Finally I changed my query and polished the synopsis to submit World of Mirrors to an honest to God publisher who reads unagented novels and even publishes crime novels with foreign locations which seems to be a big no-no right now but doesn't seem to stop Daniel Silva or Alan Furst. I must confess I do not understand the market, or what agents say the market is.
I do know one can't really write for the market because it will change before you get the book written. I had great hopes that the Wisconsin book (the heartland, cozy with an edge, cool characters, plot with people losing jobs because they are moving off shore, etc. ) would have some appeal, but by now it is beginning to amass a fair amount of rejections. Of course, one agent still has it, for months, with no communication. Not a good sign, and I am looking to move on to other agents. Two agents have "loved" it, but did not take it on for various reasons. This writing business ain't like any other. But I persist. Yes.
Today, instead of putting words to page, I still put butt to chair and studied maps of the great Adirondack Park in New York, where Festival Madness will have its exciting denouement. The plot seemed to need a locale where a sea plane can fly into a lake and people chase other people thru the wilderness without the amenities of roads and cell phones. Significant Other and I are actually going on a 2 1/2 day visit to park to scope things out and pick up local color. I've got a lot of tourist brochures and a lot of web sites, and am chomping at the bit to go there. Can't believe we've lived in New England for so long without venturing across the border and north into the park. I'm still figuring the details of the plot out, which I usually do as I go along. There are some difficulties, which can be overcome with creative thinking and writing. I sure as hell hope so.
No idea if this book is any more marketable than the others. One would think with a big section taking place at Burning Man, but one would think a lot of things and be dead wrong.
I have noticed that some agents are no longer taking submissions from writers who aren't recommended by someone else, like a published writer. A new Catch-22. Should I chain myself to something until someone will sit down and read the freaking manuscripts? That's not really a Grapeshot kind of solution.
What is? Persistence and sucking it up. Nose pressed against the window, I remain,