Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dear Author . . .

Miriam Altshuler, literary agent, followed Janet Reid's example with a negative response to my snail mail query. Unlike Miss Reid ( Miss Snark ?), Ms. Altshuler sent a form letter (well really a form snippet of paper 8 inches by 3 inches) that began

Dear Author:

Nope !

It's been a month, and still no response from my e-query to Rachel Vater. I am beginning to think that east coast thirty something women may not care about the Civil War. Or, to be specific, my novel about the Civil War. At least Miss Reid took the time to hand write her rejection.

So, I am wondering if this querying of New York based agents is just a waste of time. Of course, it could be that they like the Civil War, just don't like my writing about it !

Jeff Shaara is his own agent. I am not sure who represents Howard Bahr, but I am going to check out who does. I know that Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South, was represented by Jeff Kleinfelder. He's out of Washington D.C., and definitely not a thirty something woman, though he is an east coaster.

This is a theory mind you, so if there are any east coast thirty something women out there who are reading this, try answering this question for me -- Do you care about the Civil War ? Or are you totally disinterested ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,
I was born and raised in New York and Mass. (with a few years spent in Colorado.) While I may be the exception to the rule, as both a teenage and a college student at UMass Amherst, I found the Civil War fascinating. In fact, it was one of my desires to someday live in the south and acturally see some of those places I had previously only read about. I have three daughters, and in the fifth grade the Carnton Plantation was always the spring field trip. I chaperoned, happily, all three. Additionally, whenever we have "Yankee" guests, I try mightly to steer them away from the more "touristy" attractions and lure them to my favorite places ( Carnton and the Carter House are my top picks.) I was successful only a handful of times.... which left me quite perplexed, how could they prefer going to the mall when they could stand on the very ground where bloodly battles took place? When they could see the mini ball holes in one of the out buildings at the Carter House? When they could stroll about the enormous and fascinating cementery at the Carnton Plantation? It is simply beyond comprehension to me. So, the answer to your question is "yes." There are East Coast women who find the Civil War interesting. Unfortunately, I am not an agent. However, I cannot be the only female from the east who has a deep interest in the Civil War. How could you not? It is part of our Country's history. Keep trying!