The Slush pile turns up a tantalizing treat

I'm deep in the slush today.

Writing conference season is in full swing and for some reason people like me at these things despite my best efforts to appear cold, cruel, and terrifying. I think Killer Yapp makes them think I'm nice. Time for him to stay home more often.

Just to show that all my barking about stuff can be overcome by the right project, today a delicious tantalizing treat showed up. Historical fiction. Blah, I normally say, cause I'm sick to death of maidens at risk from big bad sea captains or sea captains at risk from Virgin Queens, and if no one ever says "court of Louis Canz" again, I'll be fine.

So this query comes in and it's about an era I'm interested in (discretion prevails here so I won't be specific). And I think to myself, I don't think I've seen a novel about this era before. Lo, a search of Amazon, Google, NYPL and everyplace else I can think of confirms this.

Now, get this: the author lives in some far flung port that is NOT the US. Remember how I crabbed about THAT!

Well, I'm hooked, I asked for pages. I'm praying this guy can write cause right now, he's got my attention.

Just goes to show, I'm NOT kidding when I say "fresh and new" will get my attention, and "good writing trumps all".

There's a lot of road between here and an offer, but Im reading his pages and that is more than can be said for 95 of the other queries i've gotten this week.


Anonymous said...

would you pay attention to a maiden at risk from a big bad sea captain if it were really well written?

just wondering... cause it seems excellent writing cannot trump a previously used idea. (so I've been told)

Miss Snark said...

naw, all maidens on sea going ships should be tossed overboard, eaten by sharks and reincarnated as Jaws: The Revenge of Aubrey.

"Excellent writing" usually means giving an old trope new life anyway. Think Cold Mountain as the Odysseus quest.

Chumplet said...

Good to know you've got something to get you through the dark, cold autumn we're experiencing.

I wouldn't mind an offer of representation to get me through the snow and slush and ice and... Gawd help me!!!!

History is history. I'm sure that more than five things of note have happened in the last thousand years or so. Something has to be original!

verification: wovll - almost a wolf.

Rashenbo said...

Ooooo who doesn't want to be called a tantalizing treat by Miss Snark!!!

Maybe we can have the tantalizing treat award!!! :)

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Obviously "fresh and new" means something different to people with goats ...

LadyBronco said...

Oh, to be Miss Snark's new tasty treat!
I wouldn't even mind being KY's tasty treat. :0)

Verification ~ ytuesi

Close cousin to the watusi?

McKoala said...

Glad you found a good one. Just curious, though, did the author not include any pages at all with his query?

Schaz said...

Not fair. I'm going to go crazy trying to think of an era that has never been represented in a novel. :::sigh:::

Miss Snark said...

mckoala, newp. Not a page nada zippo, zilcho.

Ben from Bleak House said...

What about a sea captain at risk from a maiden who is a black belt in an obscure, sea borne martial art (said Maiden may or may not have a clue to the whereabouts of one Loch Ness Monster)?

Miss Snark said...

only if the maiden has skates, rules the Roller Derby of Aberdeen, AND kicks some serious pirate ass.

KC said...

Oh, dear dog, I hope he HAS pages. Hooking Miss Snark with a "fresh and new" "tantalizing treat" while not being prepared to deliver would just be too tragic. I'm rooting for a happy ending to this publishing story. The fictional story can end any way the author deems fit.

Alex Scarrow said...

Ah thing is, most of the periods in history that Joe Pleb might have heard of have been done to death already.

Which leaves the obscure bits. They might be 'fresh and new'...but a nightmare to market. I've been down this road myself, wracking my brains for a history slot thats not been thorougly pillaged, and yet has super- sexy brand recognition amongst the oiks out there. Tough one that.

But as Snark says, good writing trumps all, in the end.

ben from bleak house said...

So it sounds like you're ready for my new GUARANTEED blockbuster--Regina Roller Derby and the Case of the Old Sea Captain. Right now it's handwritten on construction paper (please excuse the coffee stain on pages 23-36). The crayon adds a nice touch.

Miss Snark said...

good writing trumps all!
Bring on the crayon!
Bring on the construction paper!

I know JUST the publisher to talk to about this DICKENSIAN tome.

History buff said...

I'm going crazy trying to think of an era that hasn't been novelized. Can we get a hint?

GutterBall said...

You know, I think the Roller Derby era might just be the under-recognized era you all are looking for. Whoda thunk?

By the way, this comments section has forced Hawaiian punch out my nose twice. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! GO, you writer from outside the US! Hope you change dear Miss Snark's ideas on authors living in furrin regions!

Lawrence said...

I...can't...stop...laughing...no...matter...what...I ...do!!! This has to be your BEST post ever, and that's saying something, Miss Snark!