The Mail I Get – July 4th Weekend Edition

A self-published author sent me this email today. I have removed his name to save him embarrassment.

I, XYZ, author of the book [Really Pretentious Title] am looking for an agent who will work on percentage. I am
planning on publishing two more books in the near future. If you are interested
please feel free to call me at ###-###-####.

I replied that first of all, I am not an agent, so why would I be interested? And even if I was an agent, his pitch  has no salesmanship whatsoever. Why would any legitimate agent bother to respond? It’s amazing to me how clueless some people are. It’s no wonder the vanity presses do such good business.

I also got a note from a Monk fan, who is troubled by something on the covers:

In the books, you mention that
everything in Monk’s life must be an even number or it upsets him to much.
However, in the show and on the cover of the books, he is wearing a jacket with
three buttons on it. Is there a reason why? I just happened to notice and would
like to know why.

I replied:

Why? Because Monk isn’t real. the person on the cover is an actor. I mean no offense by that answer, but there are lots of continuity
mistakes in the show….which is bound to happen,
since it’s all make-believe anyway. It’s not always possible,
economical, or reasonable to remain consistent with everything that’s
said and done in 100 hours of tv (and seven books) . The priority for
everyone involved is to make an entertaining, great-looking
show…whether Monk, or rather the actor portraying him, is wearing three buttons on his jacket or not ultimately doesn’t
matter. You could also argue, for instance, that all of his shirts and
his jackets have a pattern on them that isn’t consistent or
symmetrical…so how can he ever wear them, regardless of how many
buttons they have? Bottom line…it looks good and its cheaper for the
wardrobe department. So my advice is to relax, it’s just a TV show!

My favorite email of the weekend (so far) comes from someone who wants my help usurping me as the only author of MONK novels. He wrote, in part:

A friend and I co-wrote a script for
MONK […] I notice that you write books based on the MONK series, and was
hoping you could tell me what my friend and I can do to turn our script
into a book. […] I figure you are the expert
here. Please, what do we need to do? What permissions do we ask for,
and would we have to contact the network? I hope you can help us. We love the show, we’ve grown very close to the characters, and we believe we have a good storyline here.

I congratulated him on completing their spec script and told him that, unfortunately, my publisher isn’t in the
market for other writers for the MONK books since they have me under contract for a few more and I seem to be doing a pretty good job at it. What chutzpah. Did he really think I’d help him take my job? He got right back to me:

My co-writer and I wondered if you would be interested in our script,
in terms of you turning it into a book. (And we both think we’ve seen
at least one other MONK book written by someone else. Is that possible?) It’s awfully hard to let go of this plot. We would love to see
someone turn this into a MONK story, one way or the other.

I informed him that he was mistaken about another author writing MONK novels and I politely passed on his generous offer to use their screenplay as the basis for a book.

6 thoughts on “The Mail I Get – July 4th Weekend Edition”

  1. If they can’t let go of the plot, they should create some characters to go with it.
    Otherwise it’s like, “I’ve always wanted a life like yours. Can I come and stay in your house and sleep with your wife?”

  2. Let us be fair to the fellow on one point–he claimed not to have seen a Monk NOVEL by someone else, only a book. He probably meant MONK: THE OFFICIAL EPISODE GUIDE by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block.

  3. >”My favorite email of the weekend…”
    So does that mean I should or shouldn’t send a similar email to your brother regarding my Burn Notice spec?
    Just looking to share the joy – Mark


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