Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can I Send You My Monk Novel?

(Cross posted from Lee Goldberg's blog)

This email is so stupid, that I have to wonder if it was sent as a prank:

I realise you will get this quite a lot and are probably sick to death of people asking but I have completed a novel about Adrian Monk and wondered if I could send you the synopsis. I wouldn't presume to step on your toes but I have four great plots and have worked them into what I believe is an entertaining thriller.

I know this isn't the usual protocol of approaching people about a manuscript and I should probably go through an agent so I appreciate that I may not recieve a reply. You may also have the sole rights to the Monk novels either way thank you for your time reading this and if you do take a chance and want me to send the synopsis I am sure you will not be disapointed.

Although I have my doubts that the email is legit, I answered it as if it was. Here is what I said...

Why on earth would I, the author of the MONK novels, be interested in reading your MONK novel? Would you send a spec Spenser novel to Robert B. Parker? A spec Inspector Rebus novel to Ian Rankin? A Harry Bosch novel to Michael Connelly? Not that I am comparing myself to Parker, Rankin or Connelly, I am not in their league...I am just trying to make a point about how idiotic your request is. I can't imagine how you could have thought that it was a good idea.

Then again, I can't imagine why you would write an entire novel on spec about a character you didn't create and don't own. I didn't create MONK, either...nor did I write a MONK novel on spec. I was hired by the creator of MONK and Penguin/Putnam to write MONK novels for them ..and now I have a multi-book deal that makes me the exclusive author of the books for several years to come.

I recommend that you write original novels that are NOT based on any pre-existing movie or television property. Tie-ins novels are assignments given to established writers by publishers who have licensed the characters from the studios...you don't simply send in a spec HOUSE or THE CLOSER novel to a publisher and hope for a sale.

On top of that, why would you send a novel to another author in the hopes of getting a job (not just any job, but his job)? Authors don't hire authors, publishers and editors do.

1 comment:

Renée said...

Hi Lee, Sounds like you weren't having a great day. ;-) What I'm most curious about is whether he ever wrote to you again. We've had the occasional plot suggestions, and we assiduously avoid reading any fan fiction, just in case. After all, we live in a highly litigious society.
Best,
Renée