The Book I Will Write

The Book I Will Write

John Henry Fleming contacts an editor at Knopf because he wants to write a book. Not just any book. A book about love, fate, hope, dreams, reality, and “fantastic visions of dancing foxes sporting mirrored sunglasses.” Despite a polite brush-off, Fleming’s persistence strikes a chord, and he’s soon exchanging emails with the hard-drinking editor (“a specter in a windy Italian restaurant”), her lovelorn editorial assistant (“your baggage-free ex-lover), and a desperate literary agent (“when I say ‘we,’ I’m referring mainly to myself”)—all without having written anything but the dedication.

After Fleming gets kicked out of his self-described garret and is forced to live in the local public library, he’s stalked and later kidnapped by members of The Zeppelin Society, then threatened with murder by the son of a famous dead author whose book Fleming must track down for inspiration. Through it all, Fleming keeps up a virtual flirtation with the editorial assistant, falls hard for the mysterious library Story Lady, and makes plans for a book his agent believes will be a “vegetarian alt-history eco-thriller” featuring Michael Jackson as an organic tomato farmer with a plan to save the world.

Will Fleming get his book written before he’s hunted down? Will he ever even start it? The Book I Will Write, told completely in email exchanges, is a hilarious send-up of the writing life and the modern publishing business. The book first appeared as a serial novel on the Atticus Books website and is now available as an ebook.

This Week's Dedication


Fleming explores the nuances of being a writer in an increasingly bifurcated world. Connected by language, relationships bloom and grow in the most interesting ways. Being a writer is difficult at best. Being able to express what it feels like to be a writer is what Fleming does throughout this tale for the current age. –W. Pasquini, reader

What I love most about this book is how relatable Fleming (the character) is. There’s a bit of Fleming in all of us, especially if we are would-be authors trying to make our publishing dreams come true. He’s brave, superhumanly stubborn, and in a state of constant writing limbo.  —K. Karalius, reader