Mystery Writers Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Please read this important notice about the November 2018 outage.

collapse collapse
* Search



* User Info
 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online
  • Dot Guests: 40
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Looking for the competition  (Read 9160 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Lance Charnes

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 32
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 354
    • Wombat Group
Looking for the competition
« on: January 03, 2009, 11:39:20 PM »

This doesn't belong here, but it doesn't belong anywhere else, either.

I find that I'm writing "innocent man" stories. That's fine, but I need to find other novels to compare them to, both to see how others are handling the same material and so I can finish the query sentence that begins, "XYZ will appeal to readers who enjoyed..."

Unfortunately, it seems that the MCs in nearly all the books stocking the Mystery & Thriller section of my neighborhood Borders are cops, PIs, profilers, FBI agents, spies, Special Forces alums, psychologists, bodyguards, or security experts (cyber- and otherwise). Civilians need not apply.

I know that Harlan Coben's non-Myron Bolitar books fit the "innocent man" mold. Alan Furst has a couple titles I used as comparisons in my latest query (intrigue set in Europe). Beyond that, I'm stumped. This kind of story seems to show up more in movies than on bookshelves, Eagle Eye being one recent example.

Who's writing the new North by Northwest or To Catch a Thief? Who else should I be looking at?
Logged
DOHA 12
On Kindle and Nook
Paperback: Amazon | B&N

Twitter | Facebook

JIM DOHERTY

  • Wordsmith
  • *****
  • Karma: 95
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3,138
    • http://www.deadlyserious.com/JimDoherty
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 12:41:10 AM »

Lance,

You don't have to refer to books, nor do they have to be recent books, just well-known ones.  Hence, "This will evoke memories of the classic TV series The Fugitive, or its Oscar-winning film version, to say nothing the current TV hit Jailbreak.  It may also appeal to readers of such vintage still-in-print suspense classics as John Buchan's The 39 Steps or David Goodis's Dark Passage."

Hope that helps.

MTH

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 33
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 305
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 02:36:49 PM »

I know I have read books like that, but as far as I can recall there are some books that feature female attorneys, I believe those are the ones I'm thinking of. One's based in Lake Tahoe, I just can't think of the author or the protagonist right now. But they're part of successful series. In some of Thomas Perry's thrillers, aren't the people on the run sometimes innocent? I can't remember... There really are a ton of those books, including LOL the one I just wrote. However, mentioning that won't help you one iota.  ;)
Logged

Dave Freas

  • Ink-Stained Wretch
  • *****
  • Karma: 73
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,493
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 04:30:55 PM »

I know I have read books like that, but as far as I can recall there are some books that feature female attorneys, I believe those are the ones I'm thinking of. One's based in Lake Tahoe, I just can't think of the author or the protagonist right now.  But they're part of successful series.
You're thinking of the Nina Reilly series by Perri O'Shaughnessy.

Lance, may I also suggest Puse by Edna Buchanan, Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly, any of Earl Emerson's non-series novels (Firetrap, Into the Inferno, Pyro, Vertical Burn--all feature firemen in 'Innocent Man' situations), any Dick Francis novel, and Stephen White's first Alan Gregory book (Priviliged Information).

Hope this helps.

Dave
Logged

B L McAllister

  • Ink-Stained Wretch
  • *****
  • Karma: 32
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2,390
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 04:39:47 PM »

I seem to recall that nearly all of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series involve Mason's proving somebody innocent.   :)
Logged
Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

JIM DOHERTY

  • Wordsmith
  • *****
  • Karma: 95
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3,138
    • http://www.deadlyserious.com/JimDoherty
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 12:31:42 AM »

Byron,

Re your comment below:

I seem to recall that nearly all of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series involve Mason's proving somebody innocent.   :)

True, but Lance's references to the films North by Northwest and To Catch a Thief suggested to me that he was thinking of books in which the innocent man was the hero, working to clear himself, not merely a victim waiting for the hero to clear him.

B L McAllister

  • Ink-Stained Wretch
  • *****
  • Karma: 32
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2,390
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2009, 03:14:09 PM »

Byron,

Re your comment below:

I seem to recall that nearly all of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series involve Mason's proving somebody innocent.   :)

True, but Lance's references to the films North by Northwest and To Catch a Thief suggested to me that he was thinking of books in which the innocent man was the hero, working to clear himself, not merely a victim waiting for the hero to clear him.

I suspect you're right.  Meantime, current fashion is to have the detective, professional or amateur, accused of crime in at least a third of his or her adventures, so it's also conceivable that an "innocent detective" story would serve.  Maybe?
Logged
Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

MTH

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 33
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 305
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 07:58:48 PM »

Here is a review of Thomas Perry's first novel
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1O640R61MNKCK/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1O640R61MNKCK
I wasn't thinking about Nina O'Reilly, I'm still trying to remember who the Lake Tahoe based female protagonist is.
Logged

Lance Charnes

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 32
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 354
    • Wombat Group
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2009, 12:50:15 PM »

Jim's right; I'm thinking of books in which an innocent civilian gets caught up in hinkeyness and needs to get him/herself out of it. The working definition of "civilian" here is someone who otherwise wouldn't have a reason to be involved, except he/she either (a) was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or (b) suits the purposes of those who ensnare him/her in the action (not always necessarily the bad guys). Lawyers working a case and newspaper reporters chasing a story don't fit, nor does the "innocent detective" really, since they're doing their normal jobs with themselves as clients/victims.

Coben's Gone for Good and No Second Chance are good examples of what I mean, and the ones I'll use for comparisons for the next query. Meg Gardner's Kill Chain is another, sort of. I hadn't thought of Dick Francis (thanks, Dave). I'd like to find some more.

Thanks so far for your suggestions; keep 'em coming!
Logged
DOHA 12
On Kindle and Nook
Paperback: Amazon | B&N

Twitter | Facebook

MTH

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 33
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 305
Re: Looking for the competition
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 11:47:10 AM »

I have had little success with query letters so I ask this as a real question, not a rhetorical one: Is having another book to compare your book to that important in a query? Doesn't the reception of any query totally depend on the agent's / query screener's quirks? One can't possibly read their minds or the minds. Also, if you mention another book, that means you're depending that the query reader recognizes the books you've mentioned. But recently our Sisters in Crime chapter had an agent come and speak and she said she was sick of query letters that told her the book was just like DaVinci code or a famous movie, etc. etc. She said she would stop reading right away and just toss them. Every time I hear an agent speak I feel more strongly how each one has individual preferences so I still feel query letters are going to fail most of the time no matter what you write in them..
Anyhow, seems you don't want this type of protagonist, but I did finally remembered the author--Sharon McCone, who has a series going back ten years or more. Quite a few of her novels have her MC, a private eye, in her own difficulties while working a case. In "While Other People Sleep" for example, the PI has her identity stolen and misused.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 11:59:59 AM by MTH »
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


* Calendar
November 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 [30]

No calendar events were found.

Paying the bills...

* Forum Staff
admin Bob Mueller
Administrator
admin MWF Bot
Administrator
gmod MysteryAdmin
Global Moderator
gmod laurihart
Global Moderator

Page created in 0.039 seconds with 41 queries.

SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal