I am a filthy whore.
Oh yeah, I totally went there. I have no shame about it, not anymore. If a publisher pays for it, baby, I’ll write it and fake that I am happy for as long as they know me (and the check clears). They don’t even have to pretend that they respect me as long as the money clears. $5,000 to write some silly smut novel under an assumed name? Why not? It all pays the same.
A lot of people really question my attitude about it. I don’t blame them, considering how hard I often come down on publishers for being dickweevils (totally a word in the south, promise) to their authors. But — and this is a Jennifer Lopez-sized but here — if the publisher is holding up their end of the contract and paying the author royalties and advances on time, then I’m an extremely forgiving guy when they don’t exactly push the new author as hard as their established mid-lister.
(looks around to see who is going to nuke this on Saturday and publicly wonder if I have truly lost my goram mind)
Look, the reason a lot of people write is because it can pay. Sure, I hold a lot of people in high regard who write purely for the art. Me? MONEY.
…and no psychiatrist bills…
Okay, I do have some standards. Like if a publisher wanted me to write gay alien cowboy romance (Star-Lords in Heat. Eh? Ehhh?) I wouldn’t write it for free.Okay, with a title like that, I’d probably write it for $50. That’s just too hilarious to pass up.
“Why,” you ask as you shake your head and wonder if you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, “am I reading about this when I should be reading about writing and editing tips?”
Beats the hell out of me. I did warn you at the top (the title says it all).
By the way, Jason is an author who just collaborated on a novel that came out this past week, which was fortuitous timing. He didn’t plan it that way, but if you liked the movie Deadpool, MGC’s resident Spaniard suggests that you might also like his new novel, Kraken Mare, out now.
He would also like to apologize to the random gay alien cowboys who may have been offended at the idea of him writing a love story for them. They deserve better.
I respect your honesty, good sir.
We’ll just have to change his moniker to “WARPED Cordova”.
Methinks Jason is suffering from (enjoying?) a post-publication rebound.
But writing and selling in different genres would be a good challenge. Can you master the conventions for romance/thriller/cozy mystery/urban fantasy and write well enough to sell? That’s one thing J.K. Rowling managed to do pretty darn well.
Thank you for the Friday laugh.
You neglected to take one factor into consideration–that when random gay alien cowboys want to read something *they* consider kinky, it is sweet (straight) Regency romance 😀 Let Cerebus be your guide! “You have gold, Cerebus wants it.”
How about gay, alien soldiers?
Best MGC post I’ve read yet. I’m a reader not a writer so some columns pass over my head.
You… and the likes of Lawrence Block and Robert Silverberg, who wrote everything from lesbian porn to oceanography because someone was willing to pay for it.
And I don’t even have a pornograph.
Alas, all it plays is “Bow-chicka-wow-wow”.
Nothing wrong in getting paid
Dayum! Talk about inflation. Back in the ’70s porn writing for hire paid usually on the order of $500 a book. Of course they gave you an outline calling out all the required acts, but you still had to “flesh” the story out into something somewhat readable.
But then a competent writer could crank one out in three to five days, so not all that bad pay for a week’s work.
Above my capabilities at that time, I was making $20-50 each for short humor pieces for men’s magazines. And selling only every month or so. Still put a few extra bucks in the wallet.
How do you say “I wish I knew how to quit you” in Klingon?
“chay’ SoH bup vISov vIneH”
Man, the internet is a scary thing sometimes….
There is no Klingon word for “quit”; just hit him with s pain-stick. If that doesn’t get the message across, well, that’s what bat’leths are for.
Just a little idle curiosity: Is the “Mare” in Kraken Mare pronounced as one syllable, as in “nightmare”, or two, as in “Mare Nostrum”?
Leaving aside the possible complications with “alien” and “gay”, what exactly does an alien cowboy do? Is it an alien working a ranch in Texas? A Texan cowboy wrangling aliens? An alien wrangling alien creatures, whose name is so hard to pronounce that we just call them “cows” out of desperation? Or perhaps we just decided “cowboy” was easier to say than “dextrobopper” (I tried to find it, but there is no “search” function on my paperback copy).
I couldn’t resist:
“Which horse should I saddle,” asked Frank.
Ted pondered a moment as he checked out the new guy. His hat looked brand new, but the rest of him looked authentic cowboy and he really filled out his Wranglers. What sort of horse would be appropriate? He was probably expecting either the meanest bronco or the laziest nag. Hazing could wait; they were pressed for time. “Take Stripe, there, two stalls down. He’s nothing special, but he’ll get the job done.”
They saddled up, Ted noting that Frank’s Wranglers looked even better when he bent over. “Let’s go. Pops will be pissed if he doesn’t get back here in time. I’ll give you the tour on the way back.”
They trotted toward the fence line then, reaching the path running along it, started to canter. They both rode easily, their strong bodies moving in rhythm with the horses. Following behind, Frank noticed sweat starting to soak through Ted’s t-shirt, stretched tight across his broad back. In this heat, they’d all need some water. Idly wondering where they’d find it, he fantasized about the muscular body in front of him.
It didn’t take long to reach Pops, out repairing the fence. “Hey, Pops,” Ted called. “Charlene needs you back at the house. Frank, give him your horse. We’ll leave the ATV and wagon here. If we take it slow, Star here should have no trouble getting us both back.”
Pops hopped on Stripe and headed back the way they’d come. Ted sidled Star up next to the ATV. “Frank, hop on. We’ll go back a slightly longer way so we can stop and get some water for all three of us.”
Frank looked up with a slightly startled look, “I haven’t ridden double since I was a kid. You sure Star can carry us both? We could take the ATV.” Of course, he wasn’t the least bit concerned about the horse, but worried about his own reaction to rubbing against the back he’d spent most of the ride out fantasizing about.
Ted grinned, having a pretty good idea what the objection was all about. “No problem. Star’s a trooper. She’s done everything I’ve asked for years. Despite what you might think, you’re not that big. Hop on up. If your worried about falling off, you have me to hang on to,” he teased.
Not seeing much choice, Frank did as he was told. “Try to pay attention to where we’re going. You’re going to have to get to know this place,” Ted said as he turned Star around and headed off across the pasture at a slow walk. “We’ll take it easy, since it’s so hot.”
Riding double didn’t leave Frank with anywhere to put his hands, unless he wanted to take Ted up on his offer. At a walk, he decided he could just let them dangle at his sides. He tried to avoid leaning into Ted, as well. The smell of the man was arousing him; he wanted to avoid touching. Ted seemed to sense this. Turning his head slightly, he warned, “this is going to take forever. Grab on and we’ll trot.”
The feel of tight abs under his hands did nothing to calm Frank’s nerves. He tried thinking about anything else, but it was impossible to ignore the hard body rubbing against his chest. After a few minutes of this, his Wranglers were decidedly uncomfortable. There is no way Ted could fail to notice the erection poking him in the back, but he said nothing.
Finally reaching a small creek, Ted stopped and dismounted. Looking up at Frank, he said, “let’s finally see what that thing poking me in the back looks like.” Frank stared down at him, too surprised to say anything. Ted pulled his now soaked t-shirt off and began unbuckling his belt. Frank’s eyes drank in the muscular chest, the light trail of hair leading downward, and the obvious bulge in Ted’s pants, as well. “Well, are you getting down or am I pulling you off?”
Frank dismounted and began stripping down.
Star turned her head toward them, “before you two get started, would you mind leading me to the water?”
That last line!
E.E. Smith, “First Lensman”, 1950
”but all I can understand of your occupation is the name you have given it. What does a Chief Dexitroboper do?”
“She-or he—or, perhaps, it . . . is a supervisor of the work of dexitroboping.”
– TRX (all your data are belong to me)
you know, whenever one of the other freelance artists or writers i know talks about the last project they worked on, I respond “did your paycheck clear the bank?”