Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rejection Letters (A Must Read)

I shared this with my pub group and thought you all might enjoy it also -

"I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English
language." Editor of the San Fransciso Examiner to Rudyard Kipling.

Mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark recently received a $60 plus million
dollar advance on her next five books, but this is what happened when
she was sending out her manuscript "Journey Back to Love" in the early
1960s: "We found the heroine as boring as her husband did."


Classic writer Colette was told in a letter of rejection: "I wouldn't be
able to sell 10 copies."


A rejection letter to Pierre Boulle about his "Bridge Over River Kwai"
said, "A very bad book."

Jean Auel, author of "The Clan of Cave Bear" was told, "We are very
impressed with the depth and scope of your research and the quality of
your prose. Nevertheless ... we don't think we could distribute enough
copies to satisfy you or ourselves."

A letter rejecting "The Diary of Anne Frank" said, "The girl doesn't, it
seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that
book above the 'curiosity' level."

"Jonathan Livingston Seagull will never make it as a paperback." From
the publisher of a magazine refusing an offer to bid on the paperback
rights to Richard Bach's best selling novel. Avon Books eventually
bought those rights and sales totaled more than 7.25 million copies.

H.G. Wells had to endure the indignity of a rejection when he submitted
his manuscript, "The War of the Worlds" that said, "An endless
nightmare. I do not believe it would "take"...I think the verdict would
be 'Oh don't read that horrid book'."

And when he tried to market "The Time Machine," it was said, "It is not
interesting enough for the general reader and not thorough enough for
the scientific reader."

Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls" received this response,
"...she is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and
thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph and scene
cries for the hand of a pro. She wastes endless pages on utter trivia,
writes wide-eyed romantic scenes ...hauls out every terrible show biz
cliche in all the books, lets every good scene fall apart in endless
talk and allows her book to ramble aimlessly ..."

When Irving Stone sent his manuscript, "Lust for Life," this is what
came back in the mail: "A long, dull novel about an artist." I guess
that meant "No thanks."

Even Dr. Seuss was not above the scathing rejection, "...too different
from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling."

Before Ayn Rand became known as an intellectual and her books as
classics, she had to get past this from one publisher: "It is badly
written and the hero is unsympathetic." And this from another: "I wish
there were an audience for a book of this kind. But there isn't. It
won't sell." So much for "The Fountainhead." Fourteen years later she
was sending "Atlas Shrugged" on its publishing rounds and reading in the
return mail: "... the book is much too long. There are too many long
speeches... I regret to say that the book is unsaleable and unpublishable."

To writer Samuel Johnson (though I don't know which book the editor was
referring to): "Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part
that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."

Regarding "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" it was written "(this book
has) no future ..."

Did you know that only seven of Emily Dickinson's poems were ever
published during her lifetime? A rejection early in her career said,
"(Your poems) are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and
are generally devoid of true poetical qualities."

Edgar Allen Poe was told, "Readers in this country have a decided and
strong preference for works in which a single and connected story
occupies the entire volume."

Herman Melville, who had written a manuscript entitled "Moby Dick," was
told, "We regret to say that our united opinion is entirely against the
book as we do not think it would be at all suitable for the Juvenbile
Market in (England). It is very long, rather old-fashioned..."

Jack London heard, "(Your book is) forbidding and depressing."

Ernest Hemingway, regarding his novel, "The Torrents of Spring" was
rejected with, "It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of
being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it." Ouch!

William Faulkner may be a classic writer to this, as well as prior,
generation, but back when he was trying to crack the publishing market,
he had to read letters like this one, "If the book had a plot and
structure, we might suggest shortening and revisions, but it is so
diffuse that I don't think this would be of any use. My chief objection
is that you don't have any story to tell." This was kinder than the
rejection he would receive just two years later, "Good God, I can't
publish this!"

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Backstory

May 24, 2005

Marianne Mancusi's Backstory

I always wanted to write a book. So one day I got a hold of a copy of 'The Writer's Market' and started looking through it. There, I found pages upon pages of publishers looking for books. I came across Harlequin and decided they looked like they'd be an easy place to get published. After all, they publish so many books, certainly they must be dying for submissions, right? " . . .


Read the rest of this article at Backstory, a great site featuring the author's story behind writing and publishing their book.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Has Book Publishing Returned to Pre-9/11 Business?

May 24, 2005
By Rachel Deahl

More books were released last year than ever before, according to a new study from R.R. Bowker. The statistics, released today, indicate U.S. publishers put out significantly more titles in 2004, jumping 14% from the previous year, to total 195,000, an all-time high for the industry. Andrew Grabois, Bowker’s director of publisher relations, says the rise points to a “return to a pre-9/11 pattern of publishing.” Grabois says the numbers point to an overall shift in the industry as publishers are now betting on the fact that the public is ready for more “escapist and self-help” fare, after being “exhausted by four years of terrorism, war, and polarizing elections.”

While the Bowker study does not reflect sales of books, and, therefore, industry revenues, it does point to the fact that there is a vast number of titles in the marketplace coming from sources other than the 12 major houses. Grabois says that, while vanity presses and POD companies make up for approximately 50,000 of the total number of titles released, the other 145,000 are coming from a combination of minor and major industry players. The Bowker study also touches on interesting trends in adult fiction, university press output, the growth of various genre categories, book pricing and translations of English titles.



Adult fiction, which accounted for 25,184 of the new titles in 2004, increased a hefty 43.1% from 2003, the highest jump ever recorded for the category. Interestingly, the large houses contributed modestly to this growth, increasing their output in the category only 3.5% from the previous year. Nonetheless, the overall growth means that adult fiction now accounts for 14% of all titles published in the country.

Grabois credits the difference in the output of adult fiction between the major houses and all other publishers with the fact that the biggest industry players are following a more conservative business model. Recognizing there might be more of a consumer interest in the category, Grabois says the major houses are still “a bit more cautious” and won’t “do a 180-degree turn in one or two seasons.”

Major trade houses released a total of 24,159 new titles, up 5.4% from 2003, Bowker reported. University presses also raised their output, releasing 14,484 titles, up 12.3% from the previous year. The strong numbers for university presses point to a turnaround in business, since the group saw a decline of 4.3% from 2002 to 2003.

Grabois says the university presses were able to turn business around by returning to their standard model, which had changed after 9/11. “[The University Presses] were hurt a lot by post-9/11 trends because they tried to gain a foothold in the trade market since there was such an interest in Afghanistan and terrorism and wound up over-publishing. They’ve cut back and now seem to be finding their sea legs again.”

Juvenile titles saw a marked rise in 2004, up 6.6% to 21,516, marking another industry high. And in the adult nonfiction category, the genres enjoying the largest increases included religion, travel and home economics. The big houses filled out their lists by releasing more titles in business, juvenile, law, sociology and travel, while cutting back markedly on religion, poetry and literary fiction.

Another decreasing area in the industry, according to Bowker, is translations of English titles; in 2004 4,040 books were translated from English into another language, a drop of 8.1% from the previous year.

As for pricing, the suggested retail price of various formats went up, for the most, with the exception of adult hardcovers, which dropped $.10 to $27.52. Adult fiction hardcovers remained the same at $25.08 while both adult trade paperbacks and adult fiction paperbacks saw a jump in price; the former rose $.11 to $15.76 and the latter climbed $.07 to $14.78.

A category seeing growth, surprisingly, is poetry, which jumped 40.5% from 2003 to 2004. Bowker, which tracks poetry and drama together, indicates that 1,779 more titles from the combined category appeared from 2003 to 2004. Despite the fact that poetry is not a big seller for the major houses, a number of POD publishers and vanity presses release a steady stream of titles in the category; Grabois estimates that poetry, drama and fiction account for 50% of the titles coming from POD and vanity presses.

Synopsis Writing Lecture

I perused this lecture series. Looks quite good.

Shawn

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Interview with Agent Caren Johnson Peter Rubie Agency

INTERVIEW WITH AGENT CAREN JOHNSON,

PETER RUBIE LITERARY AGENCY, LTD.

By Lois Winston, KOD Industry Liaison



Caren Johnson, the 2005 agent judge for the Paranormal/Futuristic/Fantasy Romantic Mystery/Suspense category of the Daphne du Maurier Awards, is the youngest member of the Peter Rubie Literary Agency. Caren began her publishing career as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble where she spent most of her time in the stock room, sitting on crates reading Evelyn Waugh, Jane Austen, and J.K. Rowling. She met Peter Rubie through the publishing program at CCNY (City College of New York) and started out at the agency as an intern. She is now an assistant agent and one of only a handful of Latinas working as an agent in the publishing industry. Caren is interested in the following areas: narrative non-fiction, pop culture, Latino based fiction (particularly chick lit and mysteries) and non-fiction, new age and spirituality.



LW: What sub-genres of mystery/suspense are you looking for (historical, contemporary, erotica, YA, cozy, paranormal, inspirational, chick-lit, etc.)?



CJ: I'm looking for sexy contemporary, chick lit and romantic suspense.



LW: Are there any mystery/suspense sub-genres you don't handle?



CJ: I'm open to seeing all sorts of mystery/suspense sub-genres. What turns me off immediately is clichéd stories. This includes memory loss, secret children and stalkers. There are so many more interesting stories waiting to be told. Why rely on the usual ones?



LW: You've just read a query letter that knocked your socks off and made you want to read the manuscript at once. Why?



CJ: I'm a sucker for a well written query letter. It immediately places me inside the protagonist's head and makes me indebted to seeing the manuscript because it's such a sexy set up.



LW: What are the ingredients of a query letter that will get the author a quick 'no thanks' reply?



CJ: Never mention that you've never written anything before. If you haven't, why are you wasting my time? Why aren't you telling me that you write every day, even if it is in your journal or that you've been a tech writer for 5, 10, or 15 years. Let me know that you can sustain a career with your writing. This also applies to telling me that this isn't your best work and that you're waiting to give me your best work when I sign you up. Dazzle me from the get-go. Let me know that I haven't wasted my time giving you a chance.



LW: Based on a query letter or pitch, you ask to see a partial. You love it, ask for the complete, but eventually reject the manuscript. What are the top five reasons for a manuscript's rejection in such a scenario?



CJ: This is important because I usually can't go into the details when I send a rejection letter.

Make sure that your writing is its strongest. Every author needs to practice writing. Make sure that you have someone you trust to go over every speck of writing sent to an agent and make sure that person is objective, not just telling you what you want to hear. Make sure that you have a good spell and grammar check done before you send out a manuscript. I'm not a strict grammarian, but nothing bothers me more than not being able to tell the difference between loose and lose. Manuscripts that don't look professional in the sense that they look like you wrote the book two years ago and are still shopping it around always floor me. As a writer, you should be growing with every day, so why not look over your manuscript and see if you really need all that dramatic phrasing or excess alliteration. Lastly, if it looks like an obviously cribbed idea from your favorite writer, it's useless since the industry already has that writer to write like that. They don't need two. If your writing is similar though, make sure that you can clearly voice how you are different and better. I want something that's going to knock the socks of those editors off.



LW: What's your response time on queries? On requested partials? On completes?



LW: What's your REAL response time on queries? On requested partials? On completes?



CJ: My response times vary and are appalling most of the time. Queries are almost useless to me since I'm very much into the instant gratification and want to see a writing sample. Send partials. If I like what I see, I'll ask to see the full. It's usually three months for partials and up to six for a full. Of course if I'm really excited about what I see, it could be the next day that you hear from me.



LW: Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite movies? Favorite TV shows?



CJ: I went to lunch with Charlotte Herscher and she brought me The Dark Queen, by Susan Carroll. This is my new favorite book. I fell in love with its prose and the sensuality of the language. If there's a writer out there who can produce work like this, I'll sign you up tomorrow.

My favorite authors are Michel Faber, whose book The Crimson Petal and the White I absolutely adore, Susan Carroll, who I just mentioned and Phillipa Gregory, whose historical romances I can't get enough of. You'll notice that I mentioned mostly literary fiction. I don't see these books as literary fiction. I see them as exquisitely written stories that were told brilliantly. I adore Lolly Winston's Good Grief because it was so brilliant and anything by Lisa Tucker because she has such a great command of language. Her stories are brilliantly written.



I watch Desperate Housewives and Arrested Development religiously. I love Everwood since it examines some crucial issues for the teen crowd, and Gilmore Girls is my guilty pleasure since I can't get enough of the characters.



I love action movies. My favorite movies in general are Bullit, Bourne Identity and Supremacy, Collateral, Payback, first Matrix and anything David Lynch.



LW: What is the best book you've read in the past year? Why?



CJ: The bet book I've read in the past year has to be that one by Susan Carroll, The Dark Queen. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction since it takes such liberties with history, but this one transcended those barriers and made me fall in love.



LW: What haven't you seen that you would love to see in a submission?



CJ: I would love to see more submissions by creative writers. Make sure the whole package fits what you're sending. My author, who writes chick lit and paranormal, includes a cover page for each manuscript that fits its overall appeal. If it is chick lit, she makes her font flirty and fun. For paranormal, she uses a more sober font. Mind you, this is only for the first page. The rest of the manuscript is plain TNR, perfect for the exhausted eyeballs of an agent or editor.



LW: Are there any subjects/types of characters/plots/scenarios you absolutely don't want to see?



CJ: I hate memory loss. Never rings true to me and I think it's an easy way to create tension. Avoid it and if you're using it, make sure you research responses and the like until you are an expert on it.



LW: Who are some of your published author clients?



CJ: Caridad Pineiro Scordato and Lara Rios.



LW: Is there anything else you'd like to tell KOD members about yourself and/or your agency?



CJ: Though I'm the only one in the agency who will "officially" look at romance, we're all interested in good stories. If I think a story is better suited to one of the other members of the agency, I'll be sure to pass your work on. We have a philosophy that it's better to have the best and most enthusiastic agent for your work, even if it isn't us particularly. We'll pass it between us as much as possible and make sure you get the best attention ever.



Contact information:

Caren Johnson

Peter Rubie Literary Agency, Ltd.

240 West 35th Street, Suite 500

New York, NY 10001

212-279-1282

Comment

'Underestimating the reading public'

‘I would say the biggest problem is underestimating the reading audience. I've always written cross-genre books: a suspense novel with a love story inside and some comedy. But publishers resisted this strenuously. Everything has to be labelled, and sold that way. If you're writing a series, there is pressure to keep things narrow and not break out. Books like Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and James Clavell's Shogun have largely disappeared from the bestseller list. The common wisdom is that readers don't have the patience they once did. But underestimating the reading public is a very big mistake. If there was more trust in the public, it would pay off. An editor once told me that if I didn't keep my vocabulary to 500 words I'd never make the best-seller list.’

Dean Koontz, who sells about 17 million copies of his books and gets over 30,000 fan letters a year, in the Wall Street Journal

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Crippled Detectives or The War of the Red Romer

I read about this story in the Village Voice. A story called, "Crippled Detectives" was written and illustrated by a 7 year old and published in a magazine called Stone Soup. The above link will take you to the story, which is supposed to be "fabulously funny." Soon after the story was published, the author was diagnosed with bipolar disease.

Defense, Prosecution Play to New 'CSI' Savvy

Apparently, jurors who watch CSI take the program too much to heart. The show has dramatically affected courtroom cases across the country. Jurors expect to see the same forensic evidence they see on TV. But in real life, forensic evidence is not always available.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

CNN.com Specials

CNN has a special report this week on forensics at 7PM ET. They also have supplementary data at their website posted above. Make no bones about it--this is definitely worth a gander for research or if you have an interest in crime detection.

So, wipe the dirt off your boots and dig in.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Kiss My Grit

Interesting article on what readers would like to see in romance.

Go to this blog and scroll down to the article 'Kiss My Grit'


http://www.romancingtheblog.com/blog/


Shawn

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Would You, Could You in a Box? (Write, That Is.) - New York Times

By JULIE SALAMON

Published: May 9, 2005

The novelist Laurie Stone understood that her desire to go into the box was a symptom of something, she just didn't know of what. Ms. Stone, 58, will have a month to consider her decision from the confines of a sleek-angled structure, about 140 square feet, whose walls resemble shoji screens made not of rice paper but of translucent cellular plastic panels. Her temporary home was built just for her, in a converted factory in Queens.

On Saturday night, in front of 200 onlookers, Ms. Stone and two other novelists, ensconced in neighboring pods, embarked on a variation of the spectator sports made familiar by reality television. Ms. Stone, Ranbir Sidhu and Grant Bailie are the participants in "Novel: A Living Installation" at the Flux Factory, an artists' collective in Long Island City. The goal is for each to complete a novel by June 4. The purpose is to consider the private and public aspects of writing.

No cameras will record this voyeuristic experiment, though visitors can peep occasionally (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m). The potential for public humiliation comes not from the perils of constant surveillance, but from the more familiar writers' problem of failing to meet a deadline. Make that deadlines. They will give weekly readings of their works in progress on Saturdays at 8 p.m., and take part in two public discussions scheduled for this coming Sunday and May 22.

What the novelists write is not as important as how they live while they are writing. Each habitat was designed by builders who, like the writers, entered a competition. The writers can emerge for only 90 minutes a day and must record on time cards the reason for their absence (laundry, bathroom, snacks). Each evening they will gather together to eat a meal cooked by a chef from a local restaurant.

For the Flux Factory curators, the exhibition (or exhibitionism) is an extension of an experiment their group has been conducting for a decade. Seventeen of the mostly youthful Fluxers, as they call themselves, live in the Flux Factory, a 7,500-square-foot space, which has the trappings of a college commune. ("Novel" is in the 2,000 square feet set aside for exhibitions.) The Fluxers' mission is to constantly consider the relationship between life and art, a process oiled by grant money.

The idea for "Novel" came to Morgan Meis, 32, a founder and the president of Flux Factory, as he was trying to finish his dissertation on the Marxist philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin, and his theories of experience. "I said I should do a project called 'Dissertation' where I lock myself in a box" and just finish the thing, Mr. Meis said.

Instead, he staged this show, together with Kerry Downey, 25, a fellow Fluxer. They put out notices on various Web sites, at graduate schools and architecture firms. Two hundred writers and a dozen designers applied.

With no money at stake and little prospect for celebrity, why did the writers, all past the age of youthful impulse, decide to participate?

Ms. Stone, a trim, lively woman with stylish short hair, was drawn by the isolation. "The idea of escaping from TV, all media, was very appealing to me," she said, in an interview before the experiment began. She came with the essentials: books, makeup and linens. Her main worry was that she would not adjust well to living in such close proximity with strangers. "I'm afraid I won't be flexible," she said, "I won't be happy. I'll be rigid and terrified."

The writing and reading aspect did not alarm her. "What's the worst that can happen?" she asked, and laughed. "I'll be terrible and give a bad reading. I'm extremely experienced with that."

Mr. Bailie, 43, had different motives. He received some fine reviews for his first novel, "Cloud 8," published in 2002, but earns a living as a security supervisor for an office complex and mall in downtown Cleveland. Mr. Bailie, who paid for his plane ticket to New York, also has a wife and two children from a previous marriage, so his writing time is limited.

"I could write a better book if I were locked up for a while," he said Saturday night at the party that preceded his semiseclusion, which began minutes after 9 o'clock. Mr. Bailie, dressed in all-black for the occasion, said he was not nervous. "But then, I've had a few beers," he added.

His space resembled a cross between a rustic hut and a primitive ship's cabin (but with electrical outlets). Its designer, Ian Montgomery, 24, is a carpenter and fine arts graduate of Bard College who has lived at the Flux Factory for eight months. In keeping with the Fluxers' experimental gestalt, Mr. Montgomery, with a mop of curly hair and a beard, wore a casual black dress over his jeans. Barefoot as he navigated his creation, he explained why he had decided to include a "grow table," a board covered with dirt sprouting wheat germ, clover and rye.

"I'm really interested in the potential energy that can be exerted in a short amount of time by plants and writers," he said.

The third writer, Mr. Sidhu, 38, moved to California from India when he was 13, and has lived in New York for seven years. He was looking for freelance work when he saw an ad for the project on Craig's List. "This seemed so much more interesting," he said. "The business models are consolidating and making publishing narrower and narrower, whereas this breaks open that model through play, refocusing on what's really important, which is the writing itself."

Mr. Sidhu will be living in an airy space defined by various boxes and movable plexiglass walls designed by two graduate architecture students at Columbia University, Mitch McEwen and Kwi-Hae Kim.

Paul Davis, one of the architects who designed Ms. Stone's abode, had been up all night adding the finishing touches and was still attaching panels with a staple gun an hour before Ms. Stone secluded herself.

Mr. Davis, 43, has sleek good looks that seem more suited to a martini ad than a warehouse art-happening. His firm, Salazar Davis, mostly does fancy residential and retail jobs, with clients that include Agnès B. and Air America radio.

He said he loved his break from the functional: "It was fun to remove ourselves from the practical business of selling something and be set loose to explore the ramifications of what it is to inhabit a place."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Anne Rice Gets Biblical in Her Next Book - Yahoo! News

Anne Rice Gets Biblical in Her Next Book Sat May 7,10:06 AM ET

NEW YORK - Vampires are usually her passion, but Anne Rice is getting biblical in her next book, due out in November from publisher Random House. "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" will tell the story of Jesus' early years in his own words.

Excerpts of a lengthy letter that will accompany advance review copies of the book this summer are published in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

"For over 10 years I've wanted to do this book — Jesus in his own words," Rice writes. "For five years, I've been obsessed with how to do it, and for the last three years I've been consumed with nothing else."

Rice, who has moved from New Orleans to San Diego, brought the undead back to life in the 1970s with "Interview With the Vampire."

"I'm not a priest," Rice also writes in the letter. "I can't be one. I'll never be able to go to the altar of the Lord and say the words of consecration at Mass, `This is my body. This is my blood.' No, I can't work that magnificent Eucharistic miracle. But in humility, I have attempted something transformative which we writers dare to call a miracle in the imperfect human idiom we possess. It's to bring Him here in the form a story, and that story is Christ The Lord."

Interview with Agent Sha-Shana N. L. Crichton

I heard this agent speak on an agent editor panel last near in October. I was very impressed with her.

Though this interview is geared toward the romance genre, the principles apply to us all. You will note Ms. Crichton did not limit her likes and dislikes in literature and theatre to romance.


Shawn

INTERVIEW WITH AGENT SHA-SHANA N. L. CRICHTON
PRESIDENT, CRICHTON & ASSOCIATES, INC. LITERARY AGENCY
By Lois Winston, KOD Industry Liaison

Sha-Shana N.L. Crichton is the president of Crichton & Associates, Inc. Literary Agency. She is a certified mediator as well as a publishing and entertainment attorney, licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. This year Ms. Crichton is our agent judge for the Historical category of the Unpublished Daphne du Maurier Awards.

For submission and queries, contact her at:
Crichton & Associates, Inc.
6940 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Cricht1@aol.com

LW: What sub-genres of mystery/suspense are you looking for (historical, contemporary, erotica, YA, cozy, paranormal, inspirational, chick-lit, etc.)?

SC: Chick-lit, women's fiction, historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, YA, cozy, paranormal, inspirational.

LW: Are there any mystery/suspense sub-genres you don't handle?

SC: No.

LW: You've just read a query letter that knocked your socks off and made you want to read the manuscript at once. Why?

SC: The story has a fabulous hook and is character driven.

LW: What are the ingredients of a query letter that will get the author a quick 'no thanks' reply?

SC: One that tells you nothing about the story and one where the author tells that he or she has six unpublished manuscripts in five different genres.

LW: Based on a query letter or pitch, you ask to see a partial. You love it, ask for the complete, but eventually reject the manuscript. What are the top five reasons for a manuscript's rejection in such a scenario?

SC: I do not fall in love with the characters or the story as I thought I would have during the pitch because:
1. The characters are underdeveloped
2. The character traits are inconsistent (a passive type A personality and there are no reasons shown why he or she becomes passive at that moment or those moments)
3. The writing is inconsistent (great first three or four chapters, the rest ..)
4. The plot and grammar need lots of work
5. The genre line is crossed. For example, the story is supposed to be a romance novel, however, the author has a mix of women's fiction, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.

LW: What's your response time on queries? On requested partials? On completes?

SC: This depends. I tend to give a quick glance at everything that comes in within two to three days. If a query, or the first five pages of the partial or manuscript grab my attention - an immediate response. If I have to think about it, I will pick it up again and take another look in another two to three weeks. If I know it is a definite NO - the rejection letters go out within four weeks. If I am undecided - it takes longer!

LW: What's your REAL response time on queries? On requested partials? On completes?

SC: Please see above.

LW: Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite movies? Favorite TV shows?

SC: Isabele Allende, Gabriel Marquez, among many other
Favorite Movies - Motorcycle Diaries, House of Sands and Fogs, Under the Tuscan Sun
Favorite TV Show - Desperate Housewives, ER, Law and Order, Judging Amy, CSI

LW: What is the best book you've read in the past year? Why?

SC: I have read so many books but the best ones I have read are - The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (a very well written book) and The Widows Of Wichita County by Jodi Thomas (loved the characters).

LW: What haven't you seen that you would love to see in a submission?

SC: I will have to think about this!
(Note: Ms. Crichton never got back to this questions.)

LW: Are there any subjects/types of characters/plots/scenarios you absolutely don't want to see?

SC: It all depends on the context. A really abusive person may work well in a memoir, a narcissist may be great in a chick-it / comedy.

LW: Who are some of your published author clients?

SC: Beverly Long, Jessica Trapp, Cassandra Darden-Bell, Maureen Smith, Kimberly White, Daaimah Poole, Trista Russell, Candace Havens, Sophia Shaw, Altonya Washington

LW: Is there anything else you'd like to tell KOD members about yourself and/or your agency?
(Note: Ms. Crichton didn't respond to this question.)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fight over finger found in custard

The man that discovered the finger in his custard refuses to "hand" it over to authorities.

Read all about it by clicking on the title link.