A writing trend in the last few years has been to take minor characters from major novels and give them a book of their own. Having exhausted all the original ideas I've ever had in my latest book, The Kings and Queens of Roam, I'm pitching these
- Count Vronsky, from Anna Karenina. He interests me. How does he get along after Anna throws herself under the train? A thought: there's a period of grief, but then, just when he least expects it, he meets someone new, the love of his life, someone who will love him and trust him and who will not, he is almost sure, throw herself under a train. But then she does.
- On page 7 of The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway mentions that his family is descended from the "Dukes of Buccleuch." I skimmed the rest of the whole book, and never saw another word about these "Dukes." It might be interesting to write a book about them, a kind of prequel to Gatsby, in which events which have yet to transpire are alluded to obliquely. Like one of the Dukes could be "Duke Katzbee" or something to that effect. Where is Buccleuch though? Must be someplace in Europe. Could be fun. I love to travel.
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey—from the point of view of the BRIDGE
- Based on the title alone, Heart of Darkness seems like a fairly dark book. Where's the funny? Was there a Heart of Lightness he might have overlooked? Maybe. My plan is to read the book, find out, and write about it.
- Animal Farm. While I admire what Orwell did in this novel, there's one voice we don't hear enough of, and that's the farmer, Mr. Jones. We are never "in his head" as the animals take over his farm. What does he think about a bunch of animals taking over the place? Me, I'd be pretty upset. I'd go something like, "Jesus! These animals—whoa!—they're taking over my farm!" The last we hear of him is pretty early on when he has "hurriedly flung a few possessions into a carpet bag, and slipped out of the farm another way." His future is a mystery. But I see him eventually ending up in New York City, meeting a woman, starting a family. I see him discovering his HUMANITY. Ironic. Could be sold as a companion piece.
- Slaughterhouse-Five. Hello? What about Slaughterhouses One, Two, Three and Four? Was there a Sixth? This could turn into an industry unto itself. I can imagine myself as an old, old man, terribly rich and famous, walking unnoticed past a couple and overhearing them speak: "Can't wait for Slaughterhouse-Twenty-seven!"
- The Postman Always Rings Twice. The author let a lot of possibilities slip right through his fingers. For instance, how many times does the milkman ring? How many times does the handyman? What if the handyman rings the same number of times as the postman and there's a big mix-up? That could be hilarious. Also: incorporate more contemporary rings. Possible cross-marketing potential? Put a pin in it.
- The Naked and the Dead: more naked, less dead.