In the sausage factory

I’m going to take a break in the middle of a pile of grading to talk about spiffy writing stuff.  (I love teaching but oh my God, the grading–it hurts.)

13 rue Thérèse is wending its slow way through the digestive system of the Little Brown entity (wait–this would make publication defecation, but it’s too late to turn back now, I’m committed to this gross analogy), going through all the biological and chemical processes that turn a manuscript into a book.  I’ve seen a spec cover for it, and it is cool.  Frustratingly, I am not allowed to post it, because it is still super secret.

A development that tickles my heart: the book now has an ISBN number!  Seeing those 13 digits is like seeing the inky footprint of your new baby on the birth certificate.

Also, cool multimedia ideas are happening.  My editor mentioned the prospect of putting QR codes in the book, which are basically barcodes that look like runes that take you to a website when scanned by a computer or phone camera.  These codes would link to additional content, or sound files of me reading some of the letters aloud, stuff like that.  I am thinking it would be fun to have fragmentary mini-stories that are interlinked in unexpected ways, like a little internet labyrinth.  It’s an interesting new medium to exploit.

Also, my kickass agent and my awesome editor have asked me for short stories to submit to The New Yorker‘s summer fiction issue.  The odds that I’ll get in are quite low since I am such fresh fish but it is still pretty damn exciting to put together a solicited submission to the Holy Grail of literary magazines, which will likely be read by an actual editor instead of a glaze-eyed intern with a finger poised on DELETE.  (Note that I am not talking smack about the glaze-eyed intern; I’ve had the job of reading through slush piles and it is deadening.)

I should get back to grading…  Don’t wanna.  Hold me!


5 responses to “In the sausage factory

  1. Oooh, the QR thing sounds really cool, though I’m having trouble envisioning how it would work…How cool to be solicited for The New Yorker!

    • They were thinking of embedding the code in or under some of the photographs but that’s probably not going to pan out. It looks like it might be an addendum.

  2. holy shit elena. please get published in the new yorker.

  3. i would like a bar code for this comment that shouts, “ELENA, YOU BADASS!” when scanned, please.

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