Enlarge Joe Duplantier's head by Stefan Brending, via Wikipedia.

The 10 Real Reasons My Erotic Novel About Gojira Got Rejected By Random House


As we all know, French groove metal geniuses Gojira have always been armed with three powerful tools: incredible songwriting skills, tireless dedication to their craft, and palpable sexual energy. But read the letter sent to me by Random House in response to the submission of my novel, The Way of All Flesh: Love and Lust On Toxic Garbage Island, and the greatest contemporary metal band in the world might as well be a bunch of sexless chuds! Apparently, Gojira are powerful enough to play to thousands of fans at festivals around the globe, but my novel about their erotic adventures “certainly isn’t Random House material.”

That said, it’s important to read between the lines with a letter like this. So here, for the record, are the real reasons why Random House rejected my erotic Gojira fanfiction…

They can’t handle the unbridled eroticism

Look, I get it: Gojira pack. Anyone who’s ever been at one of their shows can feel, and smell, the carnal need that pours off of those dudes, and I’d like to think I capture that in my novel. So I have to assume that at least some of the issue here is that the team at Random House just aren’t ready for this jelly, so to speak. And believe me, there’s jelly to spare.

According to this letter, writing an entire novel about the bawdy exploits of modern metal’s dreamiest band is “problematic at best” and “will likely result in a cease-and-desist order.” Oh, boo hoo! I thought this was a major publishing house, not some squeamish metal blog like the one I run! If they’d only put me in touch with Joe and the boys, we could hash this all out mano a mano. But again, no! Suddenly we’re “crossing a rather clear professional line!”

Lies like, “We don’t know who Mario Duplantier is”

Here’s where I officially realized that the people at Random House are full of shit. This editor literally wrote, “Mr. Duplantier, who from what we can tell is the drummer of the band…” Right, like a bunch of editors for a massive publishing house don’t know who the greatest metal drummer of our time is. Guys, don’t lie to me. That’s just disrespectful.

I’m supposed to know how France looks, like some kind of psychic

You really should read this shit. Unnngh, you can’t see the Eiffel Tower from Nice! Unnngh, baguettes don’t grow in vineyards! Like I’m supposed to, what, fly to France so I can write about it? I’m not made of money. Besides, no one really knows what France looks like. Other than Gojira being from there, I’d never even heard of the place. 

Apparently, my Kerry King blurb is a “shamelessly obvious forgery”

Look, I’ve made several attempts to contact Kerry King, and when I DO get through to him – and I WILL – I’m at least 92% positive that he’ll read my blurb of, “This book made sweat bead along the tattoos on my shaved head, I tell ya what” and give me a thumbs-up in approval. And yet, for Random House, everything has to be perfect

My erotic character development could use some work

Okay, so, it’s important to confront one’s flaws, and the progression of my characters is, I fully admit, not perfect. For example, I’ve got “Christian Andreu, glistening, mutters, Aw yeah” in Chapter 4, and then Christian “sighs, Hell yeah, all aglisten,” in Chapter 16. Maybe if an editor would be brave enough to take on this Pulitzer shoe-in, I’d be able to refine my writing. Alas, they’re too spineless, and sexless, to accept my genius. Look, I even just used the word “alas!”

They’re prudes who think terms like ‘magma’ and ‘vacuity’ are “unsettling in a sexual context”

This ties back to my previous comment about how these fuckos “don’t know” Gojira. Like, they do realize that when I describe someone shooting “liquid fire” into another’s “lowlands,” those are song references, right? Maybe instead of telling me I “left [their] staff deeply disturbed,” they should open up Spotify and crank the Goj at full volume. I refuse to apologize about this. Those are dynamite Easter eggs.

Admittedly, I followed an editor in my car, blasting Gojira

In hindsight, this was not my finest hour. But in my defense, I thought editor Scott Shannon was actually responsive at first! Early on, as I drove behind him cranking “Oroborus,” he was nodding along and smiling and telling me to crank it up! Then, after a few minutes of me tailing him, he was all, Oh, you’re that guy, and, This isn’t cool, man, and, That’s him, officer, playing the music. So I think it’s safe to say there were mistakes made on both sides.

My all-new sex position, the ‘Flying Whale’

Look, I don’t want to give away the secret of my creation before my book gets published (which, with God as my witness, it will). But let’s just say that it’s basically an Airplane meets a Wheel Barrow, only slightly more Cetacean, if you get my meaning. There’s a little…krill involved, you dig? The point is that I’m unsurprised that something as revolutionary as the Flying Whale would scare off casual readers. If they’d only try it, they’d understand how beautiful it is. I don’t know, maybe they don’t own any tartar sauce.

Not enough wang

If we’re being honest, my first pass of this novel was pretty hardcore. It was nasty. It contained nasty things, done by Gojira. So I toned it down, worried that these publishing house dickfors would be scandalized by them. Now, I’m realizing that I did myself an injustice. These guys don’t want my soft, flaccid descriptions of frosted-glass bosom-heaving. They want my rock-hard, 900-word ode to Jean-Michel Labadie’s sack. On my next pass, I’m really going for it.

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