So, today I took the plunge, and reached out to the man who inspired the novel:
Subj: A Four Hour Novel
I’m a first-time novelist, and a long-time fan of Tim’s (I know, I know…but it’s true), and I’m nearing completion of a book that he should know about. It chronicles the life of a government wage slave who manages to escape his cubicle with the help of The 4-Hour Workweek. I’m writing to discuss permission to quote from Tim’s book.
Although it would be possible to limit myself to referencing Tim’s work, and thereby avoid any copyright issues, I feel that a handful of quotations would greatly enhance the dramatic quality of the book. One scene in particular – when the main character discovers and then pulls an all-nighter reading 4HWW – depends upon quotations to move the main character from skepticism to enthusiasm to action.
My plan is to publish this novel via Kindle by early Spring. If this project sounds like something Tim would be interested in supporting, then I can provide excerpts for your review, including the sections that quote from 4HWW. I can be contacted at this email address (email@example.com) or by phone at <bleep!>. I look forward to hearing from you.
The first line follows a cold-call formula used by Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, hence the joke.
So, this is it. As the email indicates, it would be possible to rework the draft and only reference Ferriss’s work – and entrepreneurial advice in general – but doing so would limit the dramatic effect of that one scene. I guess we’ll see. But with the draft more than 75% complete, it was time to broach the subject. I’ll keep you posted.