STATUS: It’s Friday! Rockies against the Padres tonight at Coors field. I cannot watch baseball on TV but get me to the field and I’m crazy about the game. I also love Baseball movies. Always have. There’s something about the metaphor of the game. All time favorite: BULL DURHAM (of course). Actually, I love all sports movies. Okay, not all but almost all. It has to be a really bad movie for me to diss it. I have very lax standards where sports films are concerned.
What song is playing on the iPod right now? TWISTIN’ THE NIGHT AWAY by Sam Cooke
I have to admit, I kind of stole this brilliant idea from Rachel Vater so go check out the original master but since Sara was in the office today working on queries…
It was time to for her to weigh in.
So, from Sara:
Here are some queries that got the dreaded, “No Thank You” today:
1)I saw four queries about adults who recently found out they were adopted. This seems to be a hot topic right now, and it is emotionally compelling. Unfortunately, it is also very common. Typically, the protagonist goes looking for his/her birth mother, and the plot revolves around this search. The successful query in this genre will have to be masterfully written to break out from the “too generic” brand.
2)There were many queries from writers who had not researched the genres that we represent (this is typical, but still sad – many were even good). I sent “nos” to multiple writers of children’s picture books, anthologies of poems, thrillers, medical mysteries, etc. *sigh*
3)Science Fiction and Fantasy writers were busy today – many good queries came through. There is one recurring theme that I keep seeing in this genre which is a bit of a turn off (and often results in the big “No”). I see many queries in which the hero or heroine has just come to realize that they are the secret savior either of this world or for a world they never knew existed. In these queries, the character doesn’t know about their hidden talent/power/prophecy until they find out it is their job to save the world. There is no reason this story couldn’t work, but I certainly see it a lot, and it takes exceptional writing to overcome my bias of it as a generic story.
4)Depressed 40 year old women whose fat husbands are having affairs have also been plaguing me today. This topic for a query never wins any points with me. Three of these “heroines” came through the in box, and then quickly went out again. I didn’t see the possibility of an original take on the storyline. I just saw “Sally needs to re-find herself and her vitality and her 14 year old sarcastic teenager is no help.”
5)Finally, again on the SF writers (like I said, they were busy beavers today) – I noted many queries that were listed over 200,000 words (including one stunning 315,000 word behemoth). This wasn’t the ultimate breaking point for any of the queries, but I thought I would mention it. 150,000 words is about my upper limit, and after that there is a mental, “eeek” of warning.
But, here are some wonderful potentials that I sent on to Kristin to review:
1) A YA novel with a 17 year old heroine who works in a museum as an exhibition assistant. She has just gotten the go-ahead to research her favorite pirate from history (or should I saw pirate-LASS – yippeeeee, a woman pirate, just like in SIREN). Adventure on the high seas is supposed to follow – sounds exciting!!!
2) A comedy about three senile, aging psychics and the havoc they cause as their talents vie with their failing mental capacities. Ha ha! How great – crazy old psychics!!!!
3) A SF about a perfectly engineered future that is threatened by a being, posing as human, who has been elected as president. The celestial protectors of the world create a new race of beings to help fight this threat. These are the heroes/heroines of the story, and they band together to learn about their powers and to save the world. Yes, it’s a “save the world” theme, but the writing in the query was very strong, and the hook with the six super-heroes, was intriguing.