Notes From the Field: August 14 2017

Last week, I sent out 9 query letters to literary agents. How’s that going?


Last week, I sent out 9 query letters to literary agents. How’s that going?


I know, I know… it has only been a week. Maybe the internet is to blame, in this day and age of instant gratification and all, but I can’t imagine that waiting around for a response via postal mail back in the day was somehow preferable.

Conversely, if the answer be “no”, I’m not sure how badly I want to get that reply. I mean, it’s part of the process and generally good to know so I’m not literally turning into a skeleton when I could be moving on to other queries, etc, but oy-yoy-yoy, the anticipation is driving me batty!

In other news:

  • I have decided not to post my query letter until I get a “yes”. I’m weird that way. If it’s considered bad form to spatter my query all over town, then how is it any different posting it here?
  • I’ve been having a tough time shoehorning my book into a specific genre. I’ve been pitching it as “fiction” with little or no sub-classification (such as “Fantasy”) because many of those genres have, mmm, for lack of a better way to put this, certain stigmas associated with them. Or more nicely, there are certain story elements generally expected to be present in such genres. For example:
    • Fantasy: Elves, faeries, sorcery, dragons
    • Sci-Fi: Spaceships, space travel, ray guns, strange planets
    • Romance: Love triangles, bodice ripping, whatever else goes on in Romance novels

      But what if a story has one or more of these elements, but not enough of them to definitively classify it neatly into a sub-genre? To investigate, I Googled “Life of Pi Literary Genre” and the sneak preview result said… wait for it… “Fiction”. Glad that’s settled. (Not that I think I wrote another Life of Pi.)

  • Jaime and I watch more than our fair share of British television. These days, we’re continuing our binge of 8 Out of 10 Cats, a show about “Opinion Polls, Surveys, and Statistics” (nailed it that time) that is far more entertaining than the conceit suggests. Anyway, after out latest round of bingeing, we went to Animal Kingdom over the weekend and I swear, the whole of England was there, which really messed up my sense of reality. I told one family to “say hi to Rrrrob Brrrydon for me” and one guy nodded and said “you sound just like him.” Yes, people, you live in a world where some guy in Florida does a bang-on Rob Brydon impression. Er… truth or lie?
  • /Checks email 100 times

Author: Ethan Johnson

Words like silent raindrops.

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