Friday, March 05, 2010

For Your Information

If you are, say, an unrepentant child molester serving out his latest jail sentence (this one just for owning a considerable stash of child pornography), and you're pitching a novel, it's best to leave out everything I just said in the query letter except the part about having a novel. Sure, once we get over our revulsion at your page-long, off-topic discussion of how history justifies your obsession with pre-teen boys, we'll find it amusing in an extremely dark way and laugh about it. But then we'll reject you.

I know, we shouldn't judge the author, just the novel, but there are exceptions. After all, if we took you on as a client, we would have to work with you, and if you're given to rants that make us uncomfortable, that's not a relationship we're interested in having.

22 comments:

JohnO said...

I'd ask you to tell me this was hypothetical, but the dark, cynical side of me knows it's not.

tim said...

Some people have all the fun at work!

Kim Kasch said...

Ewwwwww-just EW!

Harley D. Palmer said...

The fact that you needed to make a post about this - sort of scares me a bit. It's amazing the type of insane people that are out there! *locks the doors and curls up in blanket*

Melissa said...

Oh . . . wow. (shuddering)

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Thanks. I'll keep this very important tip in mind...I guess (?).

Judith Engracia said...

Maybe he was just trying to wow you by the first sentence of his query. He just...wow'ed you the wrong way :-\

beccastareyes said...

I suppose if this person was pitching a memoir or something, that would be relevant, though I don't think there's much market for apologetics for owning child porn (and I don't want to know if I'm wrong, here).

Anonymous said...

I'm related to someone who helps put people like that in jail. As an aspirant to publication, it's good to know this particular platform is rightly rejected. Certain people don't deserve publication, no matter how good their writing might be. I've heard too many disgusting stories, dealt with too much mental anguish caused by this kind of persons actions, to have any sympathy. At all. Form reject.

The amazing thing is that this person seemed to think a rant would somehow help?

GalaktioNova said...

What if it was just one of those stupid queries written in the main character's POV??

I hope (shivers)

Thomas said...

I'm tempted to pretend that this is a joke but, based on the number of calls we get at our production office from people trying to pitch projects "based on their own experience," that are every bit as depraved as this guy seems to be, I know that it's not.

I'm tempted to think your guy is a bit smarter. At least your office can get books published. We're not empowered to green light projects.

The Rejecter said...

For those still wondering, it was not something I made up or a fake.

When I discuss specific queries, I do change a few details and leave it as vague as possible, but the majority of what I wrote was absolutely true.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I know you are really busy, but this is information that should be passed along to the proper people. If the letter was sent to you from jail, it should be sent to his probation officer; if the letter is from prison, then he will eventually have an assigned parole officer. It sounds like he's in local jail, so (I know this will take time you don't have) but I would look up the number for the county probation department, ask to speak to the officer assigned this pedophile and arrange to send him or her the letter. I know in my county, they are letting people out of jail early because of budget cuts but if the probation officer has proof this guy is completely unrepetant (and likely to reoffend) it might 1)help keep him locked up or 2) affect the way he is monitored by probation after he is eventually released.

You'd be surprised, but a lot of times law enforcement doesn't have all the information and it can make a big difference having a letter like this on file. I'm sure his defense attorney will claim he is "getting treatment" and is "cured."

_*rachel*_ said...

Ouch.

Andrea M. Bodel said...

I feel the need to go wash vigorously now, with soap and water. Thanks a lot.

MissFifi said...

Amazing what people let fly with such ease and grace. I would have needed a bourbon after reading that.

KID LIT WRITERS said...

Why? Just... why? Thank you for sticking to your morals.

Sean said...

He, uh... wasn't pitching MG, was he?

_*rachel*_ said...

I don't know whether I'd burn the letter or frame it.

catie james said...

Wow...that you have to tell someone not to include such information in their cover letter boggles the mind.

The Rejecter said...

For those wondering, I was tempted to, but did not keep the letter, so I can't send it to a parole officer. Plus this guy's been in jail for like 3 different pedophile-related violations so they're probably on the ball about not trusting him.

Loy said...

I've been surfing all day, not sure how I ended up here, but had to post after reading this.
I'm an RN (used to work geriatrics) and work in a high security sex offender program. In other words, they are civilly committed here, after serving their jail time...because they are determined to be too dangerous to be set free.
I just want to say, I'm not surprised by what you received. Most of these guys are very narcissistic and unrepentant, some are mentally ill, low functioning, and so very many were raised in abusive households. The scary ones look just like you and me, and they can be ever so charming.
Not sure why I'm writing here, maybe catharsis.
Just don't let your child go to the bathroom alone in a dept. store, and always be aware of even people you know, for there are many more free than are locked up.