Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Time for an update on my search for an agent.
Bummer: Amy Berkower of Writer’s House turned me down after reading a hundred pages. Why? Although she thinks I’m an “extremely talented writer,” “We didn’t find the characters of the constituent events to be emotionally engaging or distinctive enough to stand out in today’s literary fiction market.”
I don’t know about you, but I hear a passel of BS in that statement. Who talks about “constituent events” anyway?
All she’s really saying is that she doesn’t think she, or a publisher, can make any money on this book.
Because her assistant sort of led me down the primrose path on this one, I fired off a reply, which I almost never do; generally only if we’ve established a little bit of a rapport in our correspondence. Here’s what I said:
Ouch, Genevieve! This one really hurts.
I really thought I detected in your earlier notes the kind of enthusiasm that usually leads to representation (I’ve had a number of agents over the years …). Of course I respect your decision, but – also of course – I have to disagree with some vigor.
Thinking of a book like Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett, which I read recently, I’ll defend my characters as much more emotionally engaging and distinctive. And though you don’t know how the plot plays out, I think We Were Together packs the same dramatic punch as Haslett’s book but in a more surprising and, frankly, poignant way.
Nonetheless, thanks for taking the time to read the sample so carefully and for feeling a little bit bad in passing on it.
More to come, I’m sure …