I spent two hours this morning reading email queries. Jon spent an hour doing the same thing. We broke up those that time with a couple of phone calls, coffee breaks and other quick duties, such as brushing Norton the office cat.
We did not count the number of queries we each read, but I'd estimate that I burned through 20 to 25; Jon says he read 5 or 6, plus a few more snail mail queries. That's more than enough for one morning. The problem is that they all begin to blur and when that happens it's time to stop. It's simply not fair to those at the end of the reading session.
Of the 25 queries, I passed 4 or 5 to Jon who is more enthusiastic about military thrillers and science fiction than I am. I rejected the rest, with the exception of one commercial fiction / suspense novel.
"So, what the heck are you looking for, anyway?" you might well ask. And, it's a question we ask ourselves every day. The simple answer is "good writing." After that, here's what I'd love to see:
A contemporary fantasy with a strong female protagonist.
A really, really good love story that hasn't been done to death.
Good women's fiction with characters I like. (Think Jane Porter)
Jon is looking for:
Innovative science fiction.
A solid military thriller with a complicated protagonist.
The next Robert Parker. ; )
Please, oh, please says Jon--NO MORE DA VINCI CODE WANNABEES!! He gets at least 5 of these things per week.
Now it's on to partials and manuscripts. We have slipped another two weeks behind.
"What does this remind you of?" - That's a much more useful way to get feedback than asking if we like it. We make first impressions and long-term judgments based on the smallest of clues. ...
4 hours ago