Two debut writers recently received $2 million advances for fictional material. One, Emma Cline, has written a roman à clef about the Manson-family women, and I’m including the link to her bio, as she’s just 25 years old and sort of a 2014 version of a ’60s hippie. But a damn smart one, and I encourage subscribers to read the short article on her background, as I found it fascinating. I read snippets attributed to the other author, Garth Risk Hallberg (yep, that’s his name), who also signed a $2 million advance for a work of fiction. The only similarity to both writers is that they are deeply seated in New York City.
I continue to wonder if any of the New York mainstream publishers will ever bestow another relatively unknown author or debut writer with a million-dollar advance? It seems as though the lucky benefactors must have graduated from Columbia and reside in or have grown up in one of the boroughs, and preferably Brooklyn. I hate to tell these folks who control publishing at the big-house level, but there are fabulous writers who have crafted wonderful stories but live in Ohio and New Mexico, and who haven’t interned at a Condé Nast imprint.