This week a friend told me that somebody she knows is writing a book about the history of cinnamon. That seems like a great idea for a book, because it creates an opportunity to talk about so many interesting topics, from cuisine to culture to capitalism to colonialism.
But then I got to thinking. What if — just maybe — there was some sort of miscommunication?
|Publisher:||We’d like you to write a history of Cinema. We’re offering a $100K advance.|
|Author:||Hmm, that’s an interesting topic. Are you sure people will want to read about something so common?|
|Publisher:||Oh yes, it’s part of people’s everyday lives, isn’t it?|
|Author:|| Yes … I guess so. Well, ok, I’m not going to turn down such a generous cash advance. I’ll see what I can do.|
… some months later …
|Publisher:||How’s the book coming?|
|Author:||You were right — this is a fascinating topic.|
|Publisher:||So you’re managing to cover fresh ground?|
|Author:||Well, not necessarily fresh ground, but definitely spice.|
|Publisher:||Spice is good. Readers like that. But make sure it’s in good taste.|
|Author:||Oh, very good taste. If you add the right ingredients to the mix.|
|Publisher:|| Sounds wonderful! When can we expect a draft?|
The author was so heartened by his publisher’s unexpected enthusiasm that he started work on a sequel, completely on spec: A Brief History of Thyme.