I am about to let you in on one of the best-kept secrets of publishing: the stuff you get after you sign your contract. First and foremost, there's access to the private jet. Technically, it's for use by all writers, published or not, but the trick is that it's an invisible jet (modeled after Wonder Woman's) and it's only after you sign your contract that you're sent a copy of the invisible keys and a map to find the invisible runway. I haven't had a chance to use the jet yet, partially because it's been in use pretty continuously since I signed -- first Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld used it to fly to Australia and then Sam Enthoven claimed it to return to the UK after World Fantasy Convention -- and partially because I keep losing the keys.
If you write for kids or teens, you get additional perks. When you get the Call telling you that you have an offer, the news is followed up by a singing telegram from your favorite Muppet. (Not a kid dressed up as a muppet. I'm talking the actual Kermit-the-Frog -- or in my case, Kermit's nephew, Robin.)
And if you write for teens and live near Manhattan, you also get invited to Teen Author Drinks Night (TADN), where you are introduced to a fabulous collection of YA/MG writers and a marvelous concoction called vodka pizza. The latest TADN was last night, and I had a great time.
Vodka pizza is not, as the name implies, alcoholic. Ever had penne alla vodka? Vodka pizza is regular pizza but made with vodka sauce instead of plain old marinara sauce. And it is delicious. I first tried it last month, the first time I attended TADN, but I was afraid if I told you about it, I wouldn't be invited back. Now that I've been twice, I feel safer telling you (though I am still taking a risk here so I hope you appreciate it).
As to the fabulous collection of YA/MG writers, this time I got to chat with... yes, here comes the name-dropping... Coe Booth (author of TYRELL), Erin Downing (author of DANCING QUEEN), Sarah Darer Littman (author of CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC), Bennett Madison (author of LULU DARK CAN SEE THROUGH WALLS), Leslie Margolis (author of FIX), Lauren Mechling (author of THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10TH GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER), Adrienne Vrettos (author of SKIN), and Robin Wasserman (author of WRATH).
Everyone was super-nice. Can't wait for next month!