Monday, February 18, 2013

Early Success

If these two books fail then you will be done.
Henry looked at Hollins. His new agent. The old Jack London / F. Scott agent who still had a bit of Max Perkins clinging to his tweed. Even though he wore an open collar and some Armani rip off sport coat. 
But for now you are on top.
And he was. Henry looked at Conan O'Brien one table over at the open air French restaurant. The beautiful woman in the Hepburn dress and pearls was his publisher. Unbelievable. All those rejection letters had really led to something. A People magazine spread. An auction. A two book deal with enough of an advance to plunk down cash on a new jeep with plenty left over. Early success had brought him into his thirties.
They ate and talked about his books and the future.
You are with the biggest publisher in the world. Your life will change Sylvia  said.
 Drunk. Flying high. The warm air of New York flowing over him. The food. Conan. Yes this was some sort of brilliant early success. They toasted.

And then Henry walked with his publisher through the East side.
Your next advance will be larger.
Provided you sell his agent said.
Henry felt Hollins was putting a damper on the evening. He was so dry.  So Manhattan. So Princeton.
I'll sell believe me he hawked.
Of course you will Sylvia said.
If you don't you will be done
Hollins you are kind of a downer dude.
Just saying.
And then Hollins caught a cab and he and Sylvia walked the night away. He put her in a cab,
You are so talented she said disappearing into the New York night.
Then Henry walked back to his hotel room.

The next day he bought a rare first edition of Fitzgerald. Nursed a hangover. Jogged down Park Avenue. Walked in Central Park. Met Hollins again for drinks. At the end they parted with a hug.
The books have to sell Henry.
They will.
The remaindered copies came two years later. Hollins quit returning his calls before that. Sylvia left publishing and Henry got his real estate license. He never spoke about  his early success with the other realtors.
Rocket Man....the Catcher in the Rye of the Great Recession


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