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Friday, January 25, 2013

Kitten Killing Retraction

It turns out that I owe everyone who reads this blog a huge apology, and I would like to put this in the form of an official retraction.
You see, in yesterday's blog post, I made reference to my theory that literary agents may be inadvertently (or intentionally) plotting to kill kittens by returning spammed out form rejection letters after demanding very specific fonts and structures to the query letters they receive (oddly enough, you might be surprised to discover that the mere suggestion of anyone harming kittens causes some people's feathers to ruffle, even in light of the fact that literary agents who despise 'dear agent' queries apparently see no irony in replying with 'dear author' letters, so why wouldn't they also be ruthless enough to hate cuddly little kittens? It only stands to reason, or so I assumed)...
As it turns out, I was wrong about my theory...because IT IS ACTUALLY A FACT! I knew it! Get ready to be even more offended, cat lovers...
In response to the post yesterday, Literary Agent Janet Reid actually replied with a link to this article:
Link to Article Regarding an Overt Plan to Kill Kittens. If you're an emerging author in the process of finding an agent to represent your work, Janet (when she isn't busy plotting to thin the world kitten supply) runs the Query Shark Blog (and I'm pretty sure that sharks, would in fact, EAT KITTENS, if given the opportunity to do so). It's one of the best resources I've found for learning to craft your query letter (even if she will probably reject the final product anyways), because as every writer knows...
It's way more better to spend several months writing and rewriting and polishing a lousy 300 word query letter than it is to write another 100,000 word novel (because it takes just as long and makes you question everything you've written because, shit, if you can't get 300 words right, then what's the chance of any of the other stuff being any good, and why bother even getting out of bed in the morning, and has anyone seen my rum bottle because I think there might be a couple of drinks left at the bottom of it?)..
...And once you've read everything there is to read about forming your query letter, and logged ten thousand hours revising the perfect little gem, you can send it to even more literary agents (there is apparently one on every street corner in New York), and receive even more form rejection responses, because they still won't actually read anything submitted by anyone from Iowa (isn't that where Cleveland is?), who isn't directly referred by an already famous writer (does anyone happen to have Robert James Waller's address?).
If you're fed up with the process, you can always enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. It's free to enter and there are still a couple of days left to get into this years contest...
So, hurry over to the site and join 9,999 other hopefuls. There are also some really great forums on the site for crafting your pitch (almost as frustrating as your query), where you can post it and have it reviewed by a lot of other writers. I did it and received a ton of extremely useful feedback, because when you've spent months staring at 300 words, they cease to make any sense to you whatsoever...
And then you'll get this feeling of elation, like, "YES! I'VE FINALLY NAILED IT!" And even if you don't win the competition, then you have at least perfected your query letter finally...
...so you can send it back out to some more literary agents, and get more of those spammed form rejections (but with the feeling of accomplishment in knowing that it is, indeed, an awesome query letter, and the bastards must simply be involved in some sort of covert (or overt) plot to kill kittens or something, or why in the hell else wouldn't they ask to read my God damned manuscript (which is awesome and way better than Fifty Shades of Grey, because if Fifty friggin' Shades of Grey is literature, then I'll kiss your ass, and now it's a God damned trilogy when I couldn't even make it through the first three chapters of the thing without puking in my mouth, and how in the hell did that query letter ever get accepted?).).). (Did I get enough )))'s in there to cover the ((('s?)

Seriously though, no kittens were harmed in the creation of this blog post. And I'm quite certain that neither Janet Reid, nor any other literary agents, REALLY intend to do any harm to kittens...
In fact, the opposite is probably true, with them roaming the streets of New York like some half crazed cat lady, yelling at the neighbor kids to keep off their walk, and rejecting any query letters that are post marked from Iowa, or that don't have Nicholas Sparks' return address on them (and if you've never read the tale of how Sparks found an agent, you've got to read it because what an awesome story).
Anyhow, I've got to go start packing, because we are making the drive from Iowa to San Antonio, Texas in the morning (Lorri has a conference to attend, and I can use my laptop to get rejected from virtually anywhere in the continental United States). I'm considering the possibility of laying siege to the structure and refusing to leave until a literary agent has actually read my manuscript. Then we could see how long it takes a million well armed Texans to gun down a fat guy with a laptop (I think I just found the basis for my next novel...err...I mean trilogy).
You probably think this is a photo of another building at the Alamo (or is it The Alamo? I'll have to figure that out while I craft my query letter for the new trilogy), but it isn't. It's a picture of a palm tree! It's amazing how your perspective changes when it's 1 degree outside. No really, it's like 1 degree here (for my U.K. and Canadian readers, that's in American degrees. I'd translate that for you but I'm not sure how many £'s are in a litre), and we're going for a week to a place with palm trees! Palm trees!
So, if them Texans have got their internet all hooked up, I'll send you some stuff from the road! You can take a virtual road trip with me (even though I'll be warm and toasty and hanging out under palm trees while a lot of you will still be freezing your tails off, and worrying about kittens). But other than that, it will be just like you're right there with me!
So, until we meet again, partners, happy trails!

And thanks for reading! Also, thanks to everyone who has emailed and left comments. I always love hearing from you guys, even if you don't spell stuff very good and use words like 'colour' or 'favour' or 'knickers'! Take care!

-Buzz Malone-

1 comment:

  1. Don't start on the extra 'u's Buzz - it's a lost cause.