Sappho

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Since Ariel is the closest thing I have in my photo library to a penguin (if you read the article you’ll know what I’m talking about), she will do nicely.

Complaints may be directed to the Internet Watchdog Foundation, a cyber-etiquette organization whose primary purpose is to protect the public from gratuitous colors and improperly-sized fonts. Ask for Raoul, stationed in Manila. Though he may not be sympathetic to your cause, he’s always willing to show someone a good time. 

 

The secret to becoming a bestselling author is to find the right niche. Luckily, I will be helping you with this simple though tiresome task.

You should know, however, that talent is almost always overrated and, in the case of niche hunting, completely unnecessary–if not downright harmful. Broadly speaking, if one were to consider vocations other than writing, such as playing the rosewood fife or wrestling naked with white tigers, one might acknowledge the need certain brave individuals might have to be endowed with a modicum of talent. Even an execrable instrument such as the lyre requires a willing and able and modestly talented conduit. The jaw harp, or Jew’s harp as it is sometimes called, may be cited as an exception, as it requires neither skill nor great dexterity for a walking zombie to wheedle a sound from its ill-construed frame, and the random sounds it emits could easily have been produced by an unconscious, syphilitic drunkard lying supine on the beer-splattered floor of some funky tavern.

After having excited your attention,  I shall return to the subject in hand. In order to become an obnoxiously rich author, you must choose a category which has little or no competition. This way it will be easier to get top ranking in that niche.

This is a top-down process. First choose the broadest category first and then keep refining it. Stop if your hair loss exceeds 150 strands per day.

This is an example of the selection process for the novel I’m writing:

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > LGBT > Pelagic Birds  > Penguins > Macaroni Penguins

The child category is “Macaroni Penguin” because no sub-categories exist beyond that point.  This is called a flightless point in the industry.

With this ironclad strategy, my book, “Who’s Killing the Penguins of Lesbos,” the nail-biting story of  Sappho– an amateur detective and unapologetic flame-crested penguin who, while vacationing on a sun-flecked Greek isle, discovers herself and, alas, a homicidal maniac in a hockey mask slaughtering penguins–will have a decent chance of being # 1.

 

Please support my work by selling all your worldly goods and making a meaningful investment in the arts.

See you at the top of the charts,

Prospero

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11 Comments

  1. Your penguin (as pictured) needs to see a quack. On a despairing note, thank you for the advice, but I think I just saw my life dedicated to my own little niche of researching macaroni penguins go down the plughole. I have one question which could well pull the rug out from under the webbed feet of your aquatic birds: how did a male homicidal maniac get onto Lesbos in the first place?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Excellent question, Bruce.

      By air. Since you have spent the better part of your life studying the Macaroni penguin, you will be aware that the ditzy birds do not fly. Do not fly on their own, that is. But there’s nothing saying they can’t fly using low-cost carriers, say Fastjet Tanzania or Stand-The-Whole-Way Greenland to get to Lesbos.

      N.B. Lesbos International Airport is nice, but if you are more comfortable with a runway, you could always try landing in Athens first and then hire a glider.

      Secondly, you assume the killer is male. Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I rather like the idea of landing without a runway – sort of like landing in Tegucigalpa where the aircraft manages to squeeze itself between an avenue of date palms.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A lot like landing in Tegucigalpa actually, except without air traffic control or a landing gear.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my…I had an entirely same different question than Bruce’s: how did any PENGUINS get onto Lesbos in the first place?

    Personally, I think (which is really the only way I CAN think) that you have a crackerjack idea, here, about finding a niche….even if the niche you give as your example doesn’t make a whit of sense to me.

    I think you have put all your deplorables into one basket of subjects about which the book shall be written. You haven’t mentioned the target reader, which is even more important when you are considering who shall be admitted to the niche. (In all fairness you did mention something about hair loss, which tells me I should not recommend this work to the several trichotillomaniacs I know—former teachers all..).

    But who am I to give advice? I haven’t read a suspenseful mystery thriller since the 1970’s when a former nun I knew left the convent, got married and took up writing in that niche. Of course I had to read them then….she was a friend.

    By the way, I think Ariel is much cuter than a penguin. Hope the meaningful investments in the arts start rolling in soon…

    Liked by 4 people

    • I suppose you are asking, rightly, what is a subantarctic Eudyptes species doing in Greece? On vacation, of course. Naturally I’m thinking of Jacques Tati and Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, taking care to substitute penguins for holidayers to keep it fresh and relevant for today’s discerning readers.

      It will probably be very popular and be turned into a series. How does Out of Antarctica sound for book 2? The film version could star Meryl Streep and Robert Redford (in penguin suits).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Now there’s an auspicious title! I should caution you, though, that it took 28 years for the book “Out of Africa” to be made into an award-winning film. Robert and Meryl will definitely be way too old—probably dead— before your wonderfully contemplated oeuvre might be brought to the big screen.

        Liked by 2 people

      • But dead is good–it would be wonderfully kitschy. Out of Antarctica it is!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Good day to you Prospero.
    I love your story line. May I add a little bit of relish?-Sapho hasnt met the right penguin yet so she doesnt leave Lesbos.The maniac in the hunting mask is in love with Sapho and while he is awaiting his genetic alteration to become a penguin he is jealous of all penguins and guns them down.snipers are all the rage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toute ces inventions sont vraiment géniales.

      Like

  4. I just don’t think you can go wrong! There will be asylums across every dimension clawing at the glass to get their hands on a copy, and I promise you, I shall be right there with them! *sweeps her cloak about and chucks a winning smile his way, thinking that the photo of Ariel is really quite beautiful*

    “and the random sounds it emits could easily have been produced by an unconscious, syphilitic drunkard lying supine on the beer-splattered floor of some funky tavern.” – Oh you sweet talker you.

    – esme with a plate full of pasta penguins upon the Cloud

    Like


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