I’d already written Chapter One of my new novel, but it was rejected by the first agent I tried.
I thought of suicide.
Because of depression?
Certainly not! As a marketing ploy.
My suicide? Nothing fancy. Not even new as Ezra Pound would demand. In the late evening, my clothes left on the beach, my body never to be found--obvious shark-bait.
Then with a bogus passport, I would fly to Tahiti.
Think of the honking platform it would give the book. Who wouldn’t like to dip into the book to see whether the writer, killed by the agent’s rejection, had a dollop of the right stuff or whether he was complete loser? Readers would clamor for it. Would we give it to them?
In interviews (radio, magazines, TV, Oprah), Rosie Ruiz, my distraught wife, would make the agent who failed to respond to my query infamous, ridiculed more than the agents and publishers who rejected the first Harry Potter. While my wife worked the media for a few weeks, I would write the rest of the novel. Then Rosie would drift out of sight and join me in Tahiti, and we would publish my novel on Lulu.com. The first snuff book.
Critics would ease their customary harshness because of my death. One or two might heap praise on my work, even suggest my writing, at its best, approached that of E.L. James. The publicity would make Stephen King swoon. Everybody would buy, yes buy, the book, available only in hardcover for $26.95. I would siphon off the account into which the royalties poured and my heirs would email WTF! to each other,. We’d spurn the New York publishers who begged Rosie by email for snippets, even a to-do list, that I’d written.
If the sales fell in a year or two, that would be the time for my surprise return from the dead. By comparison, James Frey would look like a kid caught stealing a Girl Scout cookie. Sales again would be over the moon. Though I would be savaged for crass self-promotion, summer writing programs would offer huge stipends for me to be on panels where I would offer somber warnings to ephebe writers not to take it too far.
At the moment, I’m working on the marketing strategy for my still-in-the-planning- stage next book, which will be written for me by a clever MFA graduate just as soon as I formulate an engrossing story filled with the unforgettable characters, who as yet remain somewhat elusive. I’m using, (nitpickers would say overusing) Tyler Grant’s suggestions in the Spectator, February 5, 2020, titled How to Write 2020’s Great American Novel, or the Manic Pixie Inclusive Totally Woke Dream Manuscript. You can read it on the tricky website, https://spectator.us/2020-great-american-novel/. Good luck with that. Or you can send me $45 dollars (cash only) and I may send you a bootlegged copy.