About the only time I envy people with money is when I want to buy a book that I can’t afford. I’d love to know what it feels like to plunk down 10, 15, 20 dollars or more without giving it a thought. No “Should I?” No “Can I afford it?” It must be nice. Right now, it’s a new novel by Paolo Bacigalupi that I’m yearning for. Wired posted the first chapter, and it sucked me right in. I loved The Windup Girl which, admittedly, is the only one of his books I’ve read so far, so I can’t say that I’m a fan. But if I could afford it, I probably would be.
I don’t know if The Water Knife will have the same dense, almost manic feel that rules The Windup Girl, but it looks to have the same immersive quality. The world is deep into a time when water can be so scarce and precious that it instigates wars. I don’t know how far along the timeline Bacigalupi places his novel, but we might be closer than the book anticipates, with water theft already becoming a matter of concern in drought-ridden California.
It’s the kind of book I practically drool over, both in the anticipation and the reading. And patience isn’t my strong suit.
It’s this kind of frustration that’s making me consider tweaking a novel-in-progress, purely for financial considerations. The story combines indentured servitude and coming of age. It would probably be about as popular as my hand slaves novels, which is to say: not very popular at all. But it would be easy to tweak it into a gay romance. I don’t do erotica. I don’t even do sex, so this would be very discreet — not even fade-to-black sex scenes. So, still not a tempting buy for readers (mostly women) who like to be turned on by male/male sex. (I honestly don’t get that at all.) It wouldn’t be HEA (happy every after), but HFN (happy for now), with even that possibility left up in the air. The male-romance crowd pretty much hates ambiguity, so between no-sex and no promise of happy ever after, maybe I’m shooting too many holes in my foot for it to even be worth the effort of making the changes.
I dunno. Some days, I think I’ll just give up writing. I’m pretty good at proof-reading. Maybe I’ll set me up a little business.