It turns out the information I was given about my hotel was wrong -- there IS free internet available. However, it is slow, and I am not spending much time in my room, so I apologize for not reading enough of your blogs right now.
I have sent a dozen query letters so far for The Shard. I haven't heard from half of the agents yet. I received two partial requests, and as of today both of them were rejections. The first I knew would be rejected, as Nathan never takes on books of my kind. The second I had bigger hopes for, but no go. On the positive side, the rejection was personalized and offers some tantalizing hope. Since I don't know what the agent would think about sharing, I won't give the name.
Two agents at the agency read the fifty pages that I provided. Here is an excerpt from the letter:
"We both came really close on this manuscript - lots and lots to love about it! Unfortunately, we're both a pass on representation as it just wasn't quite 100% right for us."
It was nice for a busy agent to take the time to say this. I am not given a specific reason, and that is fine. My guess is that my one big fear is true -- I have many standard Tolkienesque tropes in my book, and I imagine this turns off agents. I intended for the story to be this way. I present things initially to appear like a pure Tolkienesque high fantasy, and only deep into the book do I turn most of the tropes on their heads. I took a writerly satisfaction in imagining readers drawing early conclusions only to have to reassess things later. The problem is that agents never read far enough to realize what I am doing.
I suppose I just need to keep writing the prequel, where the whole thing turns into science fiction. Then there would be no question as to whether my fantasy novel was simply derivative.
Budapest is as awesome as I remembered, though it is scorching hot right now. Not as hot as my native Arizona, but my body has been away from Arizona for so long that it is acclimated to other weather. I walked so much the past two days, that even though I am used to a lot of walking I still have blisters on my heels.
April 2017 Lightspeed Magazine Now Available
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