Zara’s Literary Cocktail

By Zara Alexis D. Garcia-Alvarez

We writer types have been readily accused of suffering from melancholy, seclusion, and the vice of the drink.

In honour of this, I’ve created my own “literary cocktail.”

To my writing peers and friends in the craft, “clink” and cheers!

Zara’s Literary Cocktail:

4 strong characters
1 elusive protagonist
3/4 true setting
1 plot moving back and forth in time
3 1/2 tsp. of tension
1 shot of surprise
a dash of romance to add sweetness
a twist of drama (plus 4 squirts of harbouring resentment)
a gallon of excellent, pure narrative
a drizzle of lyrical prose
1 creative title
2 spell-checks
3 proofs
2 cover designs
1 snazzy jacket
100% recycled paper
11 pt. Trebuchet MS
1 editor (detail-oriented perfectionist preferred – avoid sloppy type)
1 smooth-talking, ethical agent (must be collegial and business savvy)
1 supportive publisher
1 literary grant
8 hours of quiet per day
25 quarts of concentration
100% creativity
1 extra-patient partner/companion/husband/wife
one million words of encouragement
350-380 pages
10 conversations with personal muse (articulate, wise)
180 oz. of luck
90% talent
150% tenacity
5000+ tweets
1 international audience (receptive audience preferred)
8 translations
garnished with swag bookmarks, tote bags, buttons, key chains, and/or mugs
4 book signings
15 book clubs
1 national tour
5 giveaways packs
1 black and white author photo
1 60-word biography for back jacket flap
1 renewable contract
50% royalties
2 ISBNS (pre-ISBN 13 included)
1 library catalogue
50 years copyright
a span of solitude
an hour of self-doubt
2 days of denial
1 week of procrastination
7 pills of anti-depressants
A whole lot of guts (not to be confused with fish guts, but of the brave sort)
Very little Glory
Some Respect
Even less Money
Written with precision, humility, passion, and care.
Stir well. Watch for froth.
For sweeter taste, add either 1 Giller Prize or 1 Governor General’s Award.
Chill with relief.
Serve with dignity.
Preparation time: 6 months
Experience required: A lifetime
Taste: Varies depending on reader
Cost: Everything
Available at:
Random Drink House
McClelland & Stewart Brothel
Doubleday Shots
E. Knopf Liquors
HarperCollins Pub
The Wobbling Penguin
Thomas & Allen Brewery
House of a Nancy
The Pub(lishing) Crawl
(c) Zara Alexis D. Garcia-Alvarez

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