Dear Literary Agent,
As you know, I have written approximately two-thirds of the first half of my magnum opus, Cartesia, an excerpt of which was just called “extraordinarily overwrought” by an intern at PopSugar. My star is clearly on the rise. Just last week I blew up on Literary TikTok. Apparently, I’m considered “quirked up.”
What you may not know is that I blew my advance on a fully-loaded Bugatti Veyron Linea Viviere (MSRP $2.3 million), as well as a series of bespoke leather shirts of various hues and styles (total cost: $18,000). You’ve always been detail-oriented, so I’m sure you’ll have noticed the glaring discrepancy here: I’ve spent over two million dollars, but my advance was only 75 thousand. Which brings me to my next point:
I need a ton of cash right fucking now.
Of course I’ve considered all other viable get-rich-quick schemes. Obvious starting point: return the Bugatti. You think I didn’t think of that? They won’t take it back! I added after-market whale-bone knobs (black market price: $36,000) to the stereo, and now the car is evidence in an international anti-whaling investigation.
I’m totally screwed. Sell drugs? Tried it. Got addicted to drugs. Sell my organs? Did it. Sold too many, now I fall asleep when I pee. Win the lottery? Unlikely. All my bribes to state lotto commissioners have been “returned to sender,” along with two very unpleasant detectives.
My only hope is if this book sells. I need you to make some calls and get me in Oprah’s Book Club, Cardi B’s Audio Book of the Month/Nail Tutorial Club, and Reese Witherspoon's Reces and Readers Peanut Butter Cup Round-Up. Literary Tik-Tok assures me that “Queen Reese” is the only industry gatekeeper whose chocolate-themed literacy organization matters, but please don’t tell that to devotees of Michael Imperioli’s Bookies and Milk Club, which was just raided by the vice squad—again.
If we’re going to move product, aesthetics matter. Obviously the book jacket needs to pop. Therefore, I’ve decided the cover art should be drawn in blood—mine, preferably, but I could also ask Bret Easton Ellis, that dude’s always down to give some blood. You don’t even have to ask him; sometimes he’ll just show up at a party with a bag of blood.
I’ll keep workshopping jacket ideas, but I absolutely love what we have so far, and I need you to love it, too. Or you’re fired.
I also need you to talk to the publisher and ask for more money. Tell them whatever you need to. Maybe I’m a coke-head and I need the money for powdered or smokeable cocaine; I’m a Koch head and I need the money for shadowy conservative lobbying; I’m a Coke head and I need the money for Coca-Cola. And cocaine.
Seriously, what do I have to do to get on the Times bestseller list? If I have to give Michika Kakutani my firstborn son, I will. In fact, I already did.
Oh, no– A cursory Google search has revealed that Michika Kakutani is no longer with the Times. I have to make a few phone calls.
Now that my son has been safely returned to me (despite Kakutani’s legal threats and anguished howls), I’d really like some FUCKING MONEY! Give me everything you’ve got! That’s right, I’m robbing you. This might be the cocaine talking, but I love crime! When this is all over, let’s short a tech stock together!!
Yes, I’m mercurial, but I’m the best thing to happen to the written word since Joey fucking Guttenberg. I should be compensated as such.
Hey, I’m really sorry about that drug-fueled outburst. That wasn’t cool. Or was it? What’s Literary TikTok saying? Either way, I’ve checked myself into a luxury rehab clinic (daily rate: $21,000). They only accept rare bullion as payment, and I’m racking up incidentals—please do not delay in transferring the funds.
At this point, the only mercy would be death or, to reiterate, a fuck-ton of cold, hard cash. The ball is in your court, and I’m due in court in an hour. Michika Kakutani is now relentlessly pursuing custody of my son.
This is going to get expensive.