What's Hot and What's Not

I learned a valuable lesson this week. If you really want to enjoy the holidays, don’t contact your agent a week before Christmas and ask how things are going with the manuscript.

She didn’t want to tell me until after the holidays, but, darn it, I asked.

In a nutshell, things are not going well. Here’s the problem: no one is buying original amateur sleuth mysteries right now. The current hot item that New York is hungering for are hard boiled, hard edged police procedurals. (Joyce, are you out there??? Perfect timing for you…not so good for me.)


Murder She Wrote is out. Bones, CSI, House, Shark, and Dexter are all in. So where does that leave me and my race track veterinarian? I have no idea. Having already received more information than I really wanted to know before the holidays, I’m waiting until after the New Year to delve into my options. To finish the current work in progress or not to finish, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer through to the bloody end of book two when book one sits languishing in New York or to take arms, put the thing in a drawer and end it. To die, to sleep, to brainstorm an entirely new idea.

Forgive me, Mr. Shakespeare. Plagiarizing the Bard is such sweet sorrow.

No, I haven’t been drinking, but my chocolate stash is dwindling.

So I’m taking a couple weeks off from writing to clean my house, catch up on laundry, finish my Christmas cards, visit friends and family who have been largely ignored lately. Hey, there are still my two short stories online. I take solace in that much. Maybe I’ll pen a couple more while I’m pondering the fate of Dr. Jessie Cameron. Maybe I’ll pen a Jessie Cameron short story. Hmm.

For now, I’m off to get the last of my Christmas cards in the mail.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. And to those of you with hard boiled police procedural manuscript floating around…go for it, man! Now is your chance.

But if you hear that amateur sleuth murder mysteries are making a comeback, let me know, will ya?


Joyce said…
Annette, sorry to hear about your book. My agent also told me that "procedural-like" books are hot right now.

Don't give up, though. Everything seems to go in cycles. I've been looking for an agent for two years, during which time no one wanted a procedural. They were all looking for cozies or chick lit! I kept getting letters that said, "I really like your writing, send me something else."

You're a good writer, and your book will find a home sooner or later. In the meantime, finish your book (at least the 1st draft)--you have too much invested in it to leave it hanging. Then when the market changes, you have two for your agent to submit.

Then maybe think about writing something darker. I know you can do it!
Kristine said…
Annette, I'm sorry. That really stinks.

I agree with Joyce, however. Finish the draft. You've come so far, and you never know when the industry will turn. When it does, you'll be ready!

Take some time off to clear your mind. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out the best path for you.

We're here to support you, of course.

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