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Posts Tagged ‘In Death series’

To continue on from the last post about querying agents. I have for the first time in my life queried fifty agents (and counting). While things are yet to play out from the queries, the first swathe of the rejections or passes and the silences have happened. Silence is where the agent says if I want anything more I’ll let you know and forget about it after two weeks etc.

I have a strategy (somewhere in my brain) and some dot points to motivate me through this potentially soul-destroying process. The big question is what if I query 100 agents and not one asks for a partial? What does this mean? I think I’ll come to that when it comes but in this climate and with this book that might happen.

So the dot points for motivation to myself.

Someone will be interested in your book (agent, publisher etc)

One agent said submit something else so do that (I have others stuff)

It’s a tough time (all round)

I can submit again in six months (as I’m not in a big hurry this might be a thing)

After all the agents have passed, I can submit to publishers that accept unsolicited submissions.

Look out from some competitions to enter the book in (but check all the copyright stuff before you do)

Bear up! Keep working!

You can always think about revising the beginning.

Meanwhile I keep working and readings and focusing on the phd.

That leads me to what I’ve been reading (I’m also listening to books as well).

J D Robb ‘In Death’ series.

I love this series so much. J D Robb (Nora Roberts) always lives up to expectations. A flawless read to my mind.

I have just started Apprentice in Death and that’s like book number 43 I think. Brotherhood in Death, the previous book dealt with some pretty strong issues and attacked I think the college boy rape culture privilege. The murders were horrific and the descriptions made me squirm.

Why does Eve Dallas appeal to me as a character? We she’s strong, smart and dedicated for starts. I remember when I started the series back in 2000, how amazed and admiring I was of Robb to be discussing child sexual abuse and the things that happened to Eve Dallas as a child. At first it was a slow unpealing of the abuse, the revealing of layers of stuff hidden from her own mind and the nightmares as each book came out.

I started the series again as part of general reading for the PhD. In the later books, her past gets a mention in every book. The character of Dallas is a survivor of some pretty horrific stuff and sometimes the crime she investigates triggers internal conflict, more nightmares. New York to Dallas was a particular grind for both the main characters.

I like the character of Eve for many reasons but there are some kick arse ones. I think the books are very feminist and also challenge gender norms. Dallas, for instance, prefers to be called ‘Sir’ rather than ‘Ma’am’. If you compare to Janeway in Star Trek Voyager she preferred Ma’am or Captain but not sir,

Eve Dallas doesn’t do girl. It’s alien to her and I find that funny but also interesting. She is attractive and often has to get dressed up for functions with Roarke, but she doesn’t get shopping, do shoes, think about makeup and handbags. The handbag curiosity always has me laughing. She wonders what her friends put in this handbags like elephants. Dallas likes to look good when it’s called for but it’s not a priority, as it’s frivolous. Consider the way in which she treats Trina and the goop. It’s amazing they don’t tie her down to the chair in order to give her a facial.

Some of the in death books made me cry. When Crack’s sister died and he’s viewing the body. Sob! When Roarke meets his aunty in Ireland. Sob!

Issues that I think Robb does well or that are interesting in her future world are that guns are outlawed. Cops use stunners. It doesn’t mean people don’t kill but there isn’t this right to carry arms like there is now. Considering how the USA is with this right now, I think this particular concept is revolutionary. She has a past where there were urban wars and boy I can see this happening soon the way things are going in the here and now.

The other thing she has in this world is professional parenting payment. It recognises the main carer (not always the mother) is doing a job and gets a payment for it. I like that a lot.

There is tech-such as a device that identifies victims and another that estimates time of death. They also have’ seal it’, a substance that stops contamination of the scene. Although, criminals use it, too. Generally buildings have security but these are often compromised or removed during a crime. I don’t see a lot of surveillance cameras in Robb’s future New York in the streets etc. At times some shops might have some of the street, or a loading zone will have some. So nothing along the lines of what they have in the UK-there are cams everywhere. I often read the books and think what about surveillance cameras?

I don’t know how Roberts is so prolific. I read she has a work ethic and I am ashamed I’m not as busy as she is. I know don’t how she does it, but I’m glad she does.

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