Thursday, July 10, 2008

...Speaking of Academic Protagonists

My boss and I have noticed a wave of queries and partials that mention the words "Dan Brown" at some point. We had a break from them for awhile, but now they seem to be back. I wonder what's up with that. Are all of the people who write academic-based thrillers submitting now because they're on summer break from their university?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fiction by Academics

Dear Rejecter,

The ground is thick with rumors that literary agents HATE novels by academics, and automatically throw queries from such creatures in the reject pile. Any wise advice to aspiring novelists inhabiting the ivy-covered groves?

I can't think of why we would have anything against a good novel written by an academic. In fact, if the subject manner is similar to your academic studies, then it's a boost.

It's true that work by academics can naturally be very dry, because that's the way papers and articles are written, and it's the way we're taught to write. I once was graded down on a history paper for being "too exciting" in college, which was part of my decision not to pursue a PhD in history and instead go into writing. However, this is certainly not true of all academics, and many who write well have sold extremely well, as the non-fiction market is very strong.