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?