I arrive back from lunch at my publishing house, Twilight Fan Fiction Whores, Inc. for my meeting with Aaron Frale. Aaron is a young, former indie author (my most hated kind. I hate indies. Don’t they understand that the public needs to be TOLD what they like?).
Aaron is waiting in my office when I arrive, despite the fact that I’m 45 minutes late. That could be because he’s a laid back kind of guy, sort of a handsomer version of Seth Rogan. Or it could be because I’ve just gotten back from a 14 martini lunch and I’m blitzed out of my mind.
Publishing is a rough business.
Which is why I have one goal in mind; turn his book, regardless of what it is, into Twilight Fan Fiction. As I watch him study my posters from 50 Shades of Grey with disdain, I can only assume it’s going to be a very, very hard sell.
I friggen hate indies.
Pitch your book to me like I’m a really stupid, really drunk publisher (as opposed to a really stupid, really drunk author)
My book is a story about a woman who finds a mysterious doorway that didn’t exist the last time she walked by.
(Aaron notices my sudden lady erection)
No, Edward and Jacob are not making out behind the door! (He rolls his eyes disdainfully) They are not even in my book! I’m not going to rewrite my book to include the Twilight cast. I’m pretty sure the rest of the world doesn’t view Bella as that “hoe” that got in between Jacob and Edward.
(I begin to feel queasy at the prospect of publishing something that ISN’T Twilight fan fiction. Aaron immediately grabs his manuscript away and glares at me in alarm.)
Don’t puke on that! Goddamit!
(I swallow back down a 14 martini lunch and continue with my questions)
This book was written from a female POV. Did you have any difficulty with that?
Horror and Science Fiction have very few female characters that go beyond the “fighting fuck toy” and other gender stereotypes. My main character, Caroline, is my part to give women more complex roles in the genre. For me, the writing process was more about actualizing her as a human being with many facets than using tired and over used fallbacks. Caroline is a real person in extraordinary circumstances, anything less would diminish her as a human being. I also have an Iranian guy who isn’t a terrorist, so deal with it Mainstream America!
What made you pull away (i.e. sellout) from the wonderful world of indie writing and pursue a publishing deal with Amazon?
Who wouldn’t want to sell out? I mean look at Crispin Glover. He made a lot of money doing main stream stuff and can spend the rest of his life being as weird as he wants. Not that I plan to talk with rats or anything, but I spend a lot of my time marketing my books for a very small amount of sales. It would be nice to focus more on writing, and let the publisher do the marketing.
What wine — or illegal narcotic (after all, you are a musician as well) would you pair your book with?
Mushrooms and any other hallucinogen, once you go down the rabbit hole… I’ll let readers discover that for themselves.
You’re given a magic wand with only one power. With one wave, you can you can wipe out an entire genre of books. Do you use it and if so, what genre? If you don’t, why? (And recognize the fact that I will indeed label you a pussy)
Werewolf porn. Aren’t hairy men from seventies porn enough? Do we really need to go to the point of werewolves? I didn’t know it was a genre until I started seeing some of my other stories appear in the Fantasy top 100 list on Amazon with “Back Massages from a Lycan Prince” or something like that. Does “his erection was barely noticeable in the fur” really turn people on?
I heartell that Kindle Scout has replaced the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. How do you feel about that? Did you ever enter the Breakthrough Novel Award before Kindle Scout came around? What was your experience with that?
As a former ABNA participant, I’m thrilled by Kindle Scout. More people will get a chance at a publishing deal than ever whereas ABNA only gave a select few that chance. I’d rather compete against a couple hundred people for an undetermined and flexible amount of slots than ten thousand people for five slots and only one in my genre. For me personally, I know there is an audience for what I write, Kindle Scout gives me a chance to connect with those people and not worry about the rest. Whereas in ABNA if someone wrote a heartbreaking novel about a single mother struggling to connect to her kid with cancer, what chance does my novel have? And when I think about the true prize of Kindle Scout, it’s not the advance, it’s the marketing. If my book doesn’t sell when Amazon markets it to millions of people, that’s on me.
I sigh and put away my checkbook. If this cat isn’t willing to write fan fiction based on vampires, werewolves or the kids from Harry Potter, how can he possibly expect me to sell any of his books?
Ridiculous. It’s as if he thinks the American public wants something different. Like they might want to — think for themselves.
Unfortunately, we at Twilight-Fan Fiction Whores aren’t willing to publish this book for obvious reasons, but if you’d like to see Aaron in print, then be cool and go give him a vote at his Kindle Scout page. If he is published, he will be gifting free kindle editions to voters.