I will soon be a father, and this has made me realize that (1) I am poor, and (2) my current academic trajectory points me toward a life in education, which doesn’t really fix No. 1.
So, after I read that there are about 26 million copies of “The Hunger Games” trilogy in print, I decided to get into the young adult literature racket, purely as a money-grab. If I can churn out 400 pages of worksheets and essays in one semester of college (and I have), I can surely put that same amount of effort into a book. Particularly a book that poops cash.
Oh, and it won’t even be hard. I know what these kids want. A little bit of paranormal romance, a dash of bloody violence, some stupid adults, maybe a questionable parental origin or two, and a hefty injection of dystopian fiction (which, for the non-expert, is fiction with dysentery).
So, here’s my first attempt at a young adult novel. For any publishers regularly reading this column, please note that I’m willing to spread this cash cow across multiple sequels.
CHAPTER 1: THE OMINOUS BEGINNING
“Bwahaha!” the green-faced villain cackled, as he watched the hero, aged 14 (or 15, or 18, or whatever age is the most marketable) through a magic crystal. “I will stop him from saving the world! And he will never find out who his father is!”
CHAPTER 2: THE PROTAGONIST IS AN ORPHAN(?)
“Gee,” said the sullen, gender-neutral protagonist, who is an orphan(?) and looked just like whatever race sells the most books. “I sure do wish I had parents. And magic powers. And a chance to fight in a local gladiator tournament. And the ability to speak to animals. And a clandestine land beneath my refrigerator. And a pair of supernatural beings to fight over me with romantic passion.”
Then the hero was bitten by a sacred leprechaun and found out he/she was given the magical ability to carry a successful book franchise, possibly with a rewarding movie deal.
Also, the hero lived in some futuristic society with an oppressive government where everyone was forced to wear matching jumpsuits and eat soy burgers, even though they’re gross. Her/his teachers were mean and judgmental because they were all adults.
CHAPTER 3: TWO HOT PARANORMAL BEINGS SAVE THE HERO’S LIFE
And just as the hero was about to crushed by an evil government blimp sent there by the green-faced villain (who is probably NOT anybody’s father), an angelic being/tortured-but-kindly monster with really nice features dashed out of the sky and swooped the hero up in his/her arms.
They flew to a really scenic spot, and the angelic being/tortured-but-kindly monster told the hero that he/she was very tortured and couldn’t love the hero, but still does.
“I’m very tortured,” it said, with steel-gray eyes shining, “but I still love you.”
Then they cuddled, but they didn’t do anything naughty, because moms really hate that and won’t buy this book for their kids this Christmas (though they may put it on their own e-readers — thank you, “Fifty Shades”).
Then, another equally attractive supernatural being — I don’t know what. Maybe a hunchback with nice abs or a well-built dwarf. It doesn’t matter — also saved the hero from drowning. They cuddled, built similar personal connections, etc. Begin romantic triangle.
CHAPTER 4: INTRODUCTION OF FUNNY SIDE CHARACTER
The hero met a funny side character that provided comic relief. Probably a redhead.
CHAPTER 5: THE HERO (WHO SEEMS A LITTLE HELPLESS) IS CONFUSED
“I am confused,” the hero said, facing the hot angelic being with shiny skin and makeup that never seems to go away. The hero looked over his/her shoulders at the sexy hunchback, who stared back longingly, smoldering.
“So are we,” both supernatural beings said. “Oh no! A zombie pirate attack!”
Oh, yeah. An army of zombie pirates attacked the trio because both zombies and pirates test well with today’s youth demographics.
“Quick, let’s superficially become friends, despite our differences, and protect this pathetic yet desirable main character from death.”
And that action was very captivating and bloody, and the funny redheaded side character that provided comic relief but was not super important was killed at just the right time.
CHAPTER 6: YOU SHOULD READ THE SEQUEL
“That’s right!” screeched the green-faced villain in ticklish glee. “I know who your father is! And there’s a twist!”
“No!” screamed the hero.
CHAPTER 7: LET’S KEEP THIS LOVE TRIANGLE GOING
“Well,” the hero said over a table of soy burgers, “I still can’t decide which of you to love. Also, all the adults in my life have overcooked noodles for brains.”
Both supernatural beings sensually and attractively nodded their heads in loving agreement.
And then an oppressive government vehicle stopped by, and workers in white jumpsuits made them all take pills that erased the last 400 pages of their memories, which is a great setup to the sequel.