Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Love Themistocles.

I wrote a love note to Themistocles. I wanted to share it with the world. So I pitched my book to five different agents. Only two seemed mildly interested. Nobody wants to read historical fiction from a male perspective.

I'm crushed. I was told more than once the pitch was good and the story sounded interesting, but agents are there to sell books. What's hot right now is vampires and romance and over-the-top thrillers.

I don't want to write about vampires. I don't want to write romance. I don't want to write an over-the-top thriller. I want to write about Themistocles. Without Themistocles we would have no democracy. Without Themistocles Western civilization would not exist.

Here is my pitch. I hope my readers enjoy it.

When the world's largest empire threatens to invade his city-state, it is up to Themistocles to unite the factious people of Athens and save its fledgling democracy. To do so, Themistocles must lie, cheat, steal, bribe and bully his way to the top of Athen's fiercly competitive and fatal political game.
Based on the real-life naval commander who led the Greeks to victory over the Persian empire 2,500 years ago, I, Themistocles recounts the life of this extraordinary man through his own words.

Cheers to you, hero of Salamis. I love you and will fight to make your story heard.


Scott Oden said...

Don't be crushed! There are plenty of agents out there who'd be more than willing to take a look at a book about Themistocles. Of course they want the "easy sell" with vampires and that ilk, the next big Twilight-infused epic. But, don't sell historical fiction from a male perspective short ;) It's got longer legs than any half-assed wussy bloodsucker . . .

Mark said...

Sometimes it's the personal stories more than the history they want to initially hear about. If you can play up the relationships in the book, and then talk about the historical side of things I think they'll start to see the light so to speak.

Gary Corby said...

Meghan, 5 rejects is nothing. You're allowed to be slightly concerned after 50 rejections. You can be mildly worried after 100.

Until then, keep submitting.

I wonder if you're targetting the right agents? Have you used QueryTracker to find out who represents historicals? Also, check the notices of the Historical Novel Society. It regularly lists the names of agents who've sold historicals.

Meghan said...

Thanks you guys! I appreciate the support. Gary that's an excellent idea btw. It's my first time every pitching ANYTHING, so I can't say it was awful (at least a couple of people were willing to let me submit something). I'll be sure to check out QueryTracker!

Carla said...

"Nobody wants to read historical fiction from a male perspective."
Except me.