I ate some tainted lettuce and have been too weak to type.
The real Santa dispatched a dozen elves to rough me up for making a mockery of his age old tradition.
Feel free to pick your own fantasy as to why I haven't blogged in a few days, because they all sound better than, "I was lazy, had very little to say, and just plain didn't feel like it."
Then there is the fact I've been using my computer time to do research. For some unknown reason I have decided to attach an apt quote to the beginning of each chapter of Plundered Booty. So I have been scouring through books and scoping out the internet for funny little quips that convey the mood, tone, or theme of each chapter. I'll share a few of those with you very soon, but the project has already consumed more time than I ever dreamed. And I'm not sure if it is even a good idea.
Another update on the writing front. I had a call from an agent last Friday. This particular agent had had the complete manuscript of my last novel , A River Without Water since August. She was the third agent to call me this year but once again no offer. unfortunately despite interest and personal phone call you cannot add acquiring an agent to the list of horseshoes and hand grenades where close is good enough. She did offer some helpful advice and offered to reread a reworked version of A River, or any future projects I might have. But she also said she would not submit any of my women's fiction under my own name. She said I would have to choose a female pseudonym because despite the fact I write women's fiction well (her words not mine) too many editors would think otherwise and start reading with jaded eyes.
I'm sure the agent knows a ton more than I still can't help but think about Nicholas Sparks, Nicholas Evans, Larry McMurtry and many other male authors who have written successful women's fiction titles over the years. Why can't a big hairy guy write an emotionally driven story from a woman's POV? I don't know but after more than six years of trying to sell such an animal I can tell you there are a LOT of skeptics. Chime in here Alex, I know you have an opinion and you have seen a bit of that bias up close and personal at Arizona.
But maybe my gender has nothing, or very little to do with my inability to acquire an agent, or sell my novels. Maybe the writing isn't good enough?
Guess I'll be able to better answer that once I finish Booty and begin sending it out, because it's not women's fiction. Since a few of you have asked about Plundered Booty in comments and emails I'll give you a vague take on what the novel is. I haven't worked on my query or pitch yet so this is just the thoughts in my head and in no way a concise description. Plundered Booty is a humorous, modern day pirate tale that stretches from the red dirt of Oklahoma to the white sands of the Caribbean, told entirely by first person narrator Hank "The Captain" Zybeck. I see it as a cross between a Kinky Freidman novel and a Jimmy Buffet song, but here is a small piece of Hank's take right our of the beginning of the novel where he introduces the reader to the story. I'll warn you right up front I'm breaking many of the so-called writing rules and the entire piece is a bit unconventional but so far following the rules hasn't gotten me where I want to be.
Now a sample of my work in progress ...
... But first, let me explain a couple of things since a few of you are probably getting squeamish. Here you are holding a book titled Plundered Booty, and I'm rambling on about underage girls and teenage boys. That's enough to make most anybody uneasy.
Don't worry. It ain’t that kind of book. Reading my story will not land you on the F.B.I.’s watch list. A Dateline camera crew isn't lurking in your bushes ready to demand answers for your shoddy morals. Your neighbors will not receive a postcard from Barnes and Noble telling them you have recently bought this book.
In other words, you will not be labeled a pervert for reading this. As I said, it ain't that kind of story.
No children were exploited, no animals were hurt, and no harmful greenhouse gases were released in the creation of these words. Unless you count the vapors emitting from Junior's bullshit, but neither you nor I can be blamed for that.
Now that we’ve covered what this story isn't, let me tell you what it is. Like all good tales this one is about love ... with a healthy dose of lust thrown in for good measure.
Love and lust. Caribbean rum and brand new automobiles. Blatant lies and plundered dreams. That's the foundation. Yeah, I'm leaving out a few things, but you’d stop reading right now if I told you everything up front.
Don't be shy, weigh in. What do you think about a man writing women's fiction? What do you think about this small piece of Plundered Booty? Does it feel too author intrusive?