Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paperback writer

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be
a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be
a paperback writer, Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be
a paperback writer, Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

I’ve been thinking about writing since D├│mhnall told me I should start concentrating on my own work again.
My book tells the story of a brave, unassuming woman trapped in a loveless marriage who aspires to be an award-winning writer, while writing her novel in secret.
While there are some autobiographical elements, it is entirely fictional.

It was only when my ex-husband (who I will not be writing about here) left me and I realised I had nothing to live on that it occurred to me - I could sell it! So today I decided to do some research, just in case the junior reporting job doesn't work out and I need something to fall back on.
Apparently, according to the internet, there are many, many writers all over the world who’ve sold hundreds of books they haven’t yet written for thousands, sometimes millions, of euros. (Isn’t the internet an amazing thing? You type in a few words, like writer and book deal, and all sorts of things come up).
I’d be happy with 20 or 30 thousand myself. A little more would be nice, of course, but I don’t want to be greedy, and while I feel that my book is good, it is a little dark. Unlike the one in the song above, it is a little less than a thousand pages long (230 pages, to be exact), and while the fictional husband featured in my book isn't a very nice man, he isn't actually dirty. In fact, personal hygiene is something that's very important to him.
The story in my book isn't actually dirty either.
Just sad.
And dark.
And a little . . . uneventful, which I suspect means it may be artistic, although that wasn't something I was aiming for when I wrote it. Then again, I didn't really write it with any aim in mind, apart from trying to do something that would stop me thinking about what my-ex-husband was up to on the evenings he didn't come home . . . . . .
I've been thinking about changing the ending. In my second draft the ex-husband is reunited with his plucky ex-wife after she bravely creates a new life for herself and his eyes are opened to all her newly-revealed wonderful qualities.
Now I'm not sure.
A possible industrial accident that leaves him emotionally crushed and just very slightly maimed might, I feel, be more effective. I just have to pin down the details (flying debris after someone, never traced, plants a small quantity of explosives in his hardhat during a building site visit, versus office chair collapsing under him, involuntarily causing him to catch his index finger in his electric pencil sharpener). Hmmmmmmm.

The red-haired lady was lurking out on the street when I drove into town to pick up my paper. She didn’t get a chance to throw anything at me today, but she did yell something that sounded like ‘bagelmasher’ as I sped past.


  1. Love Bagels but Beatles should be squished.

  2. I agree - Paul McCartney could definitely do with a good squishing.

  3. 20 or 30 grand??!! this really is fiction, eh?

  4. I take it that's wildly optimistic then? Oh dear.