Monday, January 31, 2011

QueryBomb III -- The Final Showdown

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine complains, "I'm running out of men in this city, Jerry!"  That's about where I am in terms of agents, at least those who profess some kinship with the mystery/suspense/thriller world and appear to have been in business more than two or three months.  So, this latest and last QueryBomb(TM) is aimed at them.  All but five of these queries are snail mail -- I reserved them for the end for the most part out of sheer laziness.

So, kids, this is the last ride of the day in the agent round-up rodeo.  If nothing comes of this, I suppose I'll send the ms. to those few independent publishers who take mss. over the transom, but without much hope.  I'm setting up a WIP writing sked starting tomorrow (the first of the month always works for me) but how much progress I'll actually make remains to be seen.  For one thing, I can't seem to shake this flu I've had since December. Hope it's not pneumonia!

Monday, January 24, 2011

One More Dead Full

Well, 2011's off to a bang-up start, with another full ms. being given the old heave-ho.  That leaves one full out there -- in the agent's hands since mid-September -- along with one partial.  This dodo's about dead.

I know, I know: start another one. Show me where I can slack off on earning money and I'll get started on it.

It's a bummer, dudes.

At least I cajoled Janet Reid into reading my blog! (See comment number 10 in preceding post.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Janet Reid Earns $0.12 With a Ludicrous Premise

I was at the supermarket the other day and in need of something to read, so I checked the paperbacks and picked up one called Ghost Country by Patrick Lee.  The liner notes were semi-intriguing but also sci-fi-ish and I usually don't go there, but as I flipped to the inside I noticed that Lee had dedicated the book to Janet Reid.  He also put her in the acknowledgments on the very next page.  I don't know why, but that decided it and I bought the book.  I figure Janet's cut of Lee's royalty from this purchase comes to something like 12 cents.

Here's the thing.  It's actually pretty good, as thrillers go.  It does well what thrillers are supposed to do well -- keeps you turning the page.  However, the premise is ludicrous (I won't go into it here) -- actually doubly ludicrous, since there's this whole wormhole thing in the Nevada Wyoming desert through which alien gizmos keep arriving, which is also central to the plot.  And there are things that are just wrong, the kind of impossible/mistaken things that I find really annoying in books.  Even in sci-fi, be accurate.  So, for example, even in dry Yuma bodies out in the open wouldn't mummify, Mr. Lee -- they have flies and maggots in Arizona, too.  And boreal forests do not grow at the latitude of New York City.

But the interesting part for me is how some writer can take a ludicrous, even stupid, premise and make it work.  Somehow you keep reading it.  I read a Dean Koontz book once.  It had just an awful premise about some genetic experiment gone wrong (I think -- can't even remember) and people turning into various kinds of demon-like monsters at night.  I mean, it was stupid.  But Koontz just kept plowing ahead with it, and it worked.

So, if you care for thrillers at all, Ghost Country might fit your bill.  Don't expect any literary flair to it.  Indeed, the writing is soul-suckingly without any literary merit whatsoever.  But you will keep turning the page.

And of course we still love Janet Reid, even if she turned down our query a long, long time ago (version 1.0, which was kind of sucky).  She's still funny as hell.  I just hope she doesn't spend that 12 cents of mine all at once.