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- Lolo Skyooz
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- Jennifer Fernandez
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I had been playing with the idea of a dystopian young adult novel years ago, but since books such as The Hunger Games this genre has just boomed and so many writers have released books with this theme. So either a new book of this genre may sell, because many people are reading these sorts of books currently, or it could go unread because there's so much competition now. It's a bit potluck about which way it can go.
Marketing could also come into play with it. But I feel like making something different from the norm may help a writer to get noticed more. It's almost as though you have to predict what the next big craze could be and jump on the bandwagon before too many other writers do!
- Previous Member of the Month
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John Kennedy Toole wrote A Confederacy Of Dunces when he was a very young man. He wrote it before, during and after he was in the Air Force. When he attempted to publish it he only got refusals. After his death his mother took the manuscript to Walter Percy personally, threw it on his desk, and demanded that he read it. Percy said that he knew it would probably be no good but he knew no other way of getting rid of the mother so he started to read knowing that after a few pages he could honestly tell her that it was crap and wouldn't sell. As he began to read he found himself appreciating what was before him. After a few pages he was hooked and couldn't stop reading it. Not only did he publish it but he personally edited it. A Confederacy Of Dunces went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. If you get the book you can read the entire encounter with the mother as told by Percy himself in a forward to the book.
Sadly, John Kennedy Toole committed suicide before this encounter took place, perhaps in part because of his book's rejection, and he never knew how famous this masterpiece was to become. Personally, I consider it one of the funniest and best "reads" of my life.
This sort of thing happens every day. Write a story about a dystopian society with a female heroine today and the publishers will be knocking down your doors to get to it ... write War And Peace or East Of Eden and they won't even talk to you .... it's all about what will sell and how much money they can make.
― Steven Wright
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The Black Flower won quite a few accolades from reviewers, but I guarantee the public at large never heard of the book. Cold Mountain just sucked all the oxygen out of the room for that sort of fiction. Black Flower was very compelling, with great writing and great characters.