A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Friday, March 31, 2006

An Offer I Can Definitely Refuse

Well, well, well…

I got an offer the other day that is the epitome of irony. One of the fullblown lameass editahs I have worked with in the past, let’s call him Dipshit, actually gathers up balls and writes Sammy-baby with an offer to turn his blog into a book. He has absolutely no idea who I really am. This is a complete asshole whose editing skills range in the nowhere zone. Why? Because all he does is buy surface shit, and he thinks that writers would buy a book full of my particular surface shit. Guess what I told him?

N-O F-U-C-K-I-N-G W-A-Y-.

There are many reasons for this. For one thing, did I mention that he is an asshole? For another, I already wrote a book about the publishing industry, and I am sorry I ever did. It may still garner big royalties, but it may also be encouraging wannabes.

What the hell? We all have skeletons in the closet. The difference between me and other bloggers is I fuck mine and tell everyone about it.

Eeewwwww!

But back to blookers. Yes, that is what they are called. Those lameass wannabes who write blogs, get an audience, and then get a book contract. They are also called one-hit wonders. The name-recognition game at its all time lowest.

I hate one-hit wonders. Their books stay on the shelves three months and disappear. It's like a one-night stand--unless you are like me and know what to do to make the most of it, it is a waste of time. I also hate blookers, who are wannabes with a mission. The mission is to get published and get attention. And to get rich.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

I have never met a blooker who had anything to say beyond what he/she blogged about. A true professional writer has more than one book in the arsenal and has something to fall back on besides “people read my blog” or "Washington depends on me!" Sorry, Wonkette, Washington depends on the concierge at the really big hotel on the corner keeping his mouth shut, not your prurient gossip. Yes, folks, that it is what called when the primary source ain't you--gossip. Sorry, Wonky, but even though some people thought your satire held some hidden grains of truth and you made Newsweek, you aren't a Washington insider. Or outsider. And you sure as fuck aren't a novelist. You are just another failure whose fame as a blogger got you a book deal for too much money at Riverhead. I would laugh if your shit wasn't clogging up the pipelines just like every other wannabe.

So, I will NEVER write a book based on my blog. Don't ask, because I won't, and other bloggers, who are just people with opinions and extra time, shouldn't either.

Finally, as I have said before, my blog is my vent. It is not meant to do anything other than relieve any stress left over after I get laid. If people want to read it, they can log on and check it out for free. It will be that way forever.

One last thing…JF, you stupid prick, you should have changed clause 23.b. like I asked.

Dipshit.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

God, I’m good!

I hate to keep reminding you, wannabes, but Sammy-boy was right…again! As I was sitting here watching my acquaintances work their pretty little asses off wheeling and dealing, I happened upon a Publishers Weekly article whose title included Tinseltown and Bologna, and whose first few paragraphs discussed how there are SOOO many film people skulking about the Faire this year. Hmmm, I wonder, who might have mentioned that publishing is all hot and horny for T-town and vice versa?

ME?

Yes, ME!

I guess I am getting a little too excited about this, but you want to know why? Because all of the lunkheads who try to discredit me and everything I say with comments like:

Hell, U R probably just a wannabe URself. And U R an asshole 2.

You don’t know shit, you’re just a Snark wannabe.

Please, you are so not an agent. It is so obvious you don’t know dick about publishing!

Oh, don’t I? Read around, dipshits and take a look at my 3/15 post, Go, Annie, You Rock! For about the second time in a month, I have given you a heads-up on things in this industry that no other anonymous “agent” has even mentioned. Real dirt, you writing worms, something you can pass through your digestive tracks that comes out as rich, black fertilizer on the other end instead of just plain shit. I’m giving you something to make you grow, hopefully right out of the phase in your life where you think you want to be a writah.

Anyone can read several books about the industry (not to mention the online garbage) and pretend to be an agent or editor and answer questions, sounding like a pro the whole time. The answers given are the same ones that have appeared in the same twelve articles recycled over and over by the two most popular writing magazines for the last fifty fucking years. The irony is that when a real agent, moi, for example, actually posts the truth, the first response is that the various groups of power-hungry literary-based vampires who have been feeding off of the naïve blood of the wannabe for years try to shame, discredit, and just plain poo-poo on him. Then you have the board and forum gurus chiming in, and a host of others who run to comfort their poor little meal-tickets, er, wannabes, whom I so heartily offended.

Tee hee hee.

In what other profession do you see people running to comfort and encourage the people who shouldn’t be in it? Can you imagine the AMA running after a guy who flunked his med school exams fourteen times, begging him to keep trying, because, what the hell, you learn all that stuff after you become a doctor anyway? What about lawyers? Would you want the gal who just woke up one morning last month, studied a book, and decided to try to pass the bar to become a lawyer?

Hell no, you wouldn’t. And we don’t want people like that in publishing, either.

They say there is a reason for everything, and there is a reason for this post. It is to reiterate my stand on wannabes sucking the life out of writing, just like baby-boomers are sucking the life out of everything else. It didn’t used to be like this when I started. Publishing was a vibrant industry that DID something. It contributed to culture and society, and it made some money, too. Now it is a complete clusterfuck.

Do I believe publishing would have gone to the H-wood dogs anyway? Yes. Do I believe that all those people sucking off of the wannabe system made that happen prematurely and with more degradation to the overall output? Yes. Do I believe it can be salvaged?

What the hell do you think?

I like T-town. Always have. I can get along with those nitwits, mainly because I can control them. I am not going to tell you how. The people who are truly scary are the completely clueless, I-need-some-attention bozos, like the dipshits on reality TV shows who think they are celebrities when all they are is over-exposed extras. And wannabe writers who think the world revolves around them. These people are the types who vote for Bush because he’s “a straight-shooter”, hate gay marriage because it might make their health benefit costs go up, think Saddam Hussein planned 9/11, and are waiting for mom and dad to kick off because that’s their retirement plan.

So, the film folks are here to stay. Forever. There is no going back now. Throw a stick at the Faire, says one of the girlzzz I came here with, and you hit one of the film fuckers, who slink around like snakes, eyes darting here and there, looking for the rights deal that will feed them for a month. They prowl through the Faire looking for unsuspecting publishing pros, and then—whammo!—they make a deal before you even know they are interested. That’s how this shit goes, baby.

And don’t forget who told you so.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Wannabe's Revenge?

Bon Giorno! Or what the fuck ever!

Sorry dear ones, but I have been out of commission for a week or so in sunny Italia. I’m finishing up the month here by attending the Bologna Book Fair. Yes, I know it’s only for kids books, but a beautiful editor friend of a friend of Marley’s made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.

I think I have moaned on here before about how I love Europe. No writers! Juuuust kidding. There are writers, but they can’t speak a fucking word of English. So they are technically mute writers…my favorite kind.

Anyway, I DO love Europe, and when Bunny Sue from Random or maybe it was a random Bunny Sue told Marley that we should all do a “gang” trip to Baloney, I was all for it. I am the only guy, unless you count Marley and that is only really her potty mouth, so why not?

Inns.

Inns. That’s why not.

Do you know what happens when you get drunk with a bunch of girlzzzz from the publishing biz in Italy and end up a couple of days later in the middle of the night in another European country that shall remain nameless (HINT: There are lots of consonants in its name)? Let me clue you in. You get to stay in an inn. A nice, quiet, cozy little place that time has left behind. And for good reason.

What happened was that me and the gals got a little toasty one night and planned a road trip. Oh, and I forgot Victor, or Vincenzo, or some guy (maybe an ugly girl?) with a foreign name and lots of hair was with us. I really don't know where he came from. Having a car would have been a good idea, but getting on a train was our only alternative. What would have been a better idea is if someone would have remembered that we had planned this disaster in the making when we were all drunk, some more than others (and those giggly bitches had the ink pen, I sure as fuck didn’t). So we got on the damn train…some damn train. Right now, all I can tell you is that the train stopped in a little town with an inn and lots of consonants in its name. And we—me, Marley, Vincenzo, Bunny Sue, and two other publishing people—had no choice but to stay in an inn. The inn. The inn in the middle of this quaint little village run by a toothless guy wearing, I swear to God, an apron and some kind of hat with flaps on it, and his two daughters, whom I shall refer to here on out as Twinkie and Tinker Bell.

And guess who is of marryin’ age?

That’s right. While the ladies and Vinnie suffered little more than technology withdrawal symptoms, I spent my time hiding from Twink and Tink. Apparently, Poppa Ear Flaps wanted to marry either of his girls off to a rich American. Vinnie wouldn’t do, probably all that hair and the lollipops. Anyway, Poppa kept accosting me all evening and basically withheld information on where in the hell we were until I agreed to “dance” with his precious darlings, because apparently if you dance with a girl under the moonlight in Wherethefuckeverville and the cock crows twice before your cock falls off, that means you have found your soulmate.

Well, folks, I did not find my soulmate in either Twink or Tink, lovely as they both were. I did discover, however, that there are places where time does stand still, and Kjystnmstanland is it. We got to our rooms, where it was freezing. There was no hot water (although, wink wink, Twink and Tink would bring me some later on if I wanted it) or hot anything (unless you count Twink and Tink). There was one phone, circa 1204 BCE, and one bathroom with a single, sort of john (and a mirror, which said “In case of emergency, break and slit wrists”). Now, I don’t want to offend the ladies out there, but you guys do tend to spend more time in the loo-loo than us boys do. That means that Bunny, Marley, and the girlzzzz, spent half the evening getting ready for bed, using the only bathroom within miles. Vinnie wasn’t a problem; he had taken his monthly dip last week. No competition there.

You would think NYC babes would be so out of their element in the Land of the Lost that they would be in tears and constantly out-bitching each other. You know those ridiculous stereotypes you read in all those chick-lit novels? The goofy, vulnerable, yet quirky, yet fun, yet sassy gal thrown into a situation ala A Simple Life? Well, these gals weren’t that. They were enjoying themselves. Having the time of their lives. They had to share beds (none with me, of course, I got stuck with Vinnie and Sasha the goat, but at least it kept Twink and Tink away), a bathroom, and even some clothing, and they LOVED it. Someone said something about staying another day before heading to our next destination, but I put my foot down (and it went through the floor, which hurt like a son-of-a-bitch).

So, sadly we waved good-bye to Poppa, Twink, Tink, and Sasha the goat, and headed back to a nice warm hotel in a big city where Marley could create another international incident (more on that later—check CNN), the girlzzz could shop, Vinnie could get a bikini wax, and I could get medical treatment and slip into something more comfortable.

Her name is Isabella. Wow.

Ciao!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Yah Rah, You Editor Prick

So the heated response to my last post is supposed to phase me, eh? Well, it didn’t. Wannabes don’t make me wannabe a better man; they are just publishing’s black holes. What did piss me off, though, was a little note I got from an editor. A snot-nosed, spoiled rotten, ridiculous editor who cheered me on because wannabes make his job soooooooo hard.

What job, Mr. Important, would that be?

Would that be sitting at your desk and acting like you know how to acquire good books? Would that be staying awake in meetings? Would that be not belting the marketing shit who has no idea what’s been going on with a book, but he just knows that its publication might make him have to actually do some work so he gives it a big ol’ thumbs down? And it’s the book that was going to get you noticed by the nice, big-tittied senior editor doll who claimed she could “help your career if you could find her something she ‘needs’”, right? Grow up, you sniveling half-beatnik twit, and read your job description. Every good editor I have ever known has read his job description, and then gone ahead and done a helluva job despite its constraints. Real editors don’t go to meetings; they spend days hooking up talent and making great books happen. These lowlifes who sit around and offer criticism and advice to lowlife wannabes are decoration and enhanced gatekeepers. The real editors with any power at all are busy, and they aren’t looking at queries. They are looking at my shit, dipshit.

So, if you are an editor who thinks you are beleaguered by the writer riff-raff, remember that most of you ask for it. Maybe you don’t know it yet, but the big boys and girls are playing on a different floor, although there are, admittedly, a few editors still in the trenches somewhere fighting to make publishing what they want it to be. These few brave souls will soon leave the industry, some in straight-jackets, others under a garbage truck load of queries from desperate emotionally needy people who don’t understand why their book is being discriminated against because they are idiots. If you were to ever get to my level, Mr. Important Editor, which would only happen if a catastrophic event killed off the entire human population except you, you would find that you would have to know how to do something besides complain about the wannabes lower on the wannabe food chain that you exist on. When you figure this out, you will realize that you are as much of a wannabe editor as wannabe writers are wannabe writers, and you have no business in this business. Publishing is for grown-ups, poo-poo head, so get off the blogs and edit some shit. I don’t need a cheering section like you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Go, Annie, You Rock!

I have found a new woman and what a gal she is! I love you Annie Proulx, you feisty female! According to news sources, Ms. P wrote a British newspaper a nice little rant about Crash stealing away Brokeback Mountain’s best picture honor. While some may claim sour grapes, I claim bravo. You want to know why?

Because the old gal’s right, that’s why.

Who didn’t see this coming? Am I the only one who immediately knew that Crash would win the day it was nominated? I couldn’t be. It doesn’t take a whole lot of brains to figure this one out. Brokeback Mountain wins every major award out there, and Crash isn’t even nominated. Then suddenly Crash is nominated for an Oscar. “What a coup!” the Crash people say, “We finally got our vindication.”

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Crash was only nominated because the Academy needed a movie that could win and still make them look good. If Brokeback had won, zillions of people would have shit their collective short pants, and H-Wood would have been in the deep end of Doo-Doo Land. So, they nominate Crash, which is about race relations in LA (kind of like having a movie about acne in a high school…yawn). See, those Academy voters will pick something controversial and of substance, it just didn’t happen to be the movie that deserved to win, that’s all. Minor detail. La la la la la.

Now, what, you might ask yourself, does this have to do with writers, besides the fact that Annie is one? Think hard, guys, think hard. Do your wittle heads hurt yet? They do? Okay, then, I will let you off the hook.

Here it is, you insufferable, unpleasant, self-absorbed pathos-favoring wackos: The movie industry controls everything, wannabes, and don’t you forget it. Judy R. traipsing off to the West Endhole to hook HarperC up to the good life in H-Wood isn’t the first sign or the last. Publishing has been trying to get into Holly’s pants for a very, very long time, and has actually been sucking her tits for quite awhile. But now, my wannabes, the time has come for Holly to put out in a big, big way. She is feeling very horny in a literary sense, if you get my drift, and the big pubs are there to get some action. Your novel doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell if it isn’t franchisable, merchandisable, and possibly even submersible. Which leaves out all those memoirs about how you overcame road rage or never got over being taught to masturbate with two hands instead of just one. And don’t think the blow jobs you’ve been offering agents and editors will get you into this little party, because they won’t. The players in the big cities have a much bigger, more refined appetite than that, and a lot more willing individuals to choose from. Talent, sadly, no matter who is in charge, usually takes a backseat, but at least it can hear the heavy breathing.

Lying is out, too. Yep, that’s right. This wannabe staple is o-u-t, out. People in H-Wood breathe lies, so the pathetic attempts to seduce people to look at your work won’t work, jerk. Nope, it won’t. The threats and watch groups and bad-mouthing each other? Those won’t work either. Remember when I said that all those “advocates” and their little groupies and all those wannabes who whine are just flopping around in mire so far down in the publishing plumbing that nobody of any real importance can hear your vibrators? When I said that writers crying about fees and forums focused on “the perfect query” were just distractions for the simple-minded twits who couldn’t see the big picture? Well, guess what?

I was right.

The world is passing you by, wannabe, and pretty soon what you wanna be won't even exist anymore. Sad, but true. But don't worry, I will find a new name for you all, like maybe, oh, I don't know, dipshits. And remember, most of this is your fault. You drove publishing into Holly's arms with your shrewish, cheap bullshit. The relationship was doomed from the git-go.

One last note…I love Annie because she told it like it was. Not in an Anne Coulter I-will-say-anything-to-get-attention way, but in a Sammy kind of way, sans the expletives and references to sex. She isn’t apologizing, either, and I respect that. Her brilliant story should have won, and it proves that the movies are just as fucked up as publishing (like Clyde was fucked up and Bonnie wasn’t?), but they are in control, baby, and have been all along. Get the message, wannabes?

Hooray for Hollywood!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Good Ol' Days B.W. (Before Wannabes)

Someone’s got a dirty little secret and I know what it is.

God, how I miss when publishing was a normal business. Now it is some kind of weird, backward, fucked up kind of freak show filled with the wannabes of the lowest ever classes. In the last week, I have been to 9 different blogs that managed to slam 10 different agents (one blog slammed two). It is an all out war: writers against agents, writers against writers, and writers against publishers. It appears to be, also, from the quality of what I see, writers against readers. What is wrong with you people? How fucked up do you have to be to think it is okay to bite the hand that feeds you?

Wait, nevermind. We are dealing with wannabes here. On one blog an agent got blasted for providing feedback that struck the writer the wrong way. On another blog, the writer was bitching because agents never provided any feedback and sent only a form rejection letter.

Are you completely pathetic or what?

Do you think that my industry exists just for you? It doesn’t. The only thing worse than a complete wannabe writer is a wannabe editor. That’s right, a wannabe editor. There are tons of them. They make my job tremendously difficult. Remember the asshole editor who fucked with me a little while ago? Not the first one, but the second one. Well, I made a call to someone who made a call, and said editor is not a problem anymore. You know why? He got PROMOTED. Luckily, I don’t give a fuck that he got a pay raise and a chance at a higher level of blow job; I don’t have to deal with him anymore. I told my contact that he was a problem, and the contact sighed. He sighed! Why? Because we are running out of places to stick loser, pathetic editors. Where can we put these people so that they can’t actually work with books people will read? The editors coming up now really don’t know what the hell a good book is. They have read the classics, didn’t understand them, and then read some popular fiction and didn’t get that either. Actually, most editors now started out in something else, like criminal justice or nursing, and failed.

Remember good books? Not the kind like Confessions of a Video Vixen and Harry Potter X—Return of the Sith. Not the five-minute wonders that in a decade will be referred to as, “What?” And the authors will be referred to as, “Who?” I mean the really good books, the ones that made you climax just reading them, with no genital manipulation involved.

Oh well, back to my dirty little secret. Well, it’s not mine really. It’s just that the other day I found out who a well-known publishing blogger is because that blogger made a silly, terrible little mistake. It was a mistake made because of a little bit of over-inflated ego. Sometimes people in publishing do take themselves a little bit too seriously, and this person in particular got sucked in by his/her own fame. Remember, folks, I am here to rant, and I don’t really understand the mindset of those who blog to solicit writers when the truth is that there is no place for newbies in a flailing, flagging industry (made that way, mind you, by wannabes). Therefore, while I may not post it, I have no problem casually mentioning this person’s identity in casual conversation with every publishing principal I know.

Sleep well, my friend.--Sammy

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Few of My Own Million Little Pieces

Well, Marley sure struck a note with her blast against the English teaching population, and I’d have to say that I agree with her. Looking back, my all-time favorite English teacher, we will call her Ms. Z, couldn’t write shit, but, man, could she…oh, never mind.

Anyway, I have been getting bitch notes about how I don’t post very often. My pathetic excuse is that I have been selling books, and that I haven’t become enraged over anything recently. Remember, this is not a blog to engage in discussion, analyze the world, or any of that inane shit. It is my vent place. I vent when I need to and don’t when I don’t. BUUUUUT, I can’t be angry every day, especially on a day when I had a very nice fantasy about Ms. Z, courtesy of Marley bringing up high school English, so I thought I would post these excerpts from letters I get from all kinds of yahoos in the publishing business (and not) until I get good and pissed about something. I am sure it won’t take much longer.

Here we go…

From an editor at a small publishing house…
You would not believe the things writers try to pull on me, and when I call them on it, they spit back at me that I am a small publisher pretending to be a big one. For God’s sake, everyone knows I’m small—it’s posted everywhere! But the point is that these people don’t research and then lie—they will say ANYTHING to get me to look at their work. The problem is, I also do freelance stuff for other houses, and I see how the same queries get changed to impress the editors there. One book went from being a psychological thriller to being an edgy cozy. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME THINGS! This writer would have called his book a fairytale if he thought that’s what I was acquiring at the time. These people are either really dumb or just plain liars. And they get on me when I reject them like I hid the fact that I’m small potatoes. Geesh!

From a published writer…
I have been a writer for many years now, and it is so sad to see how things have changed. The agent witchhunts and writer-to-publisher meanness are just plain unnecessary, and the saddest part is the quality of the writing and editing I see has gone to shit. Maybe mine has, too. I hope not, because I have really enjoyed writing for my fans. This other stuff is so nasty and spiteful anymore! How do you stand it?

From a writer (who did not designate whether he was published or not, but I’m guessing not)…
This whole system is fucked up. I mean really fucked up. When I first started looking into getting my novel published, I couldn’t believe how ridiculous the whole process is. Who ARE these people who pick books? What qualifies them to tell me I don’t have something that people might want to read? How the hell did James Frey get published? Who thought his crap was worthy, when there are literally hundreds of memoirs out there just like his? How was his supposed to stand out? I get told I need to write something original, then all I see is the same old stuff about being addicted to shit. Everyone is addicted to something. Hell, I’m addicted to writing, but that doesn’t seem to be dramatic enough. Maybe if I get caught disturbing the peace by reading my novel in the middle of rush hour in NYC I can write about it and get a deal with Random House. What about that, Sammy?

From an editor…
I had a writer just send me an excerpt of something I had written in an article, trying to throw it in my face for rejecting him. “Well,” he said, “you said wanted such-and-such, and that’s what I sent you!” First, just because I want mysteries and you send me one doesn’t mean that I am going to offer on it. It has to be the right kind of mystery. Secondly, he misread what I had written, even though he took all the trouble to copy and paste it and send it to me, explaining how I was a hypocrite. All that effort and he completely misunderstood me. Like I am going to take this jerk on? Come on, what do writers expect?

From an agent…
You’re a little nuts, Sammy, and if you are who I think you are, I’m not surprised. However, I like that about you. I like that you are venting some of the things I want to yell at writers but avoid doing so because I guess I just don’t like being not liked. It drives me nuts when I see a rejection of mine posted on some writer board and people try to interpret what I said or make fun of me or say how I am not a “big” agent (I’m not? My editors at the majors think I am!) so what do I matter? I think I am a little solicitous, although I really don’t need more clients, I just don’t want to shut off the flow of queries in case one of my current clients dies or decides he’s had enough bullshit. I’ll tell you, though, sometimes I want to scream at these people. Who do they think they are? Why does everyone think that THEIR story is so important? If I get one more nonfiction from someone who survived child abuse or sexual molest, I will get sick. If you really want to get that story, which is like millions of other stories, out there “to help others going through the same thing” (yeah, right), get a blog or website or something and leave me the heck alone!

From an editor…
Do these writers have any idea how hard it is to actually publish and distribute a book? Do they? I am so pissed at one of my writers right now! I worked fucking hard on his book to make it the best it could be, and I told him that he would have to market it or it would tank. So he markets the hell out of it, and they start selling. Then he gets his royalty check and is disappointed in the low amount. I told him that it would be much higher next time, but he gets discouraged and quits marketing the book because he “wasn’t getting anything substantial” for it. Is he kidding? I put a lot of work and money into his damn book, and he just gets it into his head that the amount of royalty he is getting isn’t high enough and let his own book fail. He forgot that he got a nice advance and that his royalties paid off that advance and he still had some left over. In this business, that is amazing, but he had this delusion about how he should be rich by now. A bunch of his writer pals told him he should have made more, based on their valuable expertise—as what I don’t know. Asshole! I almost lost my ass because of him. I am so sick of pathetic writers. If I could write my own books, I would!

From a writer…(Sorry, I just had to include this one.)
Your a godam ideot, Sammy. You are probably some stupid writer who can not get lade. Ideot!

There's more, but I've gotta run.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

English Teachers Can't Write Books

I may have posted this before, but I can't remember. It's been a helluva week. Marley's pissed again--what's new?--but better English teachers suffer than I. Heeeeeere she is...

Jesus fucking Christ, people! Are all English teachers insane? I just got another goddamn letter from some crazy bitch who teaches kiddies all day and wants to change the world, mainly so she can get rich and be adored. Do our schools really allow these psychos in our classrooms? And she argued with me! She e-mails me one of these foo-foo letters about how she wrote this middle-grade fantasy (Holy Christ, it is ALWAYS middle-grade fucking fantasy!) because her students needed something besides the schlock being published to read. And, of course, they just LOVED hers!

Oh, where do I begin?

First of all, never include this bullshit in your query about who loves your book. My first thought is this: So, if they love it so goddamn much, have them represent it. Or pay to have it published and distributed. Next, asking your friends, colleagues, loved ones, students, employees, etc., to comment on your crap is like asking them for a loan—bad idea! You are the big person in the classroom, and there is the chance that the little persons might lie to get on your good side…do you think? How do you feel about the kid who says your shit sucks? Don’t you just want to smack him, just a little? I would. I would flunk the little bastard, and I’d tell the principal he tried to hump my leg during a lecture on Shakespeare, too. How about that? That ought to get him expelled. The difference between me and you, crazy English teachers, is that I know not to trust myself, so I don’t put myself in that situation. But you do, don’t you?

Finally, if I ever found out that some dimbulb teacher was using my kid during class (not to mention using school resources to query agents during school time) to get free critiques on her work and pump up her ego (while claiming it is good for the kiddies to participate in creating something that might get published—yeah, right), I would threaten to strip naked in front of the school board until that teacher got FIRED. I have stripped naked before, and I would do it again in a heartbeat, bi-atch. How would you feel if Junior came home and told you that some dippy-do teacher used his ideas to get published? I would want a piece of the action, or a piece of Junior’s teacher’s head—one of the two.

So, crazy fuckin’ English teachers, especially those who argue with agents, sure, there are middle-grade fantasies of 10,000 words or less. Sure, yeah, right. Whatever you say. You are the teacher, and I am just the fucking literary agent. So go fuck yourself and don’t write me again. Or the clothes come off and the school board will get the thrill of a lifetime.

Fuck you,
Marley