Inevitable? Sure. Opportunistic? Almost definitely. Would you take it if you were in the same shoes? Abso-fucken-lutely. For whatever reason, a seemingly nondescript short story by the name of Cat Person sent the Internet into a legitimate spin, with everyone practically falling over themselves to have the boldest take on the fictional story and thus display to world that they know it the most. That level of mania has not gone unnoticed, and now it’s landed its author a wildly lucrative book deal.
Kristen Roupenian, who penned the now-infamous story, has officially sold her first novel to a UK publisher in a deal that’s set to net her AUD$1.3million.
The deal with UK publishing firm Jonathan Cape is worth a reported £748,000, with the firm purchasing the rights to her debut book of short stories You Know You Want This.
What’s more, a bidding war on the book is said to be underway among US publishers, with at least 11 bidders setting the price tag for Roupenian’s collection of stories set at well over US$1million.
Publishing rep at Cape, Michal Shavit, stated that it took the firm all of 24 hours to snap the collection of stories up after it arrived, noting that they all occupy the same space and tone as Cat Person, but not all of them revolve around relationships.
I was submitted the collection on Tuesday. By Wednesday, I had bought the book. She’s the real deal.
[The stories are] dark, they’re funny, they’re irreverent, they’re treading boundaries, and they’re very different to one another. They’re occupying a similar space in the imagination [as Cat Person], but they’re not all about the relationships between men and women. I genuinely think she’s a brilliant writer.
Cat Person was Roupenian’s first story published by The New Yorker, with the burgeoning writer admitting to have only “fully committed” to fiction in the past five years.
There you have it, folks. The easiest way to a million dollar publishing deal is through a short story about a bad date that causes everyone to have a conniption over.
Seriously though, there’s striking while the iron is hot and then there’s this. Impressive stuff.