Now where’s that shovel….

Queries arrived yesterday afternoon from the New York office — 34 letters and 13 unsolicited packages for a total of only 47. Quiet week. Which, considering how the rest of it has gone, was a boon. I remain puzzled by people who send unsolicited materials when every copy of our guidelines that I can find online or off lists, at most, cover letter plus synopsis with first five pages. They were all read last night. Being able to actually accomplish something and see physical forward progress went a long way towards a more positive outlook on things. I actually believe at this point that I might dig myself out by the end of the week to a reasonable level of backlog. Heh. But if I can’t, I’ll at least be satisfied with getting all the contracts read and language in negotiation if not en route to the authors for signature. I have *never* had this many arrive all at once before. Price of success I guess.

I want to thank everyone who took a moment out of their own busy lives a couple days ago to answer my question about the upside(s) of agenting. A lot of good points were made. And I was in a place in my own head where most of them sounded like platitudes if I said them, so I needed to hear them from outside. To whit — got to see the cover for the new Jim Butcher (coming this summer!) yesterday… mmmm… wonderful. Spooky. Evocative. And his name is much bigger (they couldn’t fit it on one line) and at the *top* of the cover – above the title. Woot!

Best opening line in a query this week: “Are you a dormant serial killer?” To which mcurry replied (when I read it to him) — “Dormant?” *g*

13 responses to “Now where’s that shovel….

  1. Dormant?
    Hardly. *g*
    I see somebody read the advice book that says, start your query off with a hooky question…..

  2. Hooray for new Jim Butcher covers! And glad to hear that things are going a little better, anyway.

  3. new…Jim…cover! Must… see!

  4. Well, it has been really cold around here lately.. if I were to contemplate serial killing (I have a to-do list, actually — does that make it serial?) I’d probably want to do it in warmer weather. Ground’s softer and rivers are flowing, for one thing. How can you dump bodies in the east river when it’s frozen solid?
    Okay, if you want to make a Public Point, yeah, fine, dump them on the snow. But you really should make the cops work for it a little more…
    (disclaimer: the above was written entirely tongue in cheek. I do, however, Have A List. And some people appear on it twice.)
    Hrm. Of course, I also read that really quickly as “dormouse” and ahd the wildest visual for an isntant. I think I need a lot more sleep. And less caffeine. And to not currently be writing a scene in the POV of a sadistic esper…

    • The depressing thing about serial killing is that if you focus on transients or prostitutes, nobody will notice for years. People turn up mysteriously dead all the time on the edges of highways and whatnot.
      Yea new Jim Butcher cover! Yea name above the title!

    • I wonder what it means when I had thoughts very similar to those (too cold to easily dump the bodies) and decided not to post them.

    • You go out on the ice pretending to be an ice fisherman, of course, and dump the bodies THROUGH the hole you’ve cut. You take them TO the hole in a big ol’ cooler chest that you’re expected to lug along for whatever you catch.
      Uh. Maybe =I= shouldn’t have thought of that so quickly? Then again, someone at work today asked for a scissors, to which a manager responded, “Why, to cut someone’s throat?”
      I couldn’t help it, I swear. (I was feeling like Wren there for a minute, Suricattus, you bad influence, you…(grin)) “Actually,” I said, “scissors wouldn’t be your best choice there. I think you’d do better with a single-bladed weapon, like a knife.”
      The manager blinked and said, “Oh, you’re our resident murderer?”
      “I’m your proofreader,” I said. “Same difference.” She went away laughing and shaking her head.
      Did I mention I work for the City?
      [Insert ritual disclaimer about all of this being a joking conversation here….]

    • The good thing about the cold weather is that a corpse will keep longer on the trunk.
      Plus, you know, there are parts of the world where if you waited for warmer weather you’d never get anyone killed.
      Not that I’ve thought about this either.

      • The good thing about the cold weather is that a corpse will keep longer on the trunk.
        That’s what walk-in freezers are for. Although it’s useful to have a good hacksaw around, for those awkward elbows and whatnot. Plain brown wrapping paper and kitchen twine is also advised.
        And that handy-dandy hint for all would-be killers — run some wood through the wood chipper before you return it to U-Rent!

  5. Serial killers…dormant?
    SK to therapist: I’ve been feeling so…blah…so, unfulfilled, I guess, lately.
    Therapist: Why don’t you do some volunteer work, take your mind off your own troubles? I have a friend, Ann Rule, she works at the crisis center and I’m sure she can get you a job there…

  6. PS Tami Hoag’s Guilty As Sin has an interesting cold-weather method.
    This is the first of her books I’ve read and it was only a few months ago, but it took half a day to find it because I’d forgotten the title and author. She writes a lot like a true-crime writer, yet she includes a romantic subplot. It creeped me out a bit. I suppose that’s the idea, though. Still, I never felt serial killer investigations were particularly sexy.

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