Dreading The Due Diligence Of Literary Agents In About A Year As Part Of The Querying Process

by Shelt Garner

I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do about literary agent due diligence on my sorry ass when I start to query. The thing about querying is people who don’t give a shit about you are going to become aware of your existence. And if you’re a fucking drunk kook crank like me, then, oh boy, their evaluation could be pretty brutal.

But, lulz, what am I going to do about it now?

I suppose there are a few things on the edges I could do to mitigate how bad things might be seen from the point of view of a literary agent. And, yet, fuck it, I refuse to change who I am. Let the chips fall where they may.

But I definitely need to psych myself up. It’s going to be very disheartening about a year from now to see people who are clearly literary agents poking around this blog. I understand that to someone who doesn’t have the time to have a conversation with me to find out my story that…I can come across as an eccentric.

And I will admit that I’m kind of bonkers. Maybe a lot bonkers.

But I will note that there are plenty of famous people who are just as bonkers as I am who are called “colorful” rather than nuts. Anyway. There’s nothing I can do about it now. Wish me luck.

Pondering Mystery Thriller Novels to ‘Comp’ To My Book As Part of The Querying Process

by Shelt Garner

Because I don’t really even read any modern books in my genre, I think I’m going to turn to AI to find out what current books I should read that I can “comp” to a book that is a homage to Stieg Larsson’s stuff.

My novel is so…different…that I struggle to think that I will be able to find a novel that is clearly something I can “comp.” But I’m going to have to figure out something. That’s what they pay me the big bucks for.

I’m going to have to take this whole process a lot more seriously. Anything to do with querying means I can just daydream and be delusional anymore. I really, really, really don’t want to self publish. That’s just not my scene. I would have to be really fucking desperate — at least at this point — to self publish.

I would rather go down in a blaze of glory a monumental failure than limit myself by self-publishing. That’s just my vision at the moment. I have nothing against people who self publishing, but I just don’t wanna do that.

My heroine, in my mind, looks something like this woman above.
I started reading a novel that was clearly meant to be something along the lines of a homage to Stieg Larsson’s stuff but something about it left me cold. It seemed to hone in on what the author thought made Lisbeth Salander so popular — her vigilante streak.

To me, that’s just a part of her personality. She was far more complex than that. I hope to force myself to actually read that damn book simply so I won’t feel so self-conscious about not reading fiction. But only time will tell.

Now The Hard Part

by Shelt Garner

I love to write. Writing is like shedding skin for me. I do it a lot without even thinking about it. And, for years now, I’m been VERY delusional about what’s going on with my first novel. I’ve allowed myself this luxury because I knew it was the only way I would ever actually finish anythiing.

And, yet, now that it’s clear that I’ve finally figured out the beginning of the third draft of this novel and I’m going to — hopefully — wrap it up by, say, around April 1st, I have to put on my big boy pants

I have to start thinking about querying.

The reason why this scares the shit out of me is multifold. One is, well, I’m a drunk crank who doesn’t always follow the media narrative on social media. I retweet a lot — A LOT — of pictures of hot chicks. I get drunk and rant about the importance of heteronormative monoculture. And I have been known to say I fucking hate the Bechdel Test. AND, WHAT’s MORE, my novel could easily be reduced to the logline of smelly CIS white male spends 140,000 words to depict a “sex worker solving a murder mystery.”

I retweet a lot of pictures of hot chicks on Twitter.
None of those things endear me to the liberal women who often are literary agents. But I refuse to change anything. I’m going to accept the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, come what may.

I have a lot to consider going forward. I have to think about how I’m going to pay for a manuscript consultant to look over my copy. I have to buy AND READ a series of novels that I can “comp” my novel to, even though it’s a real struggle to consume anyone else’s content — and I’m a storytelling snob.

AND, all of this is happening the context of the rise of AI, the potential for a “Fourth Turning” in late 2024, early 2025 AND the very real possibility that my entire life could be thrown up in the air because of known unknowns.

I dig shit like this.
And, yet, the whole point of starting a novel in the first place was to get outside my comfort zone and to see how far I could get in the process before it became absolutely, 100% clear that I would have to — gulpself-publish.

But I would only consider that after a good bit of fighting to get published traditionally. And I might even be so stubborn that I simply but the finished novel aside until I can get something ELSE published traditionally and use the leverage that gives me to get my first novel published.

Yet More Worrying About Literary Agent Due Diligence

by Shelt Garner

What am I going to do about my status as a fucking drunk crank. Ugh. I just refuse to change who I am. Take me or leave me. I get my freaky weirdo writing on this blog and on social media in general could be a…lability. But it’s not like I ever do what I’m supposed to do.

It’s too late. Fuck it.

I’m going to be sex-positive and write about a “sex worker who solves a murder mystery” and see what happens. That’s just my nature. I always do whatever the fuck I want to (within reason.)

It definitely will be interesting to see literary agents in my Webstats a year from now when I begin to query. I just can’t help who I am. If I was 30 years younger then, lulz, maybe I would do what was necessary to make myself more palatable to “normal” literary agents with money and careers.


I’m different. Always have been. But I can tell a good to great story. And that should be all that matters.