The Age of Reason? no no...the Age of Aquarius!!

A Snarkling who has gotten dizzy from blowing out too many candles on his last birthday cake writes:

Off the wall question: Latest manuscript I am pursuing representation for begins with teenagers dating in the 1960's. Many agents, at least those looking for new clients, are young - too young to relate to this scenario. The bigger agencies have interns who are even younger - so even a bigger problem. Though, Jeff Herman does a decent job of finding out ages of some agents, it's a crapshoot when trying to find the right agent. Naturally, Miss Snark, being the Snarktress, would never reveal such information, but would she have any suggestions for us Boomer novelists?

Yes yes Miss Snark sees your problem. It's very very hard to relate to something so far away from our own time. Miss Snark personally sees nothing of herself in Romeo and Juliet, let alone Scarlett and Rhett, never mind those scamps Nick and Nora. And heaven forefend if that guy Homer sends me some dreck about that bitch Helen...well, of course I can't relate... I'm MUCH too YOUNG.

Miss Snark confines her reading, comprehension and her representation to people who can define "23 Skidoo", have opera gloves with mother of pearl buttons AND can sing all the words to Louie Louie.

C'mon dear Snarkling. Just write well. That's all you need. If the girl is in a plaid skirt, and saddle shoes, or wears Goth underoos, or she's in a Trojan (TOGA--get your damn mind out of the gutter there boyo) human emotion is pretty much unchanged for I dunno...ten thousand years?

As for Miss Snark's age, even DMV does not know. Miss Snark has a dispensation from the Pope to be a true relic.


Kitty said...

I had asked a writer friend for his brutal opinion of a piece I was writing which takes places in 1985. He thought '85 was too removed, that it wouldn't sell. I'm still working on it and have updated it to the present because, quite frankly, 1985 was becoming a bloody chore.

Bernita said...

Nevertheless, Miss Snark, we all don't hope to be another Shakespeare or Homer, and we do worry (clutching our pearls and straightening our twin sets) if our stuff will be viewed by avant guarde young things with piercings and tie-dyed hair as like, totally, you know, fuddy-duddy, uber old,like, last week.
You say to trust their professionalism and that writing well is enough.
I hope you are right.

Miss Snark said...

The girls and boys with piercings, and tie-dyed hair work in the ART department. The girls and boys in editorial wear pearls and have twinsets. Sometimes Miss Snark is the only person in the room with a nose ring.

Ira Rosofsky said...

Romeo and Juliet aside, the agent who "got" my work was even older than I am.

Erik said...

This is way off topic, but how does one go about breaking into the lit agency field? Would one need to return to school and obtain a specific degree (English, JD, ?) or does one just need to apply like the dickens and hope that an agency takes pity on them?

Just curious...

Ira Rosofsky said...

Special delivery for Miss Snark, Fred Friendly, aka Rosemary Clooney's nephew:


pinch said...

Dear Miss Snark: Do you or other agents you know ever surf through writer's blogs or places like Publishers Marketplace writer posting/blogs to find good offerings or are you busy with what you receive in the mail and with referrals? Is it worth the money to infest in this, especially featuring me sections?
Thanks ...a fan

Elektra said...

Few things are worth infesting these days. Just ask the locusts

Cyclus said...

One of my editor colleagues who wasn't familiar with military terms--and none too sensitive to cultural matters, either--came across the following line in a manuscript: "The Cheyenne warriors invested the fort." He changed the word to "infested."

...which is also a good reason to keep intelligent copy editors in the publishing business.

Elektra said...

Oh, I know...my copy of Fellowship of the Rings says (and I quote):
One ring to rule them all
One ring to find them
One ring to bring them all
And in the drknes bid them

Look out eBay, here comes Sauron

Elektra said...

That should be 'darkness'...but the 'bid' is correct

Miss Snark said...

The Cheyenne Warriors were agents for Paine Webber? or Terminex? wait...Julia Child!! Investing? Infesting? Ingesting?

Does this involve naked, well oiled, tall, dark and handsome men laying siege to the fair flower of Miss Snark's tender......oh! never mind, that's another post.

What the hell is "investing a fort"