Iggy and the Beach

As most of you live in the Northern hemisphere, and cold winter is on you, I thought I’d fill you all with a happy vision of Southern hemisphere beach holidays to make you feel better about the amount of fuel your furnace takes:

Iggy’s Beach Holiday

Eyes pinched tight against the sandblast that was stripping away his epidermis, Iggy and his snow-white feet began their brave journey, armed only with a towel, hat, and pair of trunks that had mysteriously shrunk by being in his closet for ten years. The plump saunter to the sea suddenly transformed itself into a perfect performance of the ten-month pregnant sugar plum fairy. He punctuated his arabesques with high-pitched gasping shrieks of: “Hot, hot, hot!” until he reached the foam-laced icy sea. It was toe-numbing.

Marina, in shades, a wrap and sandals followed in more elegant and leisurely fashion. “Iggy,” she said, pointing to a thin, startlingly blue line glistening among the dirty white spume. His eyes tracked from that to the next… and more, blue stringy shivering trails leading to things that were translucent, blue and… not bubbles.

“Agh! Stingers!” screamed Iggy, and levitated clean above the water, back onto the searing sand.
He dropped his towel and stood on it, as the wind seized his hat and sent it rolling merrily along the beach. Iggy didn’t even try and follow.

“Marina,” he said, “This is such fun, isn’t it?”

“Yes, dear,” she answered tranquilly.

“Good, I’d hate to think my enthusiasm was misplaced.”

And a Merry Christmas to you all. The Christmas Spirit is not (just) what you drink.

And now for some useful information. Given New York Publishing’s impressive and impeccable track record I think we can safely say that contemporary ‘sick lit’ (which I gather means a lead character is dying/very ill/dies – rather than the normal depraved taste of NY Publishing.) will be what they’re buying and what no-one outside NY Publishing would want to read.

And in a similar vein – a list of books to avoid ;-/ If the Beeb is recommending them – I’m staying away.
Is this where we’re going with MSM and traditional publishing? If they love it, I probably don’t.

And now I must return to my frantic word-chase.
May Santa bring you lots of great books to read (Hopefully Mad Genius ones) and may your Christmas be merry and bright, and full of love and laughter.

16 thoughts on “Iggy and the Beach

  1. *cringe* reading the agents say “I’d like to see something really original that’s never been done before, like _____”

    And wow, they’re impressed by retelling the Wizard of Oz as Dark? There’s a comics publisher that has been specializing in that trope for over half a decade now (And a couple others that have dabbled in it). (And wasn’t there a TV spin-off of Once Upon a Time doing Wonderland as well?)

    1. You don’t seriously expect them to know what is going on in main ‘feeder’ markets (like comics) do you? That’s, you know, ridiculous. Like actually getting someone who understands stats to run your numbers and correct for the factors like ‘we only put 100 of book A and no marketing on the shelf and 80 of them sold, but we put 100 000 of book B and threw the kitchen sink at it, it sold 10 000 copies so book B is what readers like. Buy more really original clones of book B.’

      1. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to be the guy who writes a book that goes through 19 printings in 16 months and sells six figures?

        Now, if he actually gets his money….

  2. Let’s see, the BBC likes: guardians as killers (mad nurse, the “insane soldier” meme), WWII guilt, depressing women’s fiction, and dysfunctional families (in a “western” no less). Oh, and the immigrant-as-victim-sort-of. Thanks for the list, Dave – I’ll keep an eye out to avoid these. And all the clones that follow . . .

      1. And Heaven help the poor sods who get stuck reading these in college lit’rary courses. At least with environmental grey goo, you get trees, fish, and the occasional disaster to add momentary interest.

        Maybe someone will write a truly transgressive novel about, oh, say, a half-Comanche-half-Aboriginal military nurse who saves lives. His lesbian sister is a professional diver, gives firearms instruction, and is a strong advocate for everyone’s right to armed self-defense. That would confuse the fuzz out of the lit’rary darlings. Oh, and the nurse has four cats, because, hey, cat books always sell.

  3. What a wonderful Christmas blessing. I would quite like to have many wonderful books to read. So please write faster. 🙂

  4. Okay, I haven’t had the strength to read the New Trends in YA article, because the BBC list reduced me to giving their webpage the finger.

    I got a good chuckle from the family by reading the quote from #9, though…

  5. Is there a reader involved somewhere in that piece? It’s all about what the agent likes and editors. What they think the kids will like rather than what they DO like. Bleahh.

    1. (speaking for NY Publishers and the agents who are, de facto, their employees although they generously allow the author to pay them – they do not disoblige publishers for the sake of those who pay their salaries) “Reader? Oh, you mean the great un-washed. They must read what we tell them is good for them. Their tastes are irrelevant and we’ve never bothered to try and find out what or why they like anything. Our taste is far better for them. Trust us.”

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