Hi-ho Agent Reid:
Insincere boilerplate introduction modeled off of internet form letters segueing into the pitch for my new novel, The Madness of Method, which goes a little sumthin' like this…
No one wants to be ordinary. Least of all those who feel they're wallowing in it. And outside of a father whose death revealed a brother he didn't know he had, Hamilton Brownstone is about as dull as they come. He's not particularly educated. His mother and roommate annoy him. He works at a disco-themed lunch counter selling hot dogs. I know; hot stuff.
But he's out to change all of that.
Inspired by his intensive readings of about the author blurbs, Hamilton has decided to make himself interesting by becoming a writer. And to do so, he's modeling the process of method acting, trying to live the life of other writers whose blurbs he admires each day to channel their creativity, since he's fairly bereft of it on his own. And after several intense months of method writing, he is nearly finished with the glorious first paragraph of his revisionist historical epic, Avenging Zombie Jesus.
But even that kind of runaway success isn't enough to break him out of his funk fast enough. His mother is pressuring him to give up hot dogs as a career. His boss is pressuring him to start taking them seriously and trying to force an unwanted promotion. The pressure is on, and Hamilton's "work" is being neglected.
So, Hamilton comes to the only possible conclusion in his position: he must get himself arrested and finish his novel from the comfort of prison, since it worked so well for O'Henry. And of course, Hitler.
To aid him, Hamilton enlists the help of the only two people he trusts: the inspiration for his method writing, his actor girlfriend Tabitha, who is on a quest of personal growth and is trying to remain in character all hours of all days, and his half-brother Gardner, who won $30 million in the lottery on his 18th birthday, and has spent the subsequent time applying for minimum wage jobs to amuse himself and annoy his stepfather.
For most people, it shouldn't be that hard to get arrested. But between Hamilton's insistence that his arrest be an orderly affair with literary merit, Gardner's reckless attempts to hit rock bottom, Tabitha's attempts to keep anyone from being hurt, and a majority opinion that Jesus is far more likely to be a vampire than a zombie, things don't go smoothly. And when Hamilton is finally arrested for unpaid parking tickets, he finds jail somewhat different than he imagined.
At its core, The Madness of Method is about the collision of artistic ambition and delusion, religious nincompoopery, and the politics of fractured families. And I like to think it makes with the ha-ha something fierce.
My writing credentials include: 5 years of professional feature journalism, fiction publications in The Portland Review, Ooligan Press's Irreverant Fish, 34th Parallel, Caveat Lector, Alchemy Lit Mag, Mercury Quarterly, and Pathos Lit Mag, as well as a sold-out run of my self-published collection of short stories Secrets and Lies, and dramatic productions of three of my plays through Portland Oregon based community theatre troupes.
The full 48,131-word manuscript is available any time you like.
Thanks for your time, and I look forward to your reply.
In parting, I offer you this...
Carry a lazer down the roads that you must travel;
Carry a lazer through the darkness of the night.
Dear Writer (redacted)
Insincere form rejection carefully constructed to not convey "what the fuck" segueing into a comment about your new novel, The Madness of Method, a 48,131-word manuscript.
This is writer porn. I see it a lot. Books about writers, writer rejection, disgusting and evil literary agents (although you avoided that one, I'm not sure why) even when done with an elegant literay tone, is still writer porn. Books about writers aren't my cup of tea. Other agents may have different drinking choices.
Also, 48,131 is a tad short. Like 20,000 words. I've sold books with fewer words (one of them is in the sig line below) but I've also dropped anvils from Acme on my head and I'm not doing that again either.
Your companion in jest,
No Agent Reid, my letter was jest, commenting on the barrage of insincere letters you agents sift through every day, and writers hate to write. Having spent most of the last year doing little but writing cover letters, and the last three years reading my share of them, it's a subject I'm somewhat familiar with. And so far agents and publishers have referred to my letters as refreshingly honest. One lit-mag even published my letter alongside a short story. You may be an important person, and I may just be a c-grade Larry Flynt, but don't try to fool yourself into thinking there was anything resembling jest in your response. It was just plain mean. Small-town cop mean. But I suppose that's agent porn. We all need a little bit of it here and there.
Well, ok, back to "not right for me"
If you want something else, you've got this guy to thank for the next couple weeks at least.