30 July 2009

What Does It Take?

Several industry professionals have had the opportunity to read and review my (still unpublished and unagented) novel EULOGY. Here are some of their comments:
Agent 1: "We were mightily impressed by the descriptive power of these pages and your ability to create compelling, true-to-life characters. That being said, [...] doesn’t feel that she’s the right person to represent your novel. I know we don’t need to remind you how subjective a business this is. You are certainly a talented writer and there’s no doubt that you’ll find the right agent who has the all-out enthusiasm that you deserve."
Editor 1: "From page one, Eulogy was a pleasure to read for its distinctive prose style, its close observations, and its elegant and precise vocabulary (protagonist and author alike clearly masters of le mot juste!). The writing style, the tempo, and the crisis-filled storyline lend the work a taut intensity and a heightened sense of reality that are exciting to experience. The tension that carries through much of the novel is nicely offset by fine passages of reflection. Lyrical, moody descriptions of place and frank yet graceful erotic moments left strong marks. .... I think you’re justified in feeling confident about the marketability of this work (I see film potential, too). The life Josh leads is very 21st-century Manhattan, yet the issues he grapples with are of broad perennial interest."
Editor 2: "The novel establishes several substantial lines of tension. Joshua’s marriage is failing, he and his wife emotionally separated due to insecurities and philosophical and artistic persuasions. Joshua’s career in a powerful law firm leaves little time for himself or for his marriage, and his father-in-law and mentor’s departure to London seems to put his own career into jeopardy. He faces the moral responsibility of helping his father to assist in his mother’s death, and this death forces him to physically and emotionally return to a past that he renounced long ago. It is clear to the reader that these various facets of his life pressure him to define himself according to others’ needs and perceptions, and he is about to break under the strain. This matrix of lines of tension presents a portrait of a complex life that is about to break open or to break apart. "
So what does it take to get a novel published?
As my teenagers would say:

"Wait! What's that? Waah, waah, waah. Is that the waahmbulance?"

"Sir, would care for some bread and cheese with your whine?"

"Hey, maybe we can go to Waahndy's instead for a burger and some french cries."

"Get over it."

There. The pity party's over. Sorry. I try not to indulge.

I'm taking a break from WoW and the internet for some scuba diving with Wisdoc and the aforementioned smart-alecks here: .

Jim H.

8/18/09 Edited to replace picture.


Frances Madeson said...

Tis, tis, tis a pity you have to leave now. Just when we're all on the verge of solving the riddle of The Jakie Conundrum and shifting the paradigm. And we can imagine the delighted Marx Brothers, on their tiptoes, eager to catch a glimpse, over the Brothers Grimm's shoulders, of the marvels we're about to discover while we click our rubric cubes together like castanets keeping time as we sphinx it out. I'll chant an ohm for you so you'll be with us in spirit, if not in mind. I'm sad about that, but I do understand you have important biological family obligations too.

Jamie Iredell said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for stopping my blog. Yes, I guess we are neighbors! My wife and I live in Midtown, and I'm guessing you must be over in Druid Hills? Read a few of your funny posts here. This most recent one, of course, I'm most interested in. Yes, it's long process publishing a novel. It took me over a year--with many nice rejections--to place mine. And a year is actually not a long time. I'll be keeping up with how things go for you.

Rose Hunter said...

Best of luck - I'll keep up with how things go for you too. I'm trying to write a novel at the moment, not trying to publish it. However, I have had lots of fun trying to get my short story collection published. So I can relate to the WAA WAA WAA!!!!