Thursday, January 26, 2017

BACK JACKET HACK-JOB #16: Arthur the Author

A Post By Jonathan

My last Hack-Job, Tony Robbins: Off The Deep End, was super fancy, with a fake book jacket and everything. Unfortunately, I accidentally backed over my laptop with my Jeep Grand Cherokee (long story, but my fellow rearers of two-year-olds might actually understand how such a thing could happen...) and am writing this on my wife's iPad, which does not seem to have the same kind of graphic functionality.

Anyway, I've been daydreaming a lot about writing lately without actually having the opportunity to do any, so here's a fake back jacket about a fake story inspired by a fake writer...

Arthur the Author

There once was a man named Arthur, and there was nothing in this world Arthur wanted more than to become an author. He read books constantly, and he often had the same thoughts many people who read books but have never actually tried to write them have: "This book is crap... I could have written this!" But ahh, could he? As it turns out, he couldn't. 

He had tried writing every story imaginable; mysteries, historical fiction, thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, manga, fairy tale retellings, comic strips, flash fiction, erotica. But it never failed, once the story began, it would meander and end up in places he never intended, until he would eventually get frustrated and have to throw the MS away (that's manuscript for all you posers out there). 

But still, all he did day and night was fantasize about becoming a famous writer who did interviews and photo shoots and had his books made into movies. It eventually got to the point where he couldn't sleep, he was so obsessed with the idea. After one particularly restless night, Arthur came downstairs to fetch a cup of tea. Earl Grey in hand, he went to his bookshelf like he so often did. Then, as he was scanning through the tomes, he noticed something that gave him quite a fright. So much so that he dropped his tea entirely, and it went crashing to the floor.

Ignoring the mess for once, Arthur reached out for the peculiar thing he'd just seen. A book that was written by someone with his name, spelled the exact same way, middle initial and all. Opening the front cover, he received an even bigger surprise. There was a picture on the inside, a picture of him. And the author description was a description of his life. How could this have happened? 

Unable to help himself, Arthur began to read the book. And it was... amazing! He read through morning, until around 9am there came a knock on his front door. It was a reporter. Not just one. He was still in his bathrobe, but they were taking pictures anyway. They were asking him all sorts of questions about a book. His book. The book he had found last night on the shelf. He barely had a chance to say uhhh, before they switched to a different question. They left in even more of a hurry than when they arrived, and Arthur was left standing there contemplating what in the world just happened. 

The next days and weeks were even crazier. People all over the world seemed to know about his book. He got a publicist. He had articles written about him. He did the morning show circuit, the late show circuit, and even the late late show circuit. But all the while something felt hallow, and wrong, even as he sat on the set of his new movie (it was going to be in 3D). He didn't actually write the book, did he? If he did, he didn't remember it. Reading it was like reading it for the first time for him too.

Finally, Arthur decided to stop lying and start telling people that he didn't write it. They laughed at first, but then they started to believe him. And soon his name was smeared in all the papers and his face was all over the tabloids (and not in the good way). He got sued by all sorts of people for false pretenses and eventually lost his house and had to live on the streets. Books were no longer pleasure things, but fuel for the fire (the actual fire, not the figurative one). 

The ordeal was so horrible and life changing that Arthur decided he finally had a decent story and that he would finally be able to write his book.


Brenda St John Brown said...

I sincerely hope that you taking up the keyboard again to write doesn't require such dire circumstances! As I recall from your last post, you're moving (or have recently moved) yes? Settling into new routines takes time and energy, but I've no doubt you'll be back at it soon.

Carrie Beckort said...

I like that Author discovered his reward in writing wasn't the fame or money. Once he finally had what he thought he wanted, he still wasn't happy. We write because it's who we are. Sure the other stuff is nice, but it's the process of writing and creating that is the real reward. As Brenda said, I hope you find your writing groove again soon!

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