Thursday, October 15, 2009

John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Looks Like Cult Fiction to Me

My conversations with William Hammett, author of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café, were over. More than ever, I was left feeling that the novel was an extraordinary piece of work. People who like fantasy and the Beatles are the target audience, although I think, as noted earlier, that the book has demonstrated a cross-genre appeal. Small presses, however, have a very tight promotional budget (if any) and Hammett has had to do the promo himself, some of which was described in earlier articles (see index or site navigation).

I am convinced that the book will be around for a while and that it is one of those rarities that just might attain the status of cult fiction. It continues to be disseminated and discovered in unusual ways. It elicits strong reactions from readers, who like its message of hope and counterculture leanings. Like cult fiction before it, the novel finds its way into the hands of readers by an indefinable inertia, after which people use both word-of-mouth and the Internet to pass along the title.

John Lennon is still alive in the pages of this book. It will now be a sociological experiment to see whether or not this book does indeed have the staying power to break out into a wider market. A well written book on John Lennon by a professional writer? My bet is on this solid tale by William Hammett, who I thank for his time in answering so many questions.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Film Rights for John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe

I was surprised to learn that Hammett had been approached by a representative of a production company that was interested in making John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café into a movie. After brief negotiation, Hammett declined. His explanation as to why follows.

Hammett: Post-Katrina, there are a lot of movies being made in New Orleans, but this particular production company had no experience making feature-length films. I decided that if it was ever going to happen, it needed to be done right. The company had only made short films, ten minutes in length, and commercials. Many people, such as my ghostwriting clients, believe that if a book is published, Hollywood scrambles to make it into a movie. They don’t understand that an exceedingly small number of novels get made into films. But I’m prejudiced, of course. I’ve been told by a Los Angeles-based screenwriter that the story lends itself to film, and I don’t think she was just out to flatter me. A lot of readers have made the same comment.

Cat: If the story is sound, which this one is, I think people would love to see a Lennon movie.

Hammett: You’re preaching to the choir.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Agent Reaction to John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe

I knew that John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café had been published by a small press, but had William Hammett sent the manuscript to agents? His answer was very revealing ... and a bit disheartening.

Hammett: Numerous literary agents were very enthusiastic about my query. The name John Lennon usually gets people’s attention quickly, and more importantly, agents liked the hook in my query. Several asked to see the manuscript or a partial. As for what they thought after reading the book, most responded very favorably but believed that "non-literary" magical realism wouldn’t fly in the literary marketplace. They said that the days of Shoeless Joe were over. I didn’t agree since magical realism is a form of fantasy, which is very popular. As for Shoeless Joe, it is now in its 28th printing, and thousands of people still make the pilgrimage to Iowa today to see the baseball diamond because the book and movie gave them hope. I decided that I was going to get the book out because, as we’ve already discussed, people are hungry for hope, and that’s what John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café is about.

Cat: Any other experiences with agents and editors.

Hammett: Many. The former head of the juvenile division at McIntosh & Otis, the oldest agency for the juvenile market, loved three of six picture books I sent her, plus she liked two middle readers but thought they needed revision. She nevertheless declined representation, which I never understood. Why not represent the three she thought were superb and let me work on the rest? I also had a piece received very favorably by an editor at Simon and Schuster, but the project was killed by senior editorial staff. Scholastic Press accepted one of my middle readers, but after an editorial shake-up, the new editor wasn’t interested and claimed she couldn’t even locate the manuscript. I have also had agents request avant-garde, experimental novels, which I sent in, and the response was, “This is fantastic, but it’s avant-garde. It will never sell.” I was left scratching my head since the agents had, after all, asked for avant-garde fiction that would "break the mould." All this having been said, I’m not complaining. Most agents have treated me very well, and our relationships have been very good.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Inspirational Letter from a Beatles Fan

Hammett forwarded the following letter from one of his readers, but it wasn’t what I expected. The letter follows in its entirety, which is brief and poignant.

"Dear Mr. Hammett,

I bought your book because I liked John Lennon and the first two pages seemed interesting. It was a good book, but that’s not why I’m writing. My life hasn’t been a happy one. Pretty much everything has gone wrong. A lot of magical things happen in your story, and I sure wish they would happen in my own life. It was fun for a few moments to pretend that they might. When I read the book I remembered being very excited every time I saw the Beatles on TV, thanks for helping me to remember what that excitement felt like."

Cat: Very moving.

Hammett: If that man had been my only reader, it would have been worth all the time and effort of writing the book. I think there are different ways to define a miracle. Somewhere in between the lines of that letter is hope. Maybe that’s magic enough during tough times.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Synchronicity, Miracles, and John Lennon

Cat: Do you believe in miracles?

Hammett: Yes, but most humans are cynical and materialistic. As Dr. Bernie Segal, author of Love, Medicine & Miracles said, nothing impedes the miraculous like logic, reason, or doubt.

Cat: Have you witnessed miracles or unusual events in your own life?

Hammett: After I wrote chapter one of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe, which mentions Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, I got a wrong number on my landline thirty minutes later from Mercerville, New Jersey. Counting home phones, cells, and business phones, there are approximately ten billion telephone numbers in the United States alone. That kind of synchronicity happened to me almost every day I was writing the novel.

Cat: Can you give another example?

Hammett: I wrote a scene in which John Lennon recounts the Beatles’ visit to New Orleans, where they were impressed above all else by meeting Fats Domino and seeing his enormous diamond-studded watch. The next day, I was sitting in the exam room of a doctor’s office. I looked down at the small table next to me and saw a four-year-old People magazine open to an article on the Beatles. The picture used for the story just happened to be a shot of the group in New Orleans. All four Beatles were gathered around Fats Domino, admiring his diamond watch. What are the odds that an old magazine would be sitting there, open to a page illustrating a scene I’d just written? Readers from all over the world have emailed me to share their own synchronistic or miraculous events in their lives. I’m a believer.

Cat: Care to share any of the letters?

What William Hammett forwarded to me was proof that John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café was having an impact on people, a further indication, along with many others, that the book was quietly gaining the status of cult fiction.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
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About Cat Spaulding
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Metaphysical Beatle

William Hammett held fast to his belief that magical realism best described the genre for John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café, although he understood why readers sometimes classified it as belonging to other genres.

Hammett: The email I receive from readers classifies the book in any number of ways. This, in itself, isn’t that unusual. If ten people see a movie, all ten may come away with a different interpretation of what they’ve just seen. Surprisingly, though, a number of readers refer to John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café as metaphysical fiction. It goes without saying that in a book that opens with John Lennon standing in Grand Central Station in 2006, we have an element of the supernatural imposing itself on the narrative from the get-go.

Cat: There are other elements of the supernatural in the book as well, although they never seem to impinge upon the plot, if that makes sense.

Hammett: That’s the beauty of it. Keep a tight rein on plot, character, and theme, and some of the more unusual things that take place simply seem an integral part of the narrative. Actually, I have no problem with anyone labeling the book as metaphysical fiction. The term is being used more frequently, and it’s a niche that’s about to explode.

Cat: Why is that?

Hammett: Because of the enormous interest in quantum physics reflected in movies—What the Bleep Do We Know is a very successful cult movie on quantum reality—and then also on TV and in hundreds of nonfiction titles on creating one’s reality through positive thinking.

Cat: Quantum physics?

Hammett: You have everything from the mega-hit The Secret to the classic The Tau of Physics. The universe is thought-responsive. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle has proven that matter behaves according to the expectation of an observer.

Cat: Connect this to the book for me.

Hammett: It all goes back to hope. People are searching for ways to make their lives more meaningful. The new physics is now reinforcing ideas of faith as old as the New Testament Gospels or the Tao. As a man thinks, so shall he be. The ideas of intention and manifestation are jumping from nonfiction lists to fiction.

Cat: So is John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café cutting edge metaphysical fiction?

Hammett: (laughs) I’d like to think so, but who knows? Only time will tell. What I do know is that John Lennon was firm in his belief in the ability to change things. He challenges us in “Imagine” to create a different world through the simple thought process of imagination. He was a metaphysical Beatle.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cross-Genre Appeal of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe

One of the first things I noticed about John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café was that people were labeling the novel differently respective to genre. I thought the book was a great piece of mainstream fiction, with strong characters, plot, and theme. My friend Sarah said it was a first-rate work of science fiction, while my sister and her friends listed it on their blogs and Facebook pages as fantasy. Were we reading the same book?

I looked up “magical realism" (the author's label) and while many scholars disagreed about the definition and proffered several complex literary definitions, most critics defined the term as a genre in which magical or supernatural elements intrude on realistic settings or are made part of real-life (historical) fiction. The latter, more simplified definition seemed to fit John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café perfectly. John Lennon, a real person, is put into a setting that is historically accurate for the year 2006. The book’s fictional plot takes place within the context of these realistic elements.

The more I reflected, however, the more I began to believe that people’s ability to see the novel as belonging to other genres was a further argument for regarding it as cult fiction. Vonnegut’s fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five, involves a protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, traveling back and forth in time. Vonnegut’s work, originally labeled as science fiction, is now viewed as solid literary fiction. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, a work of literary fiction, certainly contains an element of the absurd that challenges a reader’s concept of what is normal and real. Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, a classic cult favorite, has been labeled as science fiction, horror, and literary. This, of course, tallies nicely with our definition of cult fiction: that which moves people profoundly, albeit in different ways. Because cult fiction almost always challenges perceptions and is iconoclastic in nature, themes often (though not always) have a subjective element to them.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Demons of John Lennon

Cat: You’ve mentioned that Lennon needed to exorcise his demons. How does one approach getting into the mind of John Lennon?

Hammett: You don't. It would be impossible. I found only two other novels, quite awful, that used Lennon as a character and attempted to imitate his habits and mannerisms, I suppose, for the sake of realism, while using every speech pattern on record. Big mistake. No one can get inside the head of John Lennon. Hell, even Lennon himself couldn’t do it. Plus there is disagreement over Lennon’s personality at the end of his life. He was indeed starting to call his son Julian and share tracks from Double Fantasy, but Julian himself, according to Cynthia Lennon's biography John, reported to his mother that Lennon was a reclusive man in his last days at the Dakota, staying in his room and watching TV. Julian, we are told, saw no sign of the devoted, bread-baking father we’ve all heard about. Julian said he saw a mostly-neglected Sean. It's a question of individual perception. The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. As for treating Lennon in fiction, I took some of his more obvious character traits, such as his insecurity, cockiness, fears, and caring, and worked with those. I didn’t try to do caricature or use a consistent Liverpudlian accent. Imitation can come off flat, as when Hollywood makes a film about my hometown of New Orleans. No one there has a southern drawl or a Cajun accent. The only accent is a Brooklyn accent in the suburbs. We look at the screen, laugh, and shrug our shoulders. Whatever Dennis Quaid said in The Big Easy was not intelligible to native New Orleanians. He tried to merge Cajun with a drawl. It doesn’t exist. Same thing would hold true for Lennon. Trying to reproduce his accent past a very limited point would be ludicrous. I think that’s why John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe works. It enables people to identify with him more. It’s the confused Lennon people can see and feel. And, of course, Lennon the clown. John Lennon was a lot of things to a lot of people. Painting him in broad strokes was the key. Indeed, he’s not even the narrator. One could say that the real protagonist is a very strong female narrator.

Cat: I noticed that. She’s very believable.

Hammett: That was a conscious decision. I think it gives the novel a strong, three-dimensional narrator who is ringmaster for the narrative, not Lennon. We see the ex-Beatle through her eyes.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
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About Cat Spaulding
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

John Lennon's Musical Twin

Hammett gave me an interesting teaser for his novel’s plot as we discussed John Lennon.

“I had always read a lot about Lennon, but in no biography did I find a description of the stunning resemblance between John Lennon and another twentieth century musical icon. It’s almost inconceivable that no one has ever pointed out the similarity between Lennon and this figure, who I won’t name in order to prevent providing a spoiler. Suffice it to say that Lennon and this iconic figure shared the guitar, drawing, poetry, pseudonyms, a troubled childhood, womanizing, political activism, and an outspoken quality in their rhetoric. Even the two figures’ mothers were similar in that both suffered from some form of mental instability and died when their sons were seventeen. The relationship between the two men is an essential part of the plot of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café.”

My curiosity stayed piqued. Finding undiscovered relationships between people or places is often an important aspect of the allure of cult fiction.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Inspiration of John Lennon

We had touched on the Beatles, so I thought I would return Hammett’s attention to the central figure of his novel. His words helped to validate my belief that John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café was cult fiction. What follows is the next portion of our interview.

Cat: John Lennon and the Beatles were obviously very important to you.

Hammett: Absolutely, and it goes beyond the music. The Beatles were catalysts for change. But Lennon, he was special, a more complex man than the others. Even in his eccentricities, such as the bed-ins, he was pushing against the status quo. He was challenging us all to think, and not just with his anti-war political activism.

Cat: How else did he challenge people in your opinion?

Hammett: He thought way outside the box. In some respects, he refused to acknowledge the box was even there. He fought a long battle with the feds over deportation, and just as with his anti-war protests, he asked us to rethink the very meaning of terms such as peace, citizenship, justice, authority, and individuality. With Yoko, he asked us to redefine art and aesthetics. In some ways, John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café is about realizing the impossible, about seeing what no one else can see. It's about redefinition. That’s what John Lennon was about.

William Hammett’s thoughts on John Lennon reminded me of how the novel’s themes were common to cult fiction. In John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café, basic assumptions of reality are challenged. The world is turned on its side and redefined. What is possible is not determined by an objective, rationalist viewpoint, but rather by intuition, a belief in hope and faith as the arbiters of what we call reality. As Hammett had put it, such a process not only entailed looking outside the box, but doing away with the box altogether. I couldn’t think of a single work of cult fiction that didn’t do exactly that.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Beatles' Press Secretary: Derek Taylor

Hammett’s influential friend sent his novel to someone else in the Beatles’ inner circle. His friend been good friends with the Beatles’ press secretary, Derek Taylor, and often met him over lunch. She thought it a good idea to send John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café to his widow. It never hurts, she reasoned, to send the book to anyone who is or was integral to a story’s subject.

“I could hardly believe that my friend had been so close with Derek Taylor," Hammett told me. "The novel was sent to Mrs. Taylor, and she replied by saying how grateful she was to have a copy, which she would treasure and keep in a place of prominence. That kind of response from a friend of the Beatles is hard to beat.”

Once again, I was amazed at the way this novel was being disseminated and promoted. It was on the down-low, but it was finding its way into the right hands.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
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About Cat Spaulding
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chris Carter, Host of Breakfast with the Beatles at KLOS

One of the most obvious marketing tools is to get one’s book into the hands of well-known people. If you get a shout-out from Oprah, for example, you can probably afford to buy a Park Avenue apartment overlooking Central Park. Hammett hadn’t been on Oprah, but he knew a few people in the publishing and music business. Here’s the story in his own words.

“I have a friend in Los Angeles who was married to a music legend now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Earlier in her life, she hung around with the likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Stephen King, and others. These days, she’s a ghostwriter and bestselling author who knows some pretty amazing people. For one of her books, she’d done a promo spot with Chris Carter, DJ at KLOS in Los Angeles and host of the long-running Breakfast with the Beatles Show on Sunday mornings. She read a copy of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café and asked if she could send a copy to Carter. I told her that the idea was a green light on my end.

I don’t honestly know whether Carter ever read the book, but he apparently got the complimentary copy since he friended me on Facebook a couple of weeks later. I felt quite honored since Carter stays in touch with Paul and Ringo, as well as many of the Beatles' present and former inner circle. He’s a class act, and his show is by far the best Beatles radio program on any station in the country.”

I was impressed with Hammett’s story. He wasn’t obsessing over whether or not Carter had read the book. Rather, he was impressed with Carter’s acknowledgement that the book had been received. As I’ve said on many pages on this website, cult fiction find its way into the wide world in the most unusual ways.

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About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
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About Cat Spaulding
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New Paradigm in Publishing: Literary Chaos Theory

We continued our conversation, with Hammett explaining his unusual theories on marketing, breakout fiction, and cult fiction.

Hammett: Publishing conglomerates such as Bertelsmann, Holtzbrinck, Pearson, Time Warner, and Viacom have swallowed venerable presses such as Simon and Schuster, Random House, Viking, Grosset and Dunlop, Putnam, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Alfred A. Knopf, Doubleday, and hundreds of others. Even before the current recession, the result was a downsizing of the market, which I find Orwellian. But history teaches us that ideas, even those on the fringe, will find expression regardless of environment. In publishing, I call it Literary Chaos Theory.

Cat: Can you be a bit more specific?

Hammett: Think of Jurassic Park. The genetic engineers said the dinosaurs would never reproduce. Jeff Goldblum’s character predicted that the dinosaurs would find a way according to the laws of Chaos Theory. By definition, the inevitable can’t be stopped.

Cat: So the analogy is?

Hammett: Take e-books or POD titles, for example. They haven’t fared so well thus far, and maybe never will, but they represent the power of words pushing back against the shrinking marketplace and those that control it. E-books didn’t have a uniform platform, but Kindle has given us e-books in a different, more usable format depending on how one defines e-books. It’s evolution. As for print-on-demand, most titles may not be that good, but more and more small presses are using POD technology to cut printing costs. Even major houses use POD technology for some nonfiction titles. Again, evolution.

Cat: Interesting. Any major predictions?

Hammett: I think small presses will merge and resist corporate takeovers. Some already have. Also, some individuals are starting to break marketing and distribution barriers with their POD titles. Years ago Dan Poynter wrote a book on hang gliding and published it himself. It was a phenomenal success, as are his other books, and Poynter’s The Self-publishing Manual is now the bible for those who want to have genuine success with self-publishing. It’s a tough row to hoe, but it can be done if you’ve got a good product and the know-how.

Cat: All of this sounds very do-able, but I’m searching for some radical ideas.

Hammett: Mini presses. People publishing two or three titles a year and selling them at book co-ops. Then again, conglomerates might fail, and if that sounds implausible, just look at America’s major lending institutions. Literacy levels have dropped among college graduates, and in a downsized market, the number of new titles might continue to shrink. That will open up new niches for people with innovative ideas. Or conglomerates might well misread the needs of the marketplace. It happens all the time with tech companies. Microsoft, for example, has made some major blunders that allowed others to capitalize and fill a niche.

Cat: Can you give me a specific scenario?

Hammett: A conglomerate might well decide to sink everything into electronic platforms, only to find that a majority of readers still want paper and ink.

Cat: We started out with a theory about breakout fiction.

Hammett: Right. We come full circle. When the literary marketplace starts to fluctuate or evolve, certain titles will find a niche. That’s the key. Niches will appear for reasons we can’t predict, and hence the term chaos. Titles will breakout or become cult fiction. At least one-third of all cult fiction titles, some now taught in schools, were rejected numerous times or were given little, if any, chance of succeeding. Their subsequent success defies explanation.

Cat: So where is William Hammett’s fiction in this milieu?

Hammett: I think metaphysical fiction will become a separate genre, and my work dances on the edge of metaphysics without being New Age. Other than that, my Lennon novel was sent to people who know, or knew, the Beatles.

I didn’t quite know what to say.

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marketing Fiction: Cross-pollination, Feedback Loops, and Splitting

I resumed my conversation with Hammett the following week. A partial transcript follows.

Cat: So tell me about your marketing strategies.

Hammett: I do online promotion and local book signings, but the one that works best is giving away free copies whenever I can. One segment of my target audience is college students and young adults who are very much into Lennon and the Beatles, so I have friends across the country leave free copies at campus student centers or off-campus coffee bars like Starbucks.

Cat: How do you know the free copies are being read?

Hammett: Several ways. There’s always a sales spike after the free distribution, plus I get email from people in various geographical locations telling me what they liked about the book. I call the technique cross-pollination. Assuming you have the right subject, like John Lennon, and the right venue, like a college campus, people are going to talk about what they like. The word-of-mouth campaign is still highly effective in something going viral. People hear about the book as it’s passed around a dormitory or the workplace. But you can pass around only so many copies, so some people end up buying the book.

Cat: Sounds logical. Is that all there is to it?

Hammett: It’s just the beginning. The feedback loop comes next. If people like a title enough, they put it on their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any kind of online personal profile. After that comes splitting. Sooner or later, young adults tell their baby boomer parents about the book, parents who were the original Beatles fans. They, in turn, start telling or emailing their friends about it, and cross-pollination starts all over again.

Cat: In your case, this might not be possible without writing about Lennon. Did you choose him on purpose?

Hammett: Not really. People want to feel good. They’re looking for hope and second chances and want to believe in something beyond themselves. Those were the waters I wanted to fish. Lennon was a logical choice to write about since he tried to exorcise a lot of demons during his life. People can identify with that, and if you have readers identifying with your protagonist, you’re halfway there.

Cat: Do you think John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café could ever go viral or become breakout fiction? Or maybe even a cult fiction?

Hammett: I’ve got a theory about breakout fiction and cult books, but it sounds a bit weird.

Cat: I like weird. I’m all ears.

What Hammett shared next was something I’d never heard about before.

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

12,000 Copies Nationwide

Excuse me, but have you written a cult book would not have been a great opening line to use with author William Hammett. Instead, I told him that I really liked John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe and asked him to tell me a bit about himself. I also asked if I could record our conversation, and he had no objections.

He said he’d worked for people associated with The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, a CBS sitcom, a Sci-Fi series, as well as professional athletes, politicians, and people from all walks of life. His latest client, a publicist with a major New York publishing house, had just bagged an A-list agent for a true crime book. I already knew most of this from consulting his websites.

I took a deep breath. “You’re obviously successful. How come you don’t pack in the ghostwriting and just publish under your own name?”

“Many of my clients have clout,” he replied. “And the average title, even from major houses, only sells an average of twelve thousand copies nationwide. Only a very few authors give up the day job. I’m lucky. I pay the bills from my writing. However . . . "

“Yes?”

“I've been thinking about doing more fiction under my own name. I’ve learned a lot about marketing from my successful clients.”

“Care to share the wealth?” I asked.

“Got a couple of hours?”

I was no Woodward or Bernstein, feeling victorious in finally getting a source to open up about the Watergate burglary, but if Hammett wanted to talk of marketing, I was finally going to be able to broach the subject of cult fiction. We scheduled more interviews.

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Across the Universe, Across the Web

I wanted to know more about the novel or else I'd be wasting Hammett's time. Googling John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe produced several pages of results. The book was listed on dozens of sites about fiction, writing, and the literary marketplace. It was also on sale at hundreds of online bookstores around the world. This, in itself, wasn't that unusual, but it told me that the novel was competitive. Thefind.com alone was a portal to 119 additional sites where the book could be purchased. I also found a dozen online stores in Great Britian that carried the book, and it was for sale in Japan, India, Portugal, Greece, India, and South Africa. Many online campus bookstores also advertised the book.

The title was "out there," so I knew that a few copies discovered at Starbucks hadn't been aberrations. Whether it could become cult fiction was another matter altogether.

Sitemap

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

... And So He's a Ghostwriter

I hit pay dirt on my first Google search. Hammett's name produced dozens of results in relation to other projects and publications, but he was also a ghostwriter. His professional website claimed that his work for clients had been favorably reviewed by Publishers Weekly and major newspapers around the country. Many of his clients had been published authors and celebrities. One had worked with two U.S. presidents. This explained the accomplished prose style of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café.

Under his own name, Hammett had published three other novels, one of which also had a slick website but was only available from a small press in Montana. Curiouser and curiouser. Additionally, Hammett had a blog, Chapter and Verse, on which he posted poetry he’d published in respectable literary journals around the country. Most web poetry is quite awful, but Hammett’s was extremely well crafted. The man was wearing many hats: novelist, ghostwriter, poet. Of equal interest was that Hammett was extremely knowledgeable about the literary marketplace. Several of his web pages did a superb job of exploring scams by unscrupulous literary agents and online publishing companies.

The next step was to make direct contact with Hammett. I emailed him and asked if we could speak on the phone about John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café. I made no mention of cult fiction at this point. I didn’t want to scare him off. He sent me a one-word reply: “Sure.”

Sitemap

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Friday, September 25, 2009

Examining the Novel's Promotional Website

I had become interested in cult fiction (no, not fiction about cults) at the age of twenty-seven, when I’d read On the Road by Jack Kerouac. It had an unusual publishing history, the narrative originating with scribbled notes on road trips and ending with a manuscript typed on a single sheet of paper 120 feet long. After some editing, Viking published the novel, which became both a counterculture and mainstream classic.

I began researching the publishing history of my favorite novels and learned that many also had unusual stories behind their publication. (See the Sitemap for more details.) The first step in learning more about John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe was to examine the book’s promotional website, its URL appearing on the back cover next to a picture of the Strawberry Fields Memorial in New York’s Central Park.

The site was slick, and the graphics, text, and layout indicated that someone had shelled out a couple of thousand bucks (minimum) to have the site designed. The site contained a wealth of information on the novel, Lennon, the Beatles, magical realism, and the author, William Hammett. The web designer had been SEO savvy (search engine optimization) so that the site would pop whenever dozens of relevant words or phrases were entered into a search engine. The banner even blinked on and off, like the neon sign of a café. It was a classy site.

Would John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café become a cult book at some point in the future? It was time to contact the author, but I wanted to learn a little bit about him. What I found explained a lot.

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Discovering John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe

It’s actually a detective story, but that’s what investigative journalists are: detectives. They like to snoop, ask questions, see what’s on the down-low. I’d never heard of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café until my sister gave me a copy that her boyfriend had found abandoned at Starbucks. “It’s good,” she said. “And it’s got a little mojo.”

The back cover blurb said that Lennon finds himself standing in Grand Central Station in 2006, unaware that he was assassinated. And there was mention of Lennon taking a road trip. Road trip novels always get my attention. So do the Beatles. I opened the book to page one and started reading.

It was good. Very good, in fact. The prose style had attitude, and the subplots came together in ways that made me slap my forehead and say aloud, “I sure didn’t see that coming!” How come I’d never heard of the novel before?

I went online, but the novel wasn’t on anyone’s bestseller list. It wasn’t even on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. Two independent bookstores in the next county had ordered a couple of copies for customers, and it was online at Amazon, B&N, and Books-a-Million. It also had a Facebook fan page. I checked the inside cover. Okay, it was published by a small press and was flying under the radar, but how can you keep a well written book about John Lennon under wraps?

I called my friend Sara, a teacher in San Francisco and a major league Beatles fan, and asked if she’d ever heard of John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café.

“Yeah,” she said. “Found a copy on a chair at Starbucks. I took it home and couldn’t put it down. I just ordered another copy.”

“Why?” I asked.

“My brother ripped off my copy and gave it to a friend.”

Copies were being passed around after being found at Starbucks in different states. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I decided to handle the info as if it were a down-low story. Maybe it was cult fiction with an underground following.

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Resources for Writers

This page contains sites that are considered informative and professional. They contain invaluable resources for writers at any level. Whether you are seeking to write short stories, flash fiction, or cult fiction, the following sites can help.

American Association of Authors' Representatives

Book Marketing & Book Promotion

Horror Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America

Novelists, Inc.

Preditors and Editors

Romance Writers of America

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writes of America

Writers Digest

Writers Market

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Contact

ct.spaulding@yahoo.com

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace

Most Literary agents naturally keep a keen eye on what is currently being published. They also, as time permits, read many of the literary journals listed below. What follows are debut fiction titles from 2009, plus major literary journals where fiction written by talented young authors may be found. Perhaps some will author breakout or cult fiction.

The following list represents books published by small and independent presses, as well as major publishing houses. All have received reviews by publications such as Booklist, Publishers Weekly, or the New York Times Review of Books.

Beg, Borrow and Steal (Michael Greenberg, Other Press)
Blood Kin (Cedric Dovey, Viking)
A Case of Exploding Mangoes (Mohammed Hanif, Knopf)
Child 44 (Tom Robb Smith, Grand Central)
The Farther Shore (Matthew Eck, Milkweed)
The Girls and Three Brothers (Theresa Rebeck, Shaye Arehart Books)
How the Soldier Repairs the Gramaphone (Sasni Stanasi, Grove Atlantic)
My Name Is Will: Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare (Jess Winfield, Twelve)
Occupational Hazards (Jonathan Segura, Simon and Schuster)
Red River Fever (Rudy Pittman, Booklocker)
A Richer Dust (Amy Boaz, Permanent Press)
Sun Going Down (Jack Todd, Touchstone)
Swan Dive (Michael Burke, Pleasure Boat Studio)
The Well and the Mine (Gin Phillips, Hawthorne)
When Autumn Leaves (Amy Foster, Overlook)

A complete listing of the very best literary journals may be found at New Pages.Com. Below are some of the older, more prominent journals that have produced some of the world's most noted authors:

The Antioch Review

Black Warrior Review

The Hudson Review

The Kenyon Review

Many Mountains Moving

The Paris Review

Prairie Schooner

The Sewanee Review

The Southern Review

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact

Monday, September 21, 2009

List of Cult Fiction Classics

The following is a partial list at best, and it will no doubt contain titles that some people not only intensely dislike but feel unworthy of the appellation "cult fiction." Every individual can easily build his or her own list, and that, to a large extent, is what cult fiction is all about: books that have a personal appeal to certain individuals. What speaks to the mind and heart of one reader will not speak to the mind and heart of another. The following is intended as a sampling, nothing more, in order to get a better feel for the kind of title discussed on this website.

Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes
Against Nature, Joris-Karl Huysmans
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
Axel by Philippe Auguste Villiers de Lísle-Adam
Be Cool by Elmore Leonard
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me by Richard Farina
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
Candide by Emile Zola
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Carry Me Across the Water by Ethan Canin
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Celestine Prohecy by James Redfield
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Daddy Cool by Donald Goines
The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
Dune by Frank Herbert
Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Generation X by Douglas Coupland
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pinchon
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Iron John by Robert Bly
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Lake Wobegon by Garrison Keillor
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
London Fields by Martin Amis
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Outsider by Colin Wilson
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Pixel Juice by Jeff Noon
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
Reneé by Francois-Reneé de Chateaubriand
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz
Something Happened by Joseph Heller
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
The Stand by Stephen King
Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
The Van by Roddy Doyle
Walden II by B. F. Skinner
Warlock by Oakley Hall
The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

SITEMAP

About This Website
Index of Articles on This Website
What Is Cult Fiction?
Is Cult Fiction the Same as Underground Fiction?
Cult Fiction and Genre
Cult Fiction and ON THE ROAD
Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe: Cult Fiction in the Making?
The Next Wave of Cult Fiction
List of Cult Fiction Classics
Cult Fiction Websites
Current Trends in Fiction
Literary Fiction
Breakout Fiction
Literary Agents
Self-Published Novels
Understanding the Literary Marketplace
Emerging Writers in the Literary Marketplace
Resources for Writers
About Cat Spaulding
Contact