Are You Dysfunctional Enough to Be a Bestselling Author?

Take this quiz and find out

| September-October 1997

If you’ve got a tale with a twist—no matter how twisted—Narcissus wants you!
Narcissus Publishing Group is conducting a global search for fresh voices with fresh stories to enthrall the reading public. Let’s face it: Incest is over. Rape is dead. Divorce, depression, drinking, drugs, suicide, sex with aliens—they’ve been done.

That’s right, ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Sure, you could go on Jenny Jones and get your 15 minutes of fame that way. They’ll even throw in a cheap hotel room and dinner for two at Planet Hollywood. But why spill your guts for free on TV when you could cut a seven-figure book deal instead? (And—practically guaranteed—a TV movie-of the-week, with Valerie Bertinelli or Tony Danza starring as you!)

We’ll let you in on a little trade secret: Most “authors” nowadays can’t write either. That’s why Narcissus offers a large, gifted stable of co-authors for you to choose from. Most of these bright, capable underachievers are from two-parent suburban families with nothing more than a little dysthymia or a piddling anxiety disorder to show for it—not the big stuff that makes publishers drool over their mahi-mahi.

Sheldon F. A graduate of Brandeis University, Sheldon hails from Shaker Heights, Ohio. He is the co-author of 37 works of nonfiction—all of which snagged advances in the high-six-figure to seven-figure range. (Sheldon’s own memoir, Bald Like Me, is available on the Web at www.sheldon.baldnet.) Sheldon’s pet topics are rare disfiguring diseases and bestiality. “I’ve always been a sucker for a good shaggy dog story,” he says.

Marlene S. For years, Marlene, who is also a practicing sex therapist, specialized in incest. “It was my true calling,” she reflects wistfully. But times have changed and now that incest is drying up, Marlene is open to exploring new areas of psychic pain and perversion. Although she used to snub her nose at channeling, she’s now willing to entertain proposals from God and other discarnate entities. “I’d be a schmuck not to,” Marlene muses from her home in Parsippany, New Jersey. “When you collaborate with spirits, you get to keep the entire advance.”

Cameron K. III Despite his impressive vita—Choate, Harvard (magna cum laude), Oxford (Rhodes scholar), graduate degrees in religion and literature from Stanford and Yale, as well as the National Book Award for his first novel, Subtle Graces—Cameron has been unable to sell his subsequent 17 novels. “You think Henry James would have gotten two cents in today’s market?” shrugs Cameron’s agent, Esther Bernstein. That’s why he’s turned to violence. “But we won’t even consider a serial killer with fewer than fifteen murders under his belt,” Bernstein warns. “Less than that and it’s just dull, dull, dull.”