May 11, 2012



Dear _______:

All Buck and Bonnie Diddley wanted were three well-behaved children. Instead, they ended up with twenty-four, each one more eccentric than the first. The Diddley family members live in a former funeral home, and they split their time between having outlandish misadventures around the house and running the Ice Creamatorium, an ice cream shop set up in the funeral home’s old crematory. The bizarre escapades they create make up TALES FROM THE ICE CREAMATORIUM, where each chapter is its own stand-alone vignette that highlights one member of this lovable, engaging family.

If you would like to meet the Diddley family, I can furnish the 30,000-word middle-grade manuscript at your request. Thank you for your consideration.



Anonymous Author said...

Hi. I'm a middle grades author, with three books out from a major publisher, and three more under contract. (Plus two books out of print.) So that's the background I'm bringing to advising you.

The idea is an engaging one. The problem is the novel-as-a-collection-of-vignettes. There were a lot of those around when I was a kid-- the Little House books, Homer Price, Katie John, The Great Brain books... really vignette-collections were more the exception than the rule.

The problem is that while some of those books are still in print and selling, no publisher is buying anything new of this type. The market wants cohesively plotted novels.

So I'd say revise this into a single story, or, at the very least, don't reveal in your query that it's not one.

If you opt for the latter, try to find a way to rephrase "each one more eccentric than the first".

Good luck with this.

Anonymous Author said...

Rick, it seems to be eating my comments again.

Rick Daley said...

Thanks for the heads up. I cleared you from the SPAM filter.

Anonymous Author said...


Melanie Conklin said...

I agree. You had me until vignette. I am not drawn to reading a collection. My sons, who read MG voraciously, would want a MC to cheer for.

Best of luck!