Published authors are driven people. After all, we had the stamina to put a book together and edit it ten or more times. After our great effort, we want the world to stand up and applaud our genius. We aren’t asking much, just millions of dollars, a movie deal, and a line of toys.
Given that million dollar contracts are not easy to get, there may be other ways to achieve the recognition we desire. The writer with cash can spend $10k to have his or her book Still, there’s no guarantee that anyone will read it.
In the Coyote series by Allen Steele, we find a man who wakes up in the middle of an interstellar voyage and is unable to get back in cryosleep. He has to live out his life alone as the starship makes its slow journey across empty space. During that time he writes a series of books and mural paintings describing a fantasy world. When the colonists finally reach their home, they find his body and the first literary contribution to their culture. Even if his writing isn’t stellar (notice the pun), he’s immortalized. Many of us authors would take that deal.
Alas, trips on starships aren’t so common either. Fortunately, there’s another, brilliantly diabolical option that combines the above characteristics of killing the author and being expensive: germs.
A team of scientists recently discovered how to write a book on DNA. Imagine how famous your zombie apocalypse novel would be, if it came as part of the killer germ that caused the zombie apocalypse. Yes, you’d probably wind up as another brain-sucking nightcrawler, but you would be famous (assuming a cure is ever found).
Ironically, many readers expect this kind of scenario from authors. Why else do they furtively sneak past the guy doing a book signing at the local book store? No one wants to be patient zero in a diabolical plot to make a book famous.