Monday, December 13, 2010

What kind of cars do you write? Cars?

Do you mean books? No, I mean cars.

While pondering ways for a friend to assuage rejection-letter blues and push her next queries out the door, I wondered what would make it easier to be objective about the query process. For example, is it possible to step back and think of a manuscript as something that was once locked away in storage, but is now polished and ready to sell? Being a bit of a car geek (and the wife of a serious car geek), I immediately thought of cars. I then thought, what kind of cars do I write?

I'm currently focused on two manuscripts, the priority being a collaborative effort, an action-filled romantic suspense. Since a car is significant to the plot, I naturally thought of the classic Camaro in our book, a good choice to describe a sexy, fast read. A sleek, beautiful car that turns heads.

What about other genres? I might describe literary fiction as an elegant Jaguar E-type. This timeless design has been cherished for decades but is a bit cranky to maintain.

Action packed thriller? The typical answer might be a BMW M5, but how about a Nissan GT-R, instead? The computer displays G-forces? Zero to sixty in what?! Get out of my way!

Sci-Fi? A Lamborghini, of course. The Gallardo’s growl-chuff when you shift gears is visceral, and that edgy body style? Oh, my!

Traditional western? Built Ford tough. F150, Marlboro Man.

But shift into reverse. If we drive our Camaro to the car show, who’s going to want to test drive it? An agent who only sells economy cars? He could care less. So we shouldn’t be crushed if he doesn’t even glance at our gleaming steed. And if we pitch to an agent who specializes in muscle cars and she doesn’t ask for the keys, should we then drive off a cliff and never submit again? No. Her rejection could simply be due to bad timing. She might already have six equally fine Camaros and a couple of GTOs to sell, and doesn’t want another one right now. So we have to be patient and keep our car bright and shiny and on the market. And when we do find the right agent? He’ll know this acquiring editor in New York with a huge parking garage…

What kind of cars do you write?

Janet Fogg


Anonymous said...

Is sweet romance a pink Mary Kay Cadillac? - Karen

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hmmm. What would I write? Probably a horsedrawn buggy towing a classic Firebird. The buggy is for the novel set in Frontier Illinois, and the Firebird is for the mystery/suspense genre I'll return to soon.

Janet Fogg said...

A pink Cadi could definitely be sweet romance, Karen. (I haven't seen one of those on the road for years. Have you?)

Janet Fogg said...

Love the vision of your horsedrawn buggy towing a Firebird, Pat!

Peg Brantley said...

The manuscript I've got out now does have mention of an MGA Roadster. Butter yellow.

And Mary Kay has moved beyond the pink caddy. Think SUV.

Oh, and OT: do you know a Jean Fogg? I've been wanting to ask you forever.

Ron at CM said...

I have a kid who drives a Saleen 281SC, a guy with a 1936 Bentley, a guy with a Porsche Carrera 4 Cabriolet that gets a human heart through his windshield.

My major players all drive stealth-wealth Volkswagen W-12 Phaetons.

Ron at CM said...

oh yeah... the guys who whack people all drive Land Rovers...

Anonymous said...

Among the cars my vampires drive:

1967 Plymouth Fury (supercharged)

1967 Corvette coupe Tri-Power 427

1987 Buick Grand National GNX

2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

2011 Cadillac CTS-v (coupe and wagon)

2011 Ford F-150 Raptor

2011 Shelby GT-500

2011 Nissan GT-R

2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Any Vampire driving a family sedan,
SUV or minivan deserves to be staked.

The only thing that could possibly
be worse than the above would be a
Vampire in a Volvo.

Oh, wait a minute... >;^)

Janet Fogg said...

Hi, Peg!

Love those little MGAs. Butter yellow? Yum!

Now that you mention it, I have seen a pale pink SUV on the road at some point, though I used to see those pink Cadis pretty regularly.

No, I'm afraid I don't know a Jean Fogg. There used to be another Fogg family in Boulder (Andy, I think?) and we figured there was a branching family tree in the past.

Janet Fogg said...

Don't wreck the Porsche, Ron! They're close to MY heart - probably my favorite car of all time!

Janet Fogg said...

I love your "vampire-choice" cars!

Is the Buick Grand National that big, all-black brute?

Peg Brantley said...

Not that it matters (but this is about cars, right?) the Mary Kay SUVs are white, and their were also some smaller cars available that were red. The pink cadillacs are now more beige than pink.

Shannon said...

Since I write suspense/thrillers, I'd hope my writing drive is more exciting than my real drive, a VW Beetle. But, hey, it has turbo! I'd like to imagine my writing is more like past cars I've had the pleasure of having in my garage, an Audi TT (my fave) and a Porche Boxter.

Anonymous said...

The 1987 GNX was the final and fastest edition of the 1984-87
Buick Grand Nationals [all of which
came painted only in Vampire-friendly black].