Dear Gerard, Eric passed along your note this morning and I wanted to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Your manuscript was mistakenly placed in a stack of unsolicited material, which, as you might imagine, is quite high. You have wonderful character in Giselle and her hardened sarcastic slant on the world is well pitched here. I admit to having no idea where you're going with these mysterious phone calls and I worry that the story is relying too heavily on this one quirky note but I'm intrigued with who or what might be behind "I'm the Mayonnaise Man!" If you feel I've had this long enough I understand. I promise not to take 4 months or even 4 weeks with the rest of the manuscript. Again my deepest apologies, Best, Richard
Dear Richard: Does that mean you want to see the rest of the manuscript? Which I, of course, would be delighted to send you. It's been transformed some in the last few months--the new title is ASTRAL WEEKEND, for one thing. If I had my pick of what agency to get myself represented by, it would be Janklow & Nesbit. I'll tell you a sad story. When I was a kid, Gordon Lish recommended a literary agent to me, some chick named Lynn Nesbit who was just getting started with Sterling Lord. I sent her some stuff. She liked it. I got otherwise entangled and didn't write much for the next thirty years. Take your total time with anything you already have or whatever else you may want me to send you, but let me know what you want me to do. Thanks. G.
Gerard, Please send the manuscript along. Love to see how the story plays out. Best, Richard
Dear Richard: Will do, but I'm reworking the whole thing one more time with the new title and with some things I figured out when I got to the end which I have to go back and fix in the beginning. You can get the general idea, however, from what I'll send you, except that it'll be better by the time you're through with it. This is one you can totally take your time with, in other words. Thanks. G.
Dear Richard: As I mentioned in an e-mail, I'm reworking the above-referenced novel one more time so some of the chapters are going to have the old chapter headings because there was no point in printing the whole thing out fresh at this stage. I'm also sending the same thing to Fred Ramey and Charles Spicer, both of whom asked to see it, and maybe to Anton Mueller at Houghton Mifflin, if he still wants to take a look at it after I sent him a synopsis. I'll include a copy of the letter to Charles Spicer, 'cause I mentioned to him that I was sending the thing to you. It's probably too whacked for everyone, but, as you can see from the last pages I've included, I'm toying with some alternate ideas. I'm looking forward to hearing your take on the thing. Thanks again. Gerard Jones
Dear Gerry, I'm afraid my fears with your manuscript were realized after reviewing the story in full. Giselle is a fresh dose of attitude and I was rooting for her to break this Alice in Wonderland spell and enter the real world. Unfortunately she loses and, I think, quickly becomes overwhelmed by an unwieldy and quite implausible plot. I'm sorry not to have better news and I certainly wish you the best of luck with this. All the best, Richard Morris
Hey, Richard, thanks for taking a look at the first hundred and twenty pages or so of ASTRAL WEEKEND. I have a secret way of telling what was read and what wasn't read. Sorry you were looking for something different, or, in this case, something more the same. It was cool of you to read it at all, however. I have a lot of confidence that it's a good enough book with a strong and realistic enough premise to overcome the apparently unwieldy and implausible "plot." It was Kafka, I think, who said the world order is based on a lie. I'd rather waste my time trying to expose that underlying lie than waste my time trying to buy into it, whether that makes what I write "unmarketable" or not. Again, I appreciate it that you took the time to read as much as you did. Thanks. G.