querying my GenX novel After December to small press publishers. I made
the decision after doing an agent-pitch last spring.
said nobody wants to read about the ’90s. It’s too recent to be considered
historic and too long ago to be considered relevant.
To be honest,
I don’t remember that much about the ’90s. We have Trivial Pursuit the ’90s
Edition and it’s ridiculously hard.
“Tinkering With History” panel at Atoma-CON last weekend, the four writers
disagreed that the ’90s wasn’t history. It’s pre-9/11 so the lens isn’t yet
blurred by terrorism and war. It’s all dot-com hangover sliding toward reality
They said the
agent may not have been the right sales person for my work. Well, duh.
can’t this guy just be 22 now?”
Me: “Like, a
there’d be social media and a big part of the story is his detachment from his
he’s just not into social media.”
I know some
Millenials and they’re basically good kids. But come on. Their value system is
very very different from mine. Stripping GenX from Brian Listo is like
making Elizabeth Bennett a lesbian. While it might be a doable version of the
story, it would be a very different story.
would read this novel?”
clubs, you know, those GenX moms who drink wine and remember their high school
boyfriends? Also possibly college kids now. My beta readers were college kids.”
Millenials are a target audience?”
Me: “Sure, I
mean, I read Ethan Hawke’s college-kid-finds-love-and-loses-it novel The
Hottest State when I was in college and it resonated.”
then the main character should be one of them.”
have to make a book about the Millenials. They’ll make the book about
themselves. For crying out loud, most of them think DiCaprio originated the
role of Jay Gatsby.
with that agent wasn’t just that she didn’t get it. She couldn’t sell
it. And if an agent doesn’t think she can sell your work, she isn’t going to
try to rep it.
insiders keep saying that agents reflect what the publishers say they want. So
I need to find a publisher who wants to take a risk on a GenX novel.
isn’t really the kind of work we normally print.”
Me: “I know.
You’ll be the first ones in on this new trend.”
like being first.”
Me: “Honda is
putting Strawberry Shortcake and Skeletor in their minivan ads. Marketing to
GenX will sell books.”
like anything that sells.”
So I found a
few publishers whose line card includes some edgy stuff and made a list. Now I
just have to craft the perfect query and send them the work.