2.09.2007

Ripped from the headlines--RIP

Dear Miss Snark,

What do you think the chances are that in 6 to 9 months time you will start receiving queries about a love triangle murder on the Space Shuttle? Or perhaps you have already?

In general, what correlation do you see between major news events (even if minor global importance) and the queries that you read?

It's not quite that direct. Right now all terrorists are Arab (especially if they are from Iran, a fact that makes me laugh out loud***) with the North Koreans taking up a position in the wings. All Wall Street bankers and hedge fund operators are evil, as are most Catholic priests.

And everyone seems to think no one else read The DaVinci Code, so why not just use those ideas and type up a book that will REALLY sell.

Using current events isn't an automatic no, but you better have something interesting to say about it that I can't read in Details or NY Mag.

And you'd do well to understand the world you're writing about.

**Iranians are Persian and speak Farsi, not Arabic. Further explanation here.

18 comments:

Jana Oliver said...

Non-fiction moves faster than queries, it appears. Diane Fanning, a novelist and true crime author, has already signed a deal with St. Martin's to pen a book about Lisa Nowak and her alleged crimes. It's only a matter of time before the plot hits Miss Snark's mailbox in all its dubious forms.

~Nancy said...

Novels bought by publishers now (the big publishers, anyway) usually won't be in bookstores for 12 to 18 months. All relevance to a current event usually will be lost by that time.

~JerseyGirl

Anonymous said...

First dibs on Anna Nicole.

cm allison said...

Heinlein already covered the love triangle in outer space in "Stranger in a Strange Land". Including the murder.

Sal said...

I was surprised to see the triangle on the cover of the PEOPLE magazine that arrived yesterday. (I was betting Gav would make the cover ...)

How did they write the story, get it in print, to the post office and through my mail slot SO QUICKLY?

Jana Oliver said...

Actually, big publishing can move with surprising speed when they want to. it just depends on whether they want to wait until the jury returns with its verdict or not.

Anonymous said...

Nowak was sooo two days ago. It's all Anna Nicole all the time now! Until of course, it's not.




Word Ver: euban, as in "Euban very good this year, Miss Snark!"

Chumplet said...

Regarding Anna Nicole, Larry King said yesterday on the air during the CNN report: "If this was submitted as a novel, it would be rejected."

Rei said...

Don't worry, MS -- given that it looks increasingly likely that we're about to attack Iran, soon Americans will know all sorts of things about Iran. Whenever we invade a country, prime time cable news briefly becomes a geography and sociology class.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Well, as a descendant of Kuthen, Kahn of the Cumans, by the marriage of his daughter to István V (Stephen to you), I'm here to tell you that ethnicity is a funny thing, and you better get it right. Someone will notice if you don't, and they'll be upset. It will make you miserable.

Life is so complex. Think this one through: From Turkic on the steppes and on the Persian border to Hungarian; Hungarian to Italian and French; Italian and French to German, Irish and English. Then on to me. We pixies have complex backgrounds.

... And I'm not an Arab terrorist. As far as I know I lack an Arab ancestry, though it is possible. Anyway, I only terrorize clueless posters, Evil Editor, assorted agents, and rattlesnakes. I am nice to Canadians, (I've reformed) occasionally nice to strayed cows. I'm unfailingly nice to goats. I wonder if that means I should be nicer to Evil Editor? Sometimes I wonder if he isn't an old goat. Probably he isn't. I don't think he has a beard at all.

Anonymous said...

What will appear on store shelves faster than a novel about a space cadet love triangle?

Why, handy travel diapers, of course.

I can just picture the commercial:

[A SMILING DRIVER ENTERS A TURNPIKE ON-RAMP]

"Don't let Mother Nature interrupt your travel plans!"

[DRIVER WHIZZES PAST A TURNPIKE REST STOP.]

"Now you can buckle up and blast off with new Journey Drawers.

[DRIVER REACHES DESTINATION AND WADDLES OUT OF THE CAR, FULLY LOADED.]

"Journey Drawers. Mission Accomplished."

Anonymous said...

Anybody read Challenger Park? Astronauts and an affair are at the heart of it.

Anonymous said...

:**Iranians are Persian and speak Farsi, not Arabic.:

I suppose terrorist novelists send submissions where demonic Americans are all from Saskatchewan and use "eh?" a lot.

(Hey, hoser, pass me a beer, eh?)

Anonymous said...

Q: How long a drive is is from Houston to Florida?

A: Depends...

Bernita said...

My terrorist is from Syria and speaks English.

JPD said...

I have the opposite problem, the headlines steal from me...

I wrote a story centered in Dubai a full 2 years before anyone knew where Dubai even was. If I were to submit that story now, people would assume I pulled the name from the headlines, or from my word-a-day calendar...

JPD (always a day late and one diaper short)

KingM said...

>>**Iranians are Persian and speak Farsi, not Arabic. Further explanation here.

This reminds me of when the security officer at my defense contractor forbid me from traveling to Turkey because, "I just don't think it's safe to travel to *any* Arab country right now."

Anonymous said...

"[DRIVER WHIZZES PAST A TURNPIKE REST STOP.]"

Well played!