Okay, back to novel #28. It’s been finally rejected. Here’s a cut and paste from the email:
“I don’t think in the current climate that it would be sellable. It’s mixture of Greek mythology, contemporary pop culture and humour would quite simply go over the heads of most readers.”
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Having said that, he did say:
“This is one of the funniest things I’ve read this year.”
So, thanks, but you still suck, I guess is what we take out of this. (By the way, this rejection has already been counted, and rejections still stand at 162.)
Anyway, let’s look at a brief excerpt from said book.
10. Let’s Discuss Things
The mayor’s office was large, dominated by a desk that was allegedly originally owned by Mark Twain’s chiropodist. He sat behind it (the mayor, not Mark Twain’s chiropodist) and did mayoring things often, at least two days a week, sometimes as many as three and a half. This was one of those times. On the other side of the desk sat a man who looked like he would rather be anywhere else than here, in this office, with this man, wearing these clothes. He much preferred his impressive army uniform, but it frightened the mayor, so he wore the suit instead.
“I’m sorry, Mr Mayor, you want me to what?” the man asked in as kind a voice as he could muster at such short notice.
“We need to stop these monsters, General Marshall,” the mayor stated coldly.
The general’s face broke into an unfamiliar smile, the muscles protesting at the action. “I’d laugh,” he rumbled, “but I’ve forgotten how.”
“This is not the response I expected,” the mayor said, hoping he sounded indignant and angry, not realising he sounded like his three year old nephew when refused a third bowl of sugar-infused breakfast cereal.
“Let me spell it out for you,” the General said coldly, an emotion he did so much better than mirth. “You want me to burn down a hundred year old privately owned building, drain a lake and shut down all the businesses on its shores, send out random airstrikes over horse breeding farms, and then chop down a federally protected forest because of some mass hysteria about monsters that don’t actually exist.” He folded his arms across his broad chest, then stroked his thick, pointed beard. “So, no, I won’t. Nyah.”
“But the people want something done,” the mayor tried.
“They also want to pay no taxes, have everything given to them for free and have sex with supermodels. What they want and what they’re going to get are two mutually exclusive concepts.” The General’s voice dropped a tone, something that would have been taken as a warning in most sentient beings.
But the mayor continued: “I’ve seen the photos! The videos!” he insisted lamely.
“And I’ve seen the film Clash Of The Titans.” He spat the name of the film out as if it tasted of bitter almonds. “Special effects. Photoshop. By Ze… My God, we live in an age where any twelve year old geek with an iPhone can make it look like you’ve been eating live hamsters, and an age where the media will put out anything like that in order to get more readers to see their advertisements.” He leant forward and stared at the mayor through eyes that had struck fear into the hearts of too many men. “It’s all bullshit,” he finished somewhat lamely.
“So what do I do now?” the mayor asked, doing simpering really well, even for a politician.
General Marshall smiled at him in a manner that would make sharks wary. “We go on the public relations offensive and tell the people they’re idiots. We’ll get some famous Hollywood person to agree with us, find some geek who wants fifteen minutes of fame to admit he fiddled with the footage and the pictures, kill the people who try to disagree with us, put full page adverts online, and make it like someone – I’m sure we can blame the Chinese – wants us to believe in monsters because it will destroy the American way of life. See?”
The mayor was nodding his agreement. “Makes sense,” he mused, doing his best impersonation of someone with intelligence, which it must be said was pretty good. “So we… hang on! Did you just say what I think you said?”
“No,” Marshall replied, standing tall. “I didn’t. Good day, Mayor.” Without waiting for a response he strode out of the office, leaving the mayor to contemplate whatever the hell it was mayors contemplated when they were all alone.