Late last week I finally got to reading the incoming queries I'd flagged for more careful reading.
My preferred practice is to go through my incoming queries as soon as I can and reply as quickly as I can. Most of the time I know yes/no pretty easily. The nos are the easiest to see. Yeses often need an extra look. Thus, I flag them, and return to read after some time has passed.
Sometimes on that second read I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Most often though, the query holds up and I ask for the full.
Thus, last Thursday night I chased my new minion out of the office (the good ones have to be forced to leave most of the time,) and dove back into the query queue.
And there was one that I'd flagged just cause I liked the writer's stylish presentation of himself.
And because I didn't want to just blindly say no to a 280,000 word novel.
As Jenny Bent said quite recently "sometimes this business kicks the certainty right out of you. And maybe that's not such a bad thing."
And quite by chance that day I'd gone over to Amazon to copy and paste the flap copy for George RR Martin's first book in his Game of Thrones series. The book is what? 284K or so? Yup, about that.
So, I asked for the full.
And what is your takeaway from that?
What I try to remember to tell you as often as I can: you learn the rules, but you don't have to always follow them. You learn them so you can break them on purpose if you choose, not by mistake cause you don't.
And how in the hell do you get me to request a tome of this size?
Well, some of it was timing (George RR Martin and Jenny Bent)
Some of it was stylish presentation (the query)
Some of it was the concept of the novel.
And most of it was the writing. It's good writing.
And I'll leap tall buildings in a single vault to get my hands on good writing.
I'll leap tall buildings AND elbow my slithering colleagues aside for good writing.
I'll leap tall buildings, elbow my slithering colleagues aside AND let you break every rule in the book for good writing.
Now, back to work. I have a lot more reading to do now than I'd planned on.