Most Awful One,
A misguided friend recently asked me when I'm going to write a "real" book (aka literary fiction). I responded with an attack on his personal life, and I believe that ended our friendship. I'm not terribly upset over the loss, needless to say.
I expect this question to come up again, as my social circle includes some rather pretentious artists and intellectuals. The worst of them provide the best comic fodder, so I don't wish to excise them from my life. I'd like to be prepared with a classier come-back, something snarky but proper. Do you have any suggestions?
1. I'd love to write literary fiction but my agent flat out refuses to stop making money on my work.
2. It's a good thing you are handsome, because your manners are butt ugly
3. I leave the pretentious naval gazing to people better trained for the job.
4. I'm purposely avoiding writing anything that will be of interest to you.
5. How kind of you to show an interest in my career. Are you asking because you need a loan?
6. I'm reserving the great novel for when I need to lower my taxable income.
7. Literary fiction tends to be attractive to people I don't much care to be around.
8. I had to sign a non-compete when I stopped being Thomas Pynchon's ghostwriter. He's very fussy about those things
9. Yanno, that's exactly what someone asked Stephen King three days before he received the National Book Award for outstanding contribution to American letters.
10. Right about the time you get your head out of your analogous.
and...culled from the comment tail, a NEW and wonderful addition:
11. Did you drop out of charm school or were you just asked to leave quietly?
(let's all remember Miss Snark does not actually detest literary fiction in case you were thinking this was a reflection of her own true feelings)