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youth in revolt

Youth in Revolt Author C.D. Payne Owns a Traveling Oddities Museum

The New York Times caught up with C.D. Payne, the 60-year-old author of Youth in Revolt, and we learned all kinds of delightful things. Apparently, Payne’s life hasn’t been all Champagne floats and critically approved Michael Cera adaptations. In the seventies he lived in a trailer in Santa Monica, fruitlessly trying to get anything published; by the late eighties, he was living in the Bay Area and suffering through a job as a copywriter for Sharper Image. That’s when he started writing Youth in Revolt, but failed to get anyone to buy that, either, and had to spend his own savings to self-publish it. The book got picked up by Doubleday in the mid-nineties and became a cult hit, but that didn't translate into a publisher for the three Revolt sequels he’s written since (they were all self-published). Best of all, at some point he converted a trailer into an oddities museum named Eyelusion, and says he supports himself partially by traveling to county fairs and charging a few bucks for tours. As a general policy, Vulture supports mustachioed alter-ego movies, but the fact that a long-struggling author is getting paid off Youth in Revolt makes us like it even more. Hollywood, a plea: fewer adaptations further stuffing Stephen King and John Grisham’s bank vaults, and more movies based on books from charmingly eccentric, half-broke writers, please.

Keeping Options Open, Novelist Tows Museum on Road to Dream [NYT]

Photo: Angela Weiss / Getty Images