True Lies

I lied yesterday and I’m not even sure I realized I was deceiving myself. While the top two ideas I mentioned are ones I’m very passionate about, they’re aren’t the one I really want to write. I really want to write a first person PI novel version of RUINS OF DETROIT. BUt I got caught up with the nonsense about that stuff not selling.

Well here’s thething. I got a couple very good, very detailed responses to my last novel from agents and not one of them mentioned that the book couldn’t sell because it was a first person PI novel. In fact one of them made favorable comparisons to another first person PI author in saying it reminded them of early Robert Crais. No, they all mentioned that the plot was too complicated or the relationships weren’t developed enough. So that’s what I need to work on with this new book, not what type of book it is.

UPDATE: I just went back and looked at that email from one of the agents and it’s even better than I thought.

Dallas Ellington is a very nice lead for a mystery, with an
interesting backstory as a child actor.

He says that my PI is a nice lead. Sheesh.

I really wish I would listen to myself once in a while…

7 thoughts on “True Lies

  1. Quit toying with us, man!

    Seriously, you’re going to write a lot of books in your life, you’re going to have plenty of ideas. All the ideas you mentioned so far would make for good, solid books. In fact, they could all end up in first person private eye novels.

    There’s no sure thing, no one really knows what the market wants, all the experts are wrong more often than they’re right. (Does the publishing industry have a famous line like William Goldman’s movie biz, “Nobody knows anything,” line?)

    Write what you love. Don’t hold back, don’t save anything for the next one.

  2. Why don’t you stop posting for a while? Or at least about this subject.

    You sound like you’ve got a bunch of shit to work out, and turning to a pack of strangers to offer even more opinions is only going to screw you up more.

    Go talk to Becky about it. Pray about it. Then do whatever the heck you’re going to do and get on with it.

    Save this space fore Lions whining.

  3. Depending on your goals around writing books, I think it’s fine to consider market realities before setting out on a new novel. What did these agents have to say about the health of the PI market? If your agent contacts say there’s a market for new PI authors, and that’s where your passion is, go for it. … I don’t think there’s anything wrong with considering the market when determining what you’ll write; all depends on each person’s goals. … I like reading about all your hand-wringing over these topics, because I think so many of us have the same challenges and it’s helpful to see how different folks work it out.

  4. I think Guyot is right — you don’t want too many competing voices in your head giving you advice. Because that’s just going to screw you up.

    For example, I’d tell anyone thinking of writing a PI novel that they’re crazy. They’ll never sell it. But someone else will say I’m an idiot.

    Write the project that speaks to you most strongly; the one that’s stuck in your head and won’t let go.

    Write the book that you can write better than anybody else. The better it is, the more likely it is there will be a market for it.

  5. And a little FYI for those saying pay attention to the market…

    Sean Chercover.

    He wrote a traditional P.I. novel, nothing special, no huge hook on page two, nothing. He wrote it right when all the experts were saying don’t write P.I. novels, don’t write anything but big concept thrillers. Even his agent said P.I. novels were out.

    Chercover not only got a nice hardcover deal, but Fox is making a TV series from the novels, and he won or was nominated for just about every freaking award possible.

    What was his secret? He wrote the book HE wanted to write. And the only reason it was successful is because it was written so freaking well. And the only reason it was written so well was because he was passionate about it, and not thinking about market realities.

  6. ditto Guyot on Chercover. I just finished his book and I really enjoyed it. Surprised it was a debut it was so good. And it’s a PI novel.

    What’s dead in the market today may be back in two years. And considering how long it takes to write and then get an agent and then get a book contract and then see it in print, I wouldn’t bank on what’s hot or not today marketing-wise, since we can’t look into the future.

    Wish we could.

  7. I think you should write as timidly as possible, thinking everything through and being reasonable. When the manuscript doesn’t sparkle, at least you gave it your sort of most.

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