthfully.

Funny post!

Anonymous said...

Tell Tooloose to take non-fic author John Elder Robison's advice, which I paraphrase here: "Woof."
Zoroaster's Dog

Holly Kennedy said...

Tell him to write it when he's high on his catnip. That way it'll be raw and real and will ring with raging authenticity.

The Anti-Wife said...

Tooloose honey,
Stick to the memoir. You have such a fabulous story to tell and many will benefit from your wisdom and advice.

ORION said...

you know that's what I tried to tell him...but he won't listen to me.
I mean I even got him signed up for a writers group but he just ends up playing with everyone's shoe laces instead of reading their work...

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Oh I don't know everyone, you have to admit, Cat Magic boarding school - sounds pretty good...

Janet said...

I am trying to find a synonym for authenticity that starts with R. It's such a shame to sacrifice alliteration like that. But "realness" just doesn't cut it.

Word verification: noovgrf. Sounds like something Touloose could understand.

Joanne said...

Tooloose, is Pat steering you away from memoir because it would be a tell-all that includes life with Pat on Orion? Hmmmm. What goes on on that boat?

Jay said...

Joanne, great minds think alike. I was just going to say that!

Bookfool said...

Tooloose is so funny. I want to read his book.

I am in mourning. My husband is leaving to be near you on Sunday and he insists I cannot crawl in the luggage because I have a kid. Big deal! He can fend for himself, right? The cat, on the other hand, sat down and howled like a freaking banshee, yesterday -- just let out this gigantic, "I'm going to die if someone doesn't pet me RIGHT NOW" wail. She might not be able to handle a few days without her slave. Still . . . I'm in mourning.

ORION said...

Yeah I got to thinking...each time I have an argument with gordon, Tooloose is right there taking notes...hmmmm

Ric said...

While the memoir sounds MOORE than interesting, I think he should stick to fiction.
Perhaps something in which dogs are shown to be the insidious, worthless, conniving, dangerous creatures they really are?

As long as you get a cat loving, dog hating agent and editor, you're home free.

jennifer said...

How is Tooloose with poetry? There has been so little really good poetry written by cats. There has been great poetry written ABOUT cats, but I think the poets stole their feline's work and published it as their own. I will name no names...

And there is nothing wrong with *$*MEOW*$*, not a thing.

ORION said...

Tooloose's poetry has been described as derivative.
He wrote one called 'YOWL'
I thought it was a ginsberg ripoff...

laughingwolf said...

tooloose, ol bud, try to emulate hunter s. thompson, and do it stoned AND drunk!

and remember, there's no such thing as non-fic, everybody adds something fictional to everything ;) lol

Ray Wong said...

LOL. I should talk to mine more. He may become famous some day.

Carleen Brice said...

Mysteries are where the $ is for cats, don't you know!