To Be Pigeonholed - A Piece Of My Mind
FAME...I'm gonna live forever...Baby,
Remember my name—The song Fame
It’s funny, people in the industry tend to try to pigeonhole any writer into a certain genre when you are writing in that genre. For examples, Tom Lance writers military techno novels, Clive Barker in the Horror genre and Robert B Parker into the style of mystery fiction.
Some author embrace their genre. For example, Stephen King become grand Master of the horror fiction genre. Others try to experiment with different types of fictions and try to break out of the industry pigeonholing.
So where does this relate to me? And to writing? Well for over thirty years, I have been a critic in my weekly column AUDIOWORLD and bi-monthly in Affair De Coeur's Movies of your Mind. I also writing this column and an op-ed column called To Be of What. However still many in this industry assume I only write reviews…and that is all they see.
This fact is further from the truth! I have written poetry, mystery fiction, proses and plays that have been produced off Broadway. I’ve been pigeonholed like many writers. I’m trying to break out of the mold that many others have put me into. Note, this is NOT sour grapes, when I say this...I am speaking the truth.
About a month or so ago, a friend of mine who is an editor at a noted publishing house and I had lunch. It was at a casual dining restaurant (Let’s be honest—It was McDonald!). You could tell this meeting was not on the company's expense account. I’ve know Jimmy for ten years. We have done panels together at book conventions and writer workshops. When we get together, our discussions usually are around the book industry and where it is going.
Jim relayed to me that his company is seeking a spy spoof series of novels. He told me that they were looking for books in the vein of Man from U.N.C.L.Ened with an Austin Powers.
In my worst Austin Powers accent, I said “Yeah, baby”. Of course we looked at each other and chuckled like school kids.
You have to understand, as Jim did. I love the spy genre. Sean Connery and Roger Moore's James Bond, Dean Martin's Matt Helm series, James Colburn’s Our Man Flint, The TV version of The Wild Wild West, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, MacGyver, I Spy and “Would you Believe” Get Smart are personal favorites...and still are!
So, when he mention what his house was seeking, I took a mental note and ideas ran rapid in my brain. After the lunch, I went home and wrote a treatment for this idea.
The Men of M.I.C.E started to take shape. I reflected on all the elements I loved in the spy assortment of literature...from the serious to the campy. The outline of ideas flew on to pages of words
I sent this proposal directly to Jim. I spoke to him on the phone, after I sent it out. He said that he would passed it on to his boss. As Jim said, “No promises!”
His boss, who shall be NAMELESS, called me a few days later on the phone. He began with “Mr. Pomerantz, I know your writing style.” There was a dramatic pause. He then blurted out, “So who wrote this proposal?”
I told him. “Sir, I did! “
I had a sense he didn't believe me. However his next comment made sense to me. “This is unlike anything I have even seen of your work…and I am slightly surprised.”
I did not know if it was a compliment or a verbal slap in the face. I replied with a non-committed “Okay”.
“If you did write it, Pomerantz...It is a good piece of work. However, on careful study, I will pass on this proposal at this time. If you have anything else, drop me a line directly.” He then gave me his direct e-mail. “I will send you a letter on what we discussed in this phone call.”
I was rejected. It is the nature of the business and it happens a lot...NOT just to me! In hindsight, I don't think he knew what to do. I was slightly deflated as many writers are when they get a rejection letter or email.
So what is next move? I may self-publish the Men of M.I.C.E series. I don't know. I am working on the full length of the first novel. Other than that, I do not know my next step.
Wish me luck!
Until Next Time, Reach for the Stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org