Life is full of surprises. Unfortunately, the reason they're surprises is because all the rest of the time, we get what we expect. Take spring, for example:
Is this a surprise, or is it expected? It's certainly surprising to that !^&#%ing groundhog. But if you live in New England, this (above) is more expected than this (below):
Yochi is not a New England thing.
Why am I posting these absurd pictures in my well-respected blog? Ah, the rub.
1) I took that picture of the snow-covered flowers and facebook wouldn't accept it, and I want to post it somewhere.
2) I've been changing my query letter around a bit. It's gone from polite to less polite to call-to-arms. The results, though, have been more-or-less predictable. The more things change . . .
Here is said query letter. Does it make you want to read my book? Why or why not? Compare and contrast.
If you happen to be reading this blog and give me actual feedback on these issues, I will give you at least $25 when my book gets published, depending on whether my advance is five or six figures. How's that for a deal?
Don't think I'm serious? Careful. I may surprise you.
"Respected agent called by name:
For decades, an abundance of political rhetoric has centered on inequality in the United States: financial, educational, and otherwise. Both the sincerity and effectiveness of this rhetoric have often been called into question. To this end, I've created Andrew Foster, the blunt, sometimes caustic narrator of CAMBRIDGE STREET. His story serves as both a much-needed voice for urban youth and a literary rebuke of the gaps continuing to haunt U.S. cities.
CAMBRIDGE STREET (~66,500 words) is the story of poverty worsened by its proximity to privilege. It is told with absolute honesty from the viewpoint of someone intimately familiar with the former. Each day, Andrew Foster walks down Cambridge Street with "the big college dorm buildings from MIT and Harvard and all those big shot schools" rising behind him. He has big plans--to win the love of his beautiful, Harvard-educated student teacher, Eleanor; to teach his mentally-disabled brother to defend himself; ultimately, to live life as a famous writer--but "here" keeps getting in the way. Finally, he manages his way into Harvard--but not under the circumstances he had imagined.
CAMBRIDGE STREET would sell alongside the popular young adult novels of Rita Williams-Garcia or Paul Griffin. Like the work of these authors, the novel centers on the issues of urban youth. However, CAMBRIDGE STREET also shares common ground with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (or, even further back, The Catcher in the Rye); that is, its unique narrative voice and subject matter have the potential to appeal to a wide adult audience as well.
I am an experienced playwright, residing in the Boston area for the past nine years, where I have worked extensively with inner-city youth. Several monologues from my plays have been published by Smith and Kraus Publishers, as have two scenes I wrote for teenage actors. My work has also been accepted into numerous short play festivals around the country, and I co-founded the lauded comedy show, MOSAIC, which was recently listed first in The Boston Globe's article, "Five Productions That Make a Strong Argument for Why Smaller is Better."
I'm confident that I've crafted a well-edited manuscript with something important to say, narrated by a character with a unique voice. I hope very much that you might allow me the opportunity to submit CAMBRIDGE STREET for your full review. In the meantime, be well, good luck, and thank you . . ."
. . . and thank you.