I’m reading a young adult novel, Fair Coin by E.C. Myers, after reading a review on i09.com that calling it “Pure, Awesome, Crack.” There’s enough in the review that I don’t need to get to touch on the book itself other than to recommend it (disclosure: my wife works for Pyr, the publisher). It’s not the first young adult novel I’ve read since reaching established adult status. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and any number of Harry Potter books come to mind.
If you decide to do it, to finally write the Great American Novel that is so evidently within you, expect a five thousand dollar advance followed by a royalty check every now and then if you manage to sell five to ten thousand copies. Most don’t earn out, meaning they never earn enough money to cover the advance, much less to pay the author anything above. But you do it for the art, man.
If you want to write a young adult novel, expect a twenty thousand dollar advance followed by royalty checks if you earn out. Most don’t, but you’re still fifteen grand ahead of the adult novelist. This is a relatively new development. Adults are joining the already large young adult audience and sales are fantastic. Why?
I speculate that it has something to do with plot. There is a lot less man vs. himself navel gazing and a lot more man vs. man and man vs. nature hitting and scheming. I suspect that the same thing drives the sales of genre fiction, be it mystery, romance, science fiction, or fantasy. People like stories. Main stream modern literature, and I say this having not read much of it lately so feel free to disagree, has left plot behind. I see a lot of fictionalized memoirs, coming of age retrospectives meant to be read from an adult perspective, and family snapshots. Dog books too. I can’t figure out why, but there seem to be a lot of dog books. This came out a lot more grumpy old man-ish that I expected. I don’t care. Get out of my yard.
I’m not much for cocktails, preferring instead to have whisky or whiskey with ice when hard liquor is appropriate, smug in the knowledge that we are past the need to mask the flavor of prohibition-era rotgut. Sometimes I make exceptions. A friend maintains a changing list of around fifteen original cocktails at her bar and is constantly experimenting. Note the “Tequila Mockingbird.” She macerates the strawberries in tequila, adds pepper infused honey syrup, and a splash of Cava. It’s like she took a whole summer of relaxing in the backyard and crammed it into a rocks glass. The “Walker Percy” is pretty fabulous as well. It should be noted that she makes her own infusions, syrups, and lemon-, grapefruit-, and other cellos. If you are in the Birmingham area, it’s a must try. If I possessed one whit of bravery, I would have written “maintains a fluid list” rather than “maintains a changing list.” Oh well.
It’s always been annoying, but the royal “we” from waiters is in the process of escaping its pet peeve bonds and soaring into outrage territory. “Are we enjoying everything?” “Are we ready to order?” The royal “we” belongs in satirical blogging and castles. Maybe on the battlefield, if you have a lead from the front kind of king. But that’s it.
Don’t be so smug, vegans. There are those willing to go farther than you. At least there used to be... As long as we are talking about literature: Ripped from the pages of Catch 22... This is just cool and I don’t care if it is accurate or not. Neither should you.