I got this email today. It’s so, um, unique that the only way to do it justice is to reprint it in full.

Dear Mr. Golberg,

If you don’t delete this e-mail like I probably would,
I would like to ask you a question.

I have just completed my first book.
I Started this project with absolute unhappiness concerning a turn of events in
our society, and my idea to write about that unhappiness was helped along with
the encouragement of a friend of mine, and now it is a book. My original
intention was to do what the book suggests, but I found myself 1-million dollars
short of it happening.

To make a long story short, I was beyond words
unhappy with the unsettled massacre of Nicole Brown Simpson, and her boyfriend,
Ronald Goldman. I have written what I believe is the closest thing the world
will ever appreciate concerning justice in this matter.

I of course do
not know what your opinion of this matter is. You may think O.J. Simpson is
innocent. If that is the case, please stop reading this e-mail now, and continue
having a great life.

If on the other hand, you feel like I do…that
this injustice should not be forgotten, then continue reading. I have written a
book that is about 99% complete. It may have some subtle redundancies, and need
some fine-tuning, but I have worked over a year and a half on this book…24-7.
I usually got up at 3:00 am to go into work early to complete it, to my soon to
be ex-wifes angst. I guess few people understand writers…nuff said.

just do not know what to do with it. I understand your writing skills, and I
believe you understand obscure fiction. I have just ordered a copy of your book,
"The Walk" and I am sure from the description I have read that you are one of
the few people who may understand my writing style. I have recently submitted my
manuscript to LULU.com for self-publishing.

My question is this; I do not
have the resources to find a literary agent at this time, and I want this book
to be published before O.J. dies, which would in essence be a tragedy as far as
the book is concerned. Can you suggest a literay agent to me that I may offer my
manuscript to that would appreciate this form of vigilante justice? It is
pseudo-psych0-fiction, and hard to explain. I would be honored to send you my
entire book to take a look at if you so desire. I guarantee you you will not be
Thanks for your time.

Why do I get emails like this? I have to say, I am a loss as to how to respond to this one. Any suggestions?

11 thoughts on ““Pseudo-Psycho-Fiction””

  1. If he’s at a loss to explain where his book fits on the continuum, how can you possibly recommend an agent? What is pseudo-psycho-fiction?
    If he’s already submitted it for self-publication, what does he want from an agent?
    Is this a query? He hasn’t even sent a synopsis.
    Suggest he call it ‘quirky’, look up agents that handle ‘quirky’ and submit an appropriate query and synopsis like the rest of us. He can google those terms. There’s plenty of help on the internet.
    You know, if you get a lot of this kind of email, you might post examples of a professional looking query and basic synopsis format, also a list of publications and websites that list agents and what sort of material they handle. Then you can point people to those links as need arises.

  2. Since he’s asking you specifically for an agent, you can tell him you have no idea who’d be interested in this. Unless there’s an agent you have a grudge against. Otherwise, tell him to send it to O.J.; he’s got plenty of time on his hands these days.
    On second thought, the legal ramifications from that you may wish to avoid.

  3. I understand your writing skills, and I believe you understand obscure fiction.
    Hmm…I think you may have just been insulted, dude.

  4. My question is this; I do not have the resources to find a literary agent at this time
    That’s the question, really: he wants you to find him an agent.
    I have heard that anyone in the book biz gets tons of requests from people who want agents, book contracts, and editing, and they figure that you don’t have anything better to do.
    It’s rather like people asking me what to do when their hard drive crashes. I explain that I’m a database programmer, but it just doesn’t register.

  5. Oh my. I love these letters, please don’t ever stop sharing them. They are just the funniest thing.
    I too think that one line was an insult although, probably done subconsciously.
    Now have you checked your office, personal belongings, and websites for freak magnets? I think it might be time for a sweep. 🙂

  6. So basically he wrote an elaborate story about how he would presumably exact revenge against O.J.?
    I suppose, if you’re writing about how you’d kill a guy for crimes he got away with, you’d want him to be alive to read it…

  7. The sad thing, David, is that Lee has no idea who those people are. Fortunately, I do. I would much prefer to see slash with Simpson, Joe Ferguson, Joe Cribbs and Larry Csonka (Csonka brings an unbridled sexuality and a 70s mustache to the equation).

  8. I think the sender already told you what to do with his email.
    “If you don’t delete this e-mail like I probably would, I would …”
    Enough said.


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