Oscar Wilde. Ernest Hemingway. Hunter S. Thompson.
Each, a rock star in his own right. Oscar Wilde was put on trial for sodomy and indecency. Hemingway killed bears, fought in wars, crashed planes, had an FBI file on him. Hunter S. Thompson consumed every drug known to man, was a certified gun nut, and started FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS as a piece for fucking Sports Illustrated. Oh! And had his ashes shot out of a cannon made to look like a fist.
Who do we have like that these days? Neil Gaiman? He’s close, but let’s be honest — he’s just too nice. Too normal. A positively lovely human being by all reports. You never hear, “Famous author Neil Gaiman caught with seven stewardesses in a Wichita bus depot.” He doesn’t throw Bibles through stained glass windows or get into drunken beefs with other speculative fiction writers. You won’t see him roving about in public with exotic swords bought at a flea market looking to cut any dude who looks at him sideways.
Who else? J.K. Rowling? C’mon, she’s like someone’s business-savvy mom.
Stephenie Meyer? Ennnh. Can “Mormon” and “Rock Star” go together? It’s like peanut butter and drywall.
We don’t really have anyone. And see, while sometimes I lament that this writing career gets — in the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield — no respect, maybe what we need is to go so far down respect’s throat we come out the other side, surfing an effluent tide of flaming typewriters, LSD habits, and public badassery. We need literary rock star heroes to swoop in and save publishing.
And here’s how we get ’em.
We Need Some Literary Beefs Up In This Hizzy
Epic rock star personalities make way for epic rock star beefs. David Lee Roth versus Van Halen. Jay-Z versus Nas. Foo Fighters versus the entire TV show “Glee.”
The authorial world demands this. And we’re not talking about some little Twitter snit, some online battle oozing across a handful of Livejournal comments. It’s not enough for Stephen King to talk to Entertainment Weekly and be all like, “Well, Stephenie Meyer is no J.K. Rowling, pfft.” I’m talking, Terry Pratchett needs to go and take a shit in Dan Brown’s mailbox. James Patterson speaks publicly about Dean Koontz’s “tiny dick.” George R. R. Martin writes a 10-book epic fantasy cycle where the central antagonist is a gassy pegasus named after HUNGER GAMES author Suzanne Collins.
Rappers get rap battles. Authors need author battles. A bunch of books published lightning fast, each a fictional response to some other author’s last confrontation. You know that would boost sales. “Oh, did you see the latest pair of roman d’accusation? Jim Butcher versus Jonathan Franzen? Holy gods, somebody’s going to get hurt. Just wait till Chabon weighs in.”
Erratic Author Appearances
You put rock stars in front of people, fucked up shit starts to happen. They show up late. They break guitars. They set stuff on fire. They huff paint and throw cymbals and bite the heads off winged creatures.
Authors — c’mon. You can do this at your author appearances. Just go nuts! Fucking freak out. Kick over a book display. Throw your boot at that old lady who shows up at all the author signings and asks inane questions. For God’s sake — tell them to put down the book, it’s time to autograph some tee-tas. After you’re done inking a bunch of boobies — or dicks, who am I to judge? — take the rest of your books near to hand, douse them in lighter fluid, scream “Fuck your mother, [insert name of publishing company here]!” and then set fire to those bad-boys just before passing out on the floor in your own vomit.
Intensely Weird Drug Habits
No, no, no, I’m not saying you need to get hooked on the current spate of hardcore narcotics. Forget heroin, coke, meth, any of that. We’re writers. We need to get creative.
I want to see Neil Gaiman espousing the creative benefits of injecting himself with adrenalin harvested from a live tiger. I want to see Motherfucking Franzen smoke Oprah’s hair through a gas mask bong. Mitch Albom’s next book will be THE 7000 MACHINE ELVES YOU MEET IN PARAMUS NEW JERSEY after he goes on a DMT bender and drives his El Camino through an abandoned Borders Books and Music.
Some authors will become addicted to licking the hallucinogenic ink off their own books. Others will pulverize Kindles and cook them down into an electronic slurry and plop beads of the “Kindlejuice” onto their eyeballs with little glass droppers.
Authors need their own class of designer drugs to get the attention we so mightily deserve.
Need To Start Making Some Rock Star Demands
Oh, the tales of rock star “riders,” wherein they make demands to meet insane backstage needs. J. Lo wants red M&Ms, Iggy Pop wants broccoli, Lady Gaga demands a live goat for her paddock. You know the story.
It’s time for authors to get in on this. “I will only sign at your bookstore if I am afforded the oral comforts of four temple whores. I also demand that my signing table be perpetually orbited by two dwarves dressed as characters from my book. No one may touch my hands. I will give them their books via a catapult to the face. Finally, if I am expected to speak and share anecdotes, then I must be given one 16 oz. glass of luke warm bacon grease with which to lubricate my throat. And I must have a kitty in my lap. Not my kitty. Your kitty. And I get to eat that kitty when I’m done.”
“Sure thing, Miss Rowling.”
Insane Hobbies On Display
Writers are so polite. Their hobbies tend to match. “Oh, I collect first editions of classic American novels!” “I crochet!” “I have a sugar glider named Lord Byron!”
We’re done with that. It’s time to crank up the volume knob, break it off, and stab the shard of plastic into someone’s neck. Authors need bigger, badder, waaaaay more fucked-up hobbies.
Ostrich racing! The gunsmithy of automatic weapons! Espresso enemas! Book burning! The husbandry of predatory cats! Competitions to see who can write the longest novel! Collecting dead supermodels!
“Dude. Did you hear? Christopher Moore has this weird fight club he set up on an oil rig off-shore. He makes other writers fight coked-up mandrills with latex walrus dongs. This shit’s on Youtube.”
Jack Up Our Books With Rockstar Juice
Books are just like, pff, pshhh, meh. Boh-ring. Need to jack it up.
What about books inked in the author’s blood? Or books that, when read backwards, contain Satanic messages urging readers toward mass suicide? Or books that are empty of words until you pee on the pages?
Rock stars get the ‘concept album.’ We should be able to have the ‘concept novel.’ “This novel’s not just a bunch of words, man. All the chapters form together into a single story. Yeah. It’s pretty revolutionary.”
Groupies + Entourage = Awesome
Authors need people around them. To insulate them from the harsh rigors of the world, to help fan the flames of the fickle Muse and to help keep sweaty jam-handed fans at a halberd’s length.
b) a motherfucking entourage.
First, groupies? If I go to a bookstore, I want to head back into the break room for an after-party where a whole passel of fans await to serve my every whim. “Carry my iPad,” I’ll say to one. To another I’ll say, “You will eat olives from between my toes — but do not chew, for you will then French kiss the person next to you and spit the olives into her mouth. Then someone has to poop in a cup. Because I demand it!”
Rock star bacchanalia, baby.
And an entourage, well, come on. Let us get shut of the fallacy now that all readers are awesome. Sure, except those guys who smell like ass-sweat and who want to make unruly demands of our writing schedules. I’m just saying, when George R. R. Martin walks into a room, he should be the center of a swirling vortex of George R. R. Martin lookalikes, all of whom wear t-shirts that say, “GEORGE IS NOT YOUR BITCH.”
Pimp-Ass Writer Cribs
“Step up into my biblio-crib, son. Over here, I got a bunch of human babies crawling around a terrarium. In that room is where I keep all my beta readers — yeah, that’s them, feeding each other figs and playin’ Naked Twister and shit. Here’s all my books, gold-dipped and encrusted with amethysts. Sure that makes them unreadable. So fucking what? The whole second floor’s a library, and the library’s where I keep my jacuzzi, my jet-boat, my chainsaw collection, and the head of F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you stick a key in his ear and turn that shit, ol’ F. Scott’s mouth will start to move and he’ll recite all the words to ‘Babylon Revisited.’”
One Word: Hookers
Some writers need to get caught with either some high-dollar prostitutes — like, part of a super-elite escort chain that services Popes and astronauts — or some deeply grungy amputee meth-hookers. You can be sure that if Stephen King got caught in a Canadian bathhouse with like, a bunch of Quebecois Juggalo whores, man, his book sales would double overnight. You know it to be true.
Two More Words: Public Urination
Defecation’s an order too far, but urination? Man, there’s just something bad-ass and iconoclastic about pissing in public, something that flips a big ol’ rigid middle finger to the man. For an easy way into the bad-ass rock star lifestyle, writers need to start urinating in public. The Starbucks counter inside Barnes & Noble? Pee on it. Stack of New York Times’ newspapers containing a bad review of your novel? Pee on it. Comic-Con fans waiting in line to see Nathan Fillion just stand there looking handsome? Pee on them, then pee on Nathan Fillion, then as nerds attack with foam swords, just whirl around in the circle, peeing in a golden circumference. That’s a surefire way to get in the newspapers as a rock star writer-type.
YOU ARE A GOLDEN PENMONKEY GOD.
Your turn. What rock star habits will you adopt, writer-types? Tell us, or I’ll pee on you.
133 responses to “Turning Writers Into Motherfucking Rock Stars”
Right on, Chuck! Write on!
I have two things for you people–go back and read my flash fiction piece for “The Lady and the Swordsman”–
Go Ax Alice with this knowledge: I did a lot of acid in the 80s.
Second thing–and just delete this if it is too much for your delicate readership, okay?
On my journey of discovery wherein I realized that humor is my niche, I did some standup. I wasn’t that good. When you are doing open-mic amateur standup for 20 people, and half of them are the other comics waiting their turn, you can say any fucking thing you want on stage. Example:
“Gee, thanks. I have fans. Fans are awesome. If you have fans, that’s great. Fans will go to your shows. Fans will talk you up to their friends. Fans will buy whatever crappy merch you sell after the show. Fans are awesome.
“But groupies are better. What’s the difference? Groupies will do all the shit that fans will do…and let you come in their mouth.
“If you have only one groupie, technically that’s your girlfriend. I found out they don’t like it if you have other groupies.”
Observational humor is hard when you’re not very insightful.
Neil Gaiman may be the best we have. I don’t know anyone else who was accused of stealing $45k of a state’s money. Course, we lose major cool points since the accusers mom made him apologize for being insulting.
I fight a lot. But that doesn’t really count, because it’s my “day job”. (I teach martial arts.)
Chuck, if you want we can rent out a hotel penthouse, invite hookers, take drugs, drink too much and have a fight. We’ll just have to make sure someone’s there to see and tell the tale.
In fact, fuck it – let’s just do that anyway. If anyone happens to notice, that’s just gravy.
I know. I could, like, go to a movie, right; and then if I didn’t like it I could WALK OUT! Without even waiting until the end! Without caring that it was rude the the actors and crew who worked so hard to make the movie. Wow, I am such a bad-ass.
Or if I was at a restaurant and I didn’t like the food, I could just kind of play with it on the plate, and then when the waiter came over to ask if everything was ok I could… well… I would actually just say “Yeah everything’s fine”. But I wouldn’t finish it. Power to the people!
+1500 laugh points.
Spend them wisely. Like, say, on paying your dinner tab.
Face it, today’s “extreme” behavior is tomorrow’s reality television that you watch at three in the morning when nothing else is on and the Interwebs are down because you’ve somehow damaged your equipment beyond repair (which, in this instance, is not a thinly-veiled euphemism for abusing your respective bouncy fun-zones). I’m not saying that taking a huge, elephant-sized, dump on a copy of Infinite Jest in public is necessarily a bad thing (particularly if your aim is to make a Liberal Arts Major burst into tears) but it walks a fine line between being irresponsible and derivative. Granted , one will get you paid while the other will get you shot by a Taser…but there it is (and I’ll leave you to decide which is which, heh).
Strange sexual habits man. Something to make the Chestnut Feast look tame. Caligula will blanch at the sight of my depravities. I will add new letters to BDSM. And then I will mix it with Star Wars.
Then I will create a new fandom. I will promote some obscure philosophical belief or entertainer and praise them as the best ever. Or I could make a new religion, or make Zoroastrianism popular. My legions will like whatever I damn well tell them to.
My goal is to write a biography, not for publication, but for my kids – as a keepsake. They need to know who thier dad truly is [was]. However, my rock star days are over at the ripe old age of 50+. The candle burns at both ends for only a given amount of time. . . I think I need to see my attorney before I get into chapter 2, or do you think a disclaimer will do, or will keeping it in third person suffice? Shit like this worries me! I’d hate, one day, to hear a knock at the door, look through the peep-hole and see two men in a black suits flashing gold badges, saying, “You have the right to remain…stupid.”
[…] Somehow related: Turning Writers into Motherfucking Rockstars […]
Most rock stars are young, and young people do wild and crazy things. Most authors are old, and old people do safe and sensible things.
Oops, that comment was pretty safe and sensible.
I’m with Alan. Let’s have a massive, wild, grossly immoral party. With chimps. And a dolphin in a Dry Suit. And naked mongolian snake-dancers.
In Times Square.
Problem is, rock star behaviour depends to be frowned upon within the book industry unless you’re already well established. If, like me, you’re at an embryonic stage in your career, acting like Oliver Reed at a book convention will pretty end any chance you’ve got of selling another book. However, once I’m well-established I fully intend to get pissed and start fights at every convention I go to. Might even start one with you, Wendig!
Nah. @Richard, you get enough attention for your writerly shenanigans, that’ll earn you *attention* from the publishing companies. I mean, SNOOKI basically crawled up out of the sewer with the sole purpose to drink, throw up, and have sex with whatever lumbering club-monkey she can climb. And she’s got a second book coming out.
You were drunk when you wrote this, weren’t you?
Lets see…Rock Star habits…
Well, I can’t believe you missed out a very important one.
The panty shot.
Or perhaps the lack-of-panties-shot at the author’s book signing as they steps drunkily out of their personally owned school bus stretch limousine or those cars driven by undertakers, I forget what they were called…I think I have a new goal.
I think if Anne Rice hadn’t turned to Jesus, she could have been our crazy rock author star.
I don’t think you covered book readings or decapitating live animals with one’s own teeth, two activities which should work well together. Could you imagine Stephen King commencing his rendition of a passage from “Cujo” by biting the head off a squirming Chihuahua? Talk about headlines!
Since chickens and bats already have been covered by actual rock stars, I’d suggest a Persian or Siamese cat (just cause I don’t like them). Of course, just like pairing the right wine with a specific entree, the ideal animal for a reading should vary based on the particular writing genre.
I’M GOING TO POUR SOME JAEGERMEISTER INTO A FABERGE EGG, PUT THAT SHIT IN THE FREEZER THEN BLEND THAT MOTHERFUCKER FOR SNORTING.
I’M GOING TO PUT MY PENIS IN EVERYTHING. IF THERE’S NO HOLE I WILL MAKE A HOLE.
THEN I’M GOING TO GET TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR AND CURL UP WITH A FIRST EDITION HARRY POTTER NOVEL.
I MAY PUT MY PENIS IN IT, I MAY NOT.
I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON DEVELOPMENTS AS THEY COME.
This comment section JUST GOT REAL IN ALL CAPS WOOOOOOOO
Snooki ain’t a struggling novelist though, she’s a pneumatic-tittied parasite being used by a publisher to sell ghost-written shite. Even if she wasn’t an ‘author’ she’d still be a drunken, foul-mouthed cum-bucket. Up and coming authors still need to wield a certain amount of self-control, lest they piss off their peers and potential publishers. We work in a very small and incestuous industry, and as soon as you start making a tool of yourself doors start closing pretty sharpish.
This article is meant to be satire. I don’t actually want to see Terry Pratchett take a shit in Dan Brown’s mailbox.
Well, okay, I maybe want to see *that* — but otherwise, I’d caution against taking this blog post all too seriously.
Or any of the posts here, really.
Or anything that ever comes out of my mouth.
I’m going to start a big ass collaborative series. The first few books will be awesome! Then, when we go on tour, I will get drunk, get angry, and refuse to go out and perform for those good for nothing readers. This, of course, is going to cause a riot. Afterward, while fans are eagerly awaiting the next installment, I will FIRE all the other collaborators via youtube interview (preferably with Kurt Loder). Then I will take 15 years to write the next installment with a bunch of people you’ve never heard of and no one will buy it. Somewhere along the way I might rock ginger cornrows and a kilt because why the fuck not.
I’ll build a career of awesome, write an opus and, in the process of writing said opus, convert to an obscure (and totally wacky) religion. This will lead me to write an erotic masterpiece which most people won’t read because the sheer idea of it is made of squick. Then, when Hollywood wants to make films of my genius, I will publicly decry all attempts no matter how awesome they may be.
Oh, did I mention you kind of forgot Alan Moore? Or do comic/graphic novel writers not count?
I will follow your burgeoning litrock career.
Also: Alan Moore is totally bad-ass, but too reclusive to be a proper in-your-face rock star.
That said, I was reminded this morning that Harlan Ellison certainly counts.
So I’m publishing anonymously. So like, every public appearance would have to be The Day of the Masked Wonder. Tranny Zorro Without a Horse. I AM SLIPKNOT EXCEPT I DRINK EARL GREY MOTHERFUCKAAAAAS?
I guess I would invent Photoshop for RL, which would probably translate to “throwing concentrated acid on people’s eyeballs so I look pixellated”.
I honestly think Christopher Moore may be our best bet. Someone get him on the line and start force feeding him hallucinogens.
(Chuck you make me snarf my morning coffee with this stuff, and for this I thank you).
OK. High concept, involving a quart of 10W/40, an albino gerbil, Thai-French teen twins, a Tequila-clonopin cocktail, an amorous blind burro named Gunther (for reasons nobody remembers), a hedge-trimmer, a de-fanged rattler, a hermaphrodite mime, and hillbilly heroin.
It was last wed. I was going to use the experience as the basis for my new illustrated children’s book series, so can’t share much more, except to use words like epic, AC-DC, and fugly.
Actually, your entire description sounds like my literary career to date, including my new book (shameless plug) How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated). Then again, I live in Mexico, where anything you can imagine is yours for the asking, so when I wake up after a 3 day drunk in a smoke hut with a one-eyed shaman playing the indian knife game, it’s just Monday, not a story.
Neil Gaiman married Amanda Palmer. For those of you unaware: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcoreV10hI8
He may be closer than you think to The Dream(tm). Also, I’d like to start calling it The Dream(tm).
My plan: get ripped, like ripped and enter into a bikini contest wherein I shall spout off passages from my own books as my “talent” — only the raunchy bits. When some douche tries to shoo me off the stage, I will erupt into SHE-HULK and throw my books at him. Then at everyone. When I run out of books, I will start throwing the bikini-midgets I have claused into every contract.
When I am out of midgets, then it shall be teatime.
And then I’ll write more words than all of you.
Someone get me my some fucking coffee grounds. Not finely ground, either, I want goddamn coarse french roast. I want to feel that shit burn all the way up my brain stem.
First, I am going to publish a huge best seller (easy part, right?). Then, with everybody wanting more, I am going to release the name of my next book and give infrequent and misleading updates about its progress for years and years (a la Guns ‘N Roses)
At readings and signings (as I’ll be living off that first book’s success), I will randomly grab a fan and beat the shit out of him (well, probably “her” and she’ll probably be weak and old because I don’t want to take the chance of someone actually kicking my ass).
The appearances will be as infrequent as possible and the rest of the time I will hole up in my mansion where people will see an assortment of odd people (circus freaks, midgets, immensely obese people, Kardashians, ex-child actors and marching band members in complete costume with instruments) parading in out of the place.
On occasion, I will hurl objects from my windows on to the throng of fans and media below;; televisions, llamas, suits of armor, fecal matter, some of the midgets, brass instruments form the marching band. On each of these I will write a message like: Send more whores, Fuck your cousin but don’t knock her up, I need ointment because my dick is raw, My next book is coming along swimmingly or I just lost my favorite midget somewhere inside a 500 lb. Walmart cashier.
When I am near death from the drugs, whiskey and sexually deviant lifestyle, I will have my body frozen and place with Walt Disney’s in a glass case and posed so it looks like I’m butt fucking him, until such time as they can bring us both back to life as cyborgs.
Rock On, Bitches!
Four words: “Typewriter in a sandbox” I’ve already got the never getting out of bed thing covered.
I plan to jump off of a roof into a swimming pool shouting “I’m a golden goddess!!” Also, while clothed in discarded manuscript pages.
Already one step ahead of you…
Sorry, no. Writer fights will just end up like this.
Of course, we do a lot of this, too.
@Karina, I will PAY you to do that.
GG Allin kept a tour diary after he got out of prison. I’m not sure how much of a wordsmith he was, but he definitely had the rock star part down.
I’m the epitome of badass. No, seriously, I so totally am. I spend most of my days in my epic hermit cave. I keep the floors pristine so my cat can do power slides across the floor. Of course she doesn’t do power slides. She’s a furry version of flubber. The lazy bitch just lays in the middle of the floor and bites my feet when I try and fetch myself a sandwich.
Exotic animals? Hell yeah motherfucker, that’s what I own. Is a snake considered exotic? Probably not since it doesn’t spit poison in my eyes. Still, it’s totally exciting when he constricts a mouse and the mouse’s eyes pop out like in one of those cartoons. When he’s really hungry? Forget that shit, there’s guts all over the fucking tank. That motherfucker doesn’t screw around when he’s hungry.
My one and only fan is my mom. You don’t even know how kickass that is. Your mother is probably six feet under right now. Why? Because my mother killed your mother. I tell her to get in the kitchen and she beats me until I’m rainbow. No, not purple, *rainbow*. She also tells me I’m a fabulous writer and makes my ego go through the roof. Until I realize that it’s my mother talking.
So. Yes. That’s my rockstarish way of living. I am so cool. *adjusts suspenders*
Well, I had a friend who claimed he’d relieved himself (#2) into a display toilet at Sears. But he wasn’t a writer, he was just a sociopath. I think he really did it. If he saw a rule, he just *had* to break it.
I haven’t seen him in many years. I don’t think he’s alive anymore. A lot of folks were gunning for him…
Any of those that Stephen King hasn’t done?
Alright, y’all don’t know shit about the writer/rock star life. Here’s what I ALREADY do. Take notes.
Instead of going straight home after my day job because my wife always has dinner on the table at precisely 6:40pm, I instead make an unapproved stop AT WALGREEN’S! I buy and consume that jumbo-sized Butterfinger that I’ve been craving all day… all the time knowing that IT WILL SPOIL MY APPETITE FOR SUPPER! But do I give a shit? Hell no!
On Saturday, instead of fulfilling my weekly obligation to visit my mom, I cancel AT THE LAST MINUTE and go to the local On The Border for TWO margaritas while leisurely perusing my World Affairs Journal!
And here’s the thing: I’ve already adopted these rock-star habits! So top that, you wanna-be punks!
Oh fuck, what would I pay to see Terry Pratchett (or any gifted writer, really) soil Dan Brown’s mailbox with the fruit of his entrails? I agree that writing needs some more glamor. Stephenie Meyer is the one to love the red carpet entrances and feel all special and celebritish and shit. Whatever, you know? Some of the most talented guys (Daniel Woodrell, for example) live secluded in a Unabomber shack.
Thompson, Hemingway and Wilde, they were motivated by their art and the adventures. Guys like James Patterson and J.K Rowling are businesspeople who understood a narrative pattern to make money. I mean, where the hell is J.K Rowling supposed to go after Harry Potter? Yessir, Pottermore cash mountain. I don’t know man, people have to get reading again to prompt writers on the necessary pedestal to be rock stars. And by that I don’t means the 12 to 50 years old girls who read YA to feel special (that’s right, I said it)
I WILL order all fans to crawl five miles over broken glass just to die in my shadow as I throw used teabags into their upturned faces.
Sign me the fuck up for the mandrill boxing on Chrissie Moore’s oil rig.
I can’t wait for my first book signing. “just the John Hancock? Or do you want me to STAB your copy?”
Writers tend to forget that there’s no bad publicity. Someone with a book release should steal Trump’s toupee. Wipe their ass with Snooki’s book on Youtube and set it on fire.
The 3 writers you mention had calculated public personas. The King of Wit. The Ultimate Man. The Drug-Infused Warrior Poet.
Now we’re all humble everymen and everywomen. Oh, I’m an unemployed schoolteacher! Anyone with a persona like Gore Vidal and Paul Theroux are half dead already. Even Philip Roth is self-defecating (sic) and says he doesn’t read fiction. Too busy “complaining” in the Portnoy sense, I bet.
We need a Lemmy. Or at least an Arthur Brown, as in the guy who began a song “I am the god of hellfire… and I bring you…. FIRE!!!”
Now there’s a damn epigram for a book.
Sounds like next week’s flash fiction contest which we will seriously need after all this mf*cking unicorn sh*t blows over!
My Dear Mr. Penmonkey,
It occurs to me that some of your suggestions are for the younger more aggressive school of writers than some of us older, more “mature” (note that I did not use the term “grownup” at any time) types.
Might I suggest that, while outrageous behavior is fine for some, in my case I prefer the more “eccentric” path. Writers, by their very nature, are a twitchy lot so I suggest building on this preconceived notion and reinforcing it. To wit:
I’m rather fond of carrying small, furry rodentia in my knickers whilst attending book signings, cocktail parties or any other social event, especially such events that will be attended by members of the media. One will placed “twitch’ can earn you a blurb in almost any family oriented publication.
Misuse of small stuffed animals. I have the head of Barney mounted on a plaque in my office. The screams from children that see this are amusing and priceless. Getting a look of outrage from the parent is a free, but significant, bonus. Also, knowing that said parent is going to have to face a long and heartfelt talk with the traumatized child is good for many chuckles deep into the night.
Send inappropriate gifts to bad copy editors and almost all critics. I suggest household chemicals or those “bloated” cans of food one often finds shoved into the darker recess of their food pantry.
The days of a good old fashioned virgin sacrifice are long past I’m afraid, but perhaps giving your agent a good rogering in a public place might suffice. This last may however, move you from “eccentric” to felon depending on where you live and the age of your agent.
Then, if all else fails, there is always Voodoo. Just be careful what you do with the chicken entrails when finished. The stains they leave behind are hell to get out of your carpet.
OMG I love this – sign me up!
Your post is up on fark.com’s “Geek Links” tab, Chuck.
Unfortunately modern society and the legal system no longer tolerate such behavior in any way shape or form. The ability to be a free roaming freak in the Western world has been greatly diminished. With most of that occurring in the last 30 years.
Not to mention how sue happy everyone is. Imagine Hemingway or Thompson dealing with today’s world when in their prime.
I’m donating the profits from a future novel to PETA.
@Benoit: Daniel Woodrell– Fuck yeah! At least his stuff is coming back into print/Kindle:).
Rock stars are not bigger bad asses than writers, they just have band mates and tour buses. Nothing explodes a character trait like living in close quarters with a bunch of people you collaborate and compete with. You get to know each other’s buttons, you get to push the fuck out of ’em, and then you get to turn all that conflict into art.
When I go rock star, that’s what I’m going to do–get the best writers I can find, people I admire, people I’m jealous of, the ones I love, and the ones who piss me off– as long as they’re some crazy committed fuckers–and drive around the country throwing down readings between mass acts of infidelity and liberal applications of alcohol.
Good wholesome fun:)
I recommend, for your delectation and delight, Mr Nice.
I cannot help but feel that there is a video in this essay. A video where all these things take place. As examples. For the group.
I will totally jump in on this. Who wants to start a long-standing author feud with me? I’ll tar and feather your pets!
i think we probably need to start slow. we can’t go from sipping scotch and politely sniffing each other’s farts to raping clergymen and diarrhea shitting through the white house fence. what we really need is to start with a more subtle nuance of the rockstar world…like an author with a giant dick. not a respectable, my-wife-is-happy big dick.
i’m talking like throat-fuck-an-indigenous-african-tribeswoman-with-the-bizarre-stretched-out-neck and still have at least one handful of pride to spare big dick. something that would give us a little momentum without actually having to change anything about our scared pathetic ethos.
then we just need someone to “stumble upon” a sex tape of that guy and a pornstar.
This post made my day and will be the subject of my late night fantasies for weeks to come. I’m be promoting it like a crazy groupie – because man, you ROCK!
@ Natalie – Sadly, our styles are quite similar… I guess we won’t make it as rockstar authors 🙁
@Russell Blake, I think I’m in love with you.
@Quinn, We should start an “Our Mother’s think we are Rockstar Authors” club.
I just came back to read this a SECOND time. Because it made me smile. An evil smile. *grin*
No need to pee on me. I just peed on myself. Goddamn, that was funny.
Rock star behaviors…
A single word comes to mind: Pyrotechnics. Have a few flash pods as designed by the Grucci Brothers go off, blinding and deafening those uber-fans standing too close to your signing table when you enter the room.
A personal soundtrack, too, would work at appearances. i’m not talking having a string quintet playing “Four Seasons” or some whole milk shit like that. I’m talking moutherfucking Lacunna Coil or classic The Who as you walk up to the table.
The closest I came to any of this is on my first book’s premiere in 2002, as I wrote epic fantasy and it involved pirates, I had armed pirates crash my book launch. Swords and fists flew that evening, and one of the performers even got injured. The after-party at my house he spent with his fist in an ice bucket.
Oh yeah, and i sold a crapload of books.
Fuck yeah. \m/
This was genius, Chuck. Thank you.
Shullamuth–sign me up for your tour.
Also, let’s not forget Grant Morrison.
And the fact that Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison are what we have closest to the rock star lifestyle says quite a bit about the way both the publishing industry and the rockstar lifestyle are heading; ie well into (albeit, still cooler than most of us) middle age.