Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Katrina Novel?

To write about Katrina or not, that is the question.

Over the past few months, it seems I'm as close to getting an agent as I ever was before. Before the Katrina idea, I had a very prominent agent read a different manuscript and even though she rejected it, she had me call her to talk about why. It basically boiled down to the subject matter and not being unique enough to sell. I was disappointed, yet inspired. She gave me the name of another agent that might like the manuscript and I jumped on it (but have yet to hear back).

When we talked on the phone, she told me if I could come up with a detective thriller that happened during the Katrina tragedy, she could sell it, or try to. I came up with an outline of a story and she approved, so I started writing it.

Now, there are things to consider. What if she doesn't want it? Will anyone else want it? If it was to get published, will too much time have passed for people to want to read it? Will my fellow New Orleanians want to read it? A friend of mine who lost her house and moved away said she would NOT read it because she lived it. Is it worth the time and effort when I have other projects I'm neglecting?

I have another agent who requested my full manuscript, but said she wouldn't read until after December. And I recently got two rejections from agent that told me they loved the writing but it wasn't for them. THAT is progress in a writer's world of seeking representation.

For the time being, I will continue to write my story because honestly, I am loving it. I just found a great source; a cop who was there for the rescues. I'm surprised at how well my fictional story is fitting in with the Katrina events. I am going to make this more than just a novel. This is going to be a love letter to New Orleans. This is going to show the NOPD as heroes. I want this to be sad, thought provoking and inspirational.

I think I might've bitten off more than I can chew.

If anyone that lived through Katrina wants to respond with any of their experiences, I would surely want to listen.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Backspace Conference

It was an amazing New York trip. I'd like to thank my New Orleans connection for the free accommodations and general hostess-ness.

From losing a piece of my molar on a delicious bagel to having the best fried chicken a Korean restaurant could ever produce, I had a great time. Oh, wait - I went there to snag an agent or at least learn a few things.

What did I learn and in the order I learned them?
1. NY cab drivers can navigate within an atom's length of other cars as well as pedestrian's knees.
2. There's a slight price difference in food.
3. The hotel doormen are trained by Navy Seals.
4. The Backspace agents were informative, brutal, nice, sincere and brutal.
5. I needed brutality.
6. The most well-hidden restaurants are the most crowded.
7. Don't walk slow.
8. Don't sleep on an air mattress with a leak.
9. With a hangover.
10. The fellow writers at the conference are the best (you know who you are).
11. All Indian food is not hot nor gives you the runs (Whew).
12. Bagels can crack teeth (it wasn't the bagel's fault).
13. There are black squirrels - yes, there are.
14. Baby's can projectile vomit (but missed me - whew).
15. It was all worth it.

I plan to fix some things and query my other projects to a few of the agents I met and I will let my many readers know who said what and was the most brutal.