Dear Jonathan and Faye Kellerman:
We get it. You’re brilliant thrillerists. Yes. Fine. You’ve thrilled and titillated us–accent on tit–for years. Thank you.
Don’t you think now is a good time to rest on your laurels, before you actually have to come up with a second plot device?
That day could be coming. Once you pass 100 uses of the same stock characters, readers start noticing. And no matter how much they love you, readers may pick up on other subtle clues as well. Like the assumptive arrogance of publishing a book that doesn’t have a title on it. Or any printing on the back. Or front. But with a lot of back on the front. That’s kind of a giveaway that you think you’re stronger than market forces. Or your readers’ minds.
But hey, what do I know? I’m just the bookslinger who keeps taking your books in trade. And taking, and taking, and taking. Selling, umm … not so much. Which is where the problem lies. Martha Stewart has this really nice pattern for paving a driveway with hardbacks. We’re thinking of naming it “Kellerman Lane.”
Now don’t get mad, Mr. and Mrs. K; we appreciate all you’ve contributed to the literary world. What is the key to your success? The titles below? Which, if they happen to spell out anything, is completely accidental.
No no, I’m certain there is Justice in the world. And that your legacy will live forever. More’s the pity. But couldn’t you accept that you have left a great–okay, vast–body of work behind, and retire to some island you could buy with pocket change? And leave us poor bookslingers to get on with finding shelf space–or floor space, or space bag compactors–enough to hold your many fine contributions? Without, oh, say, involving your children? Because of all the scary stories you’ve ever cop–er, devised, this is the scariest:
We don’t wish you ill, dear, kind Kellermans. You’re probably in real life very nice people who plant flower gardens and take the neighbors soup when they’re sick. Please, please, show the same consideration for bookshops. We need just a little shelf space for other authors. There’s that King fellow, and the Clancy lad; they seem to be crowding in. So couldn’t you, wouldn’t you, take a little breather, and give us some breathing room?
Thank you, on behalf of second-hand book shops everywhere.
Sincerely, A Desperate Bookslinger