Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Great Mormon Novels Have Already Been Written (by Spencer McKay)

Dear readers,
You've no doubt noticed that Rob has been mysteriously absent the past few weeks. Our humblest apologies. He's been hiking the Appalachian Trail. Rob's close friend, author Spencer McKay, will be filling in during the absence.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the possibility of the Great Mormon Novel. Even on this very blog, people have been yammering on about the various issues at play. Some say that such a book is inevitable--that as the quality and acceptance of LDS fiction increases, we will eventually see the creation of a work of such astounding depth, importance and beauty that all will point to it as the pinnacle of the Mormon experience; it will be both the culmination of all Mormon thought up to that point as well as the catalyst for future growth and change.

On the other end of the spectrum, some say that such a book is impossible, that as soon as an artist truly plumbs the depths of the LDS experience, the artist will disappear in a puff of depth-plumbing smoke. Likewise, some say that the market is too insular and small--that a "great" Mormon novel can't happen because, by definition, a lot of people would have to read it and right now, few people read LDS books.

To all of those claims, I say: phooey. Why? Because I've already written the Great Mormon Novel. In fact, I've written three of them. Take your pick. (And this doesn't even include my previous work, such as Enriched by Love, The Friberg Code, The Ineffectual Education Fund, or my screenplay for The Nephite Who Loved Me.) No, all of the following books are completely new, ground-breaking, and destined for the heights of history.

Great Mormon Novel #1

Title: Ms. Gumshoe

Premise: Olivia Beautifula starts her own private investigation agency, only to find that no clients want to work with a gorgeous, Mensa-member, former-cop--who also happens to be a woman! So she makes up the name of a fake male boss, someone who her clients can respect: Winchester Ironn. Business picks up and all is well--until someone shows up claiming to be Winchester!

Can Olivia get to the bottom of these mysteries--both her case (finding a jewel thief) and the problem of her mysterious boss--without having her heart stolen as well? (Also: she's the Primary President and the annual Primary program is coming up! Will little Timmy Johnson not pick his nose on the stand!?)

Why it's the Great Mormon Novel: For one thing, it's authentic. That's what the Great Mormon Novel really needs: someone who is willing to tell a real story, accurately and without pulling any punches. More than any book that's come previously, this one lays bare the all-too-common experiences of a hot detective Primary president who has a mysterious boss.

Great Mormon Novel #2

Title: Missing You While I'm Home and You're At War Fighting the Indonesians

Premise: Sure, we all know about the Attack on Quallah Battoo in February of 1832. But do we know what it was like on the homefront? And what if one of the soldiers who stormed the tiny town in Indonesia also happened to have joined the church two years before!? What then?

This book is groundbreaking, both for Mormons and for lovers of literary experimentation. It tells four stories all at once: first, Melinda Quincy, who was married and joined the church only three days before her husband was called off to fight. Second, it tells of her husband, Steve Quincy, laying out the gritty tale of war and pain in Quallah Battoo. Third, we see a parrallel with the efforts of Steve's brother Bruce, who's fighting a battle of his own--a mission in Rio. Fourth and finally, in a different timeline we follow Amnigaddah, the Jaredite, who also did stuff.

Why it's the Great Mormon Novel: Well, this one seems pretty obvious. It has it all: war, homefrontery, missions, Jarediting.

Great Mormon Novel #3:

Title: Incantation Inn and the Bellhop of Destiny

Premise: You've heard about wizards going to high school, and you've probably even heard about superheros and vampires going to high school. The combination of the supernatural and the ordinary is common fodder for the arts. I mean, one the greatest books of all time combines a hunchback, three talking gargoyles, and a cathedral (The Great Gatsby). But have you ever heard of a wizard who runs a hotel!?!?

Dark Lord Kortivupy is general manager at Hotel du Magic (it's French). He runs a tight ship--no nonsense--but what happens when his small-town hotel gets picked as the location for MTV's Spring Break!?

Why it's the Great Mormon Novel: To the layman, this book probably doesn't sound very Mormon. But to those stupid layman, let me just say one word: symbolism. The scene where Kortivupy is knocked into the swimming pool by rowdy frat boys, and emerges from the water with soaked robes and a changed heart? Don't tell me that's not Pulitzer Prize material. And when Kortivupy sends his housekeeping staff two-by-two to spread the news that the swimming pool has been contaminated with diesel fuel? I mean, come on.

You can follow Rob on Twitter if you do that kind of thing.

You can even add Spencer McKay as a friend on Facebook. He likes friends.


At 6/30/2009 2:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Ah, I love satire that makes me laugh.

At 6/30/2009 2:13 PM, Blogger Josi said...

I lay my pen at your feet, oh wise one. Why make such vain and augmented attempts at greatness while in the shadow of such omnipotent talent? Alas, the grail is officially out of reach for one such as I.

At 6/30/2009 2:54 PM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

Awww, man, they should totally make a television series out of Ms. Gumshoe! It's such an excellent idea with so many fun possibilities. Now, who could play the mysterious Winchester ... wait, I know! Richard Armitage! Or Christopher Ecclestone? Or David Tennant? Maybe Jason Isaacs.

*drifts off in a puddle of drool and daydreams ... *

What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah, the Great Mormon Novel. Well, with Ms. Gumshoe as the base, and a little help from a gorgeous British actor, we could also have the Great Mormon Television Series. Get cracking on that screenplay, Spencer McKay, I know you can do it!

At 6/30/2009 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to tell you this, spence, but that first novels already been made into a movie called "The Associate" starring Whoopie Goldberg. Although, Whoopie with a Mormon twist might be interesting...

At 6/30/2009 6:48 PM, Blogger pwells said...

Wow, Spence, good thing your readers are so young and don't remember "Remington Steele". Rob, however was raised on it. Over and over and over...

At 6/30/2009 6:49 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

What Josi said.

Funniest thing I've read in weeks! (basically since Spencer's story at Storymakers!) Ha ha ha ha ha!

At 6/30/2009 7:41 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I'm thinking Mr. McKay has Whitney Award written all over him.

And since Rob has already established that I'm old, I'll say I remember Remington Steele.

At 6/30/2009 11:36 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! (Gasps for air) Hahahahahaha!

At 7/01/2009 10:47 AM, Blogger Taffy said...

These books aren't real??

At 7/01/2009 7:16 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Are these books available on audio?

At 7/02/2009 12:50 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

Where can I buy these amazing novels?? Where or where? I so appreciate that you wrote about me (ms. Gumshoe). Sure I'm pushing forty but I am still hot (though it comes in flashes) and I find car keys all the time (though usually when I'm not looking for them).

At 7/06/2009 5:25 PM, Blogger lachish said...

THIS POST is the reason why going on vacation with the family and being without internet access for days is a terrible idea. Thank heavens for Google Reader. Otherwise, I could have missed it!

At 7/17/2009 1:46 AM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Spencer, a delight, as always.


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