Tuesday, March 10, 2015

50 Shades of Climate Change

by Robin Spano

Question of the Week: Is there a book you couldn't or wouldn't write - even if a good friend begged you and offered a suitcase full of money?

My Answer:

A suitcase full of money.

OK, let's put a dollar amount to this. It feels reasonable to assume that the bills are all hundreds. We
know from GeekBeat.TV that a briefcase full of hundreds can hold $900,000. A suitcase must be at least 4 times that.

So let's do some math.

The briefcase they're using is 4” x 12” x 17.25” for a total of 828 cubic inches.

But the question said suitcase.

According to Gear Junkie, the average carry-on holds up to 2500 cubic inches, which would mean (if I do some crude extrapolation and assume bills can be folded) approx $2,717,400.

But when someone offers you a suitcase, do they only mean a carry-on? I think it's more fair to assume they mean a standard checked bag. I visited some luggage sites to find out what standard is. According to this handy chart, a mid-sized case has a capcity of 4420 cubic inches (or, what we care about, over $4.8 million). The large size is a whopping 6479 cubic inches (over $7 cool million).

So lets say that, on average, a suitcase full of cash is worth $3 million.

Susan Shea had some fantastic answers to this same question yesterday. (Scroll past this post to read hers.)

Like Susan, I would not want to sign my name to 50 Shades of Gray, despite the truck loads of money it is clearly bringing the author. (And the boost to sex lives of women everywhere, apparently.) But would I write something similar using a fake name? For even the smallest suitcase, absolutely.

There are places I wouldn't go, under my name or anyone else's. For example, I would not write:
  1. Any book promoting hate. (Like Mein Kampf.)
  2. Any book denying climate change.
  3. Any book that might hurt someone I care about. (Like an expose on dirty family secrets. Not that there are any, of course.)
OK, so what would I do with the suitcase? (I mean, let's complete this fantasy.)

Of course I would take out a healthy chunk for fun money. Maybe a new boat. Definitely a Tesla. An education fund for my nieces and nephews.

Then, I would spend another healthy chunk to mitigate climate change. I think we're fiddling while Rome burns right now, and while I can contribute my volunteer hours locally, a suitcase full of money might help make a bigger dent in the fight for the earth's survival. 

So if I have to write a trashy sex novel to help the human race survive, then bring on the double-enders and Ben Wa balls. And bring on that friend with that suitcase.


Meredith Cole said...

I love the ethical dilemma, Robin! I think writing a trashy sex story to save the earth is a pretty good trade off...

Susan C Shea said...

Your dream-spinning and breathtaking charity plans remind me of what I do when I remember to buy a $1 lottery ticket. So much fun to dream big and to know we would be so unlike the nasty billionaire I write about in The King's Jar who is a total invention and not at all like any of the actual billionaires I worked with as a fundraiser. ;-)