Benjamin Sobieck
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  • Elk River, MN
  • United States
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Benjamin Sobieck's Discussions

Too Many Shortcuts? Mental Health in Crime Fiction
28 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Martyn V. Halm Jul 14, 2013.

What a Novella Is and Isn't
8 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jim Courter Jul 25, 2013.

CrimeSpace's IJ Parker Featured on Crime City Central Podcast
8 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by I. J. Parker Dec 20, 2012.

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#329

I broke the rules...unapologetically so.

I rhymed, alliterated, lyricized, used big words, topped it off with an adult narrative. And yes, my word count runneth over. Admittedly, I did it all wrong. Moreover--and perhaps to my own detriment--I firmly maintain that these supposed literary crimes were committed for all the right reasons. The story is better because of these so-called 'flaws', not in spite of them. Now comes the dilemma:

Can even 'the best query letter ever' not only overcome, but actually upsell the very characteristics that have been deemed genre pitfalls?

Dear QueryShark:

Life as I knew it forever changed the day I 'borrowed' that gnome.

So, you're a character in the book?
Using I in a query for anything other than the biography section is confusing.

What started as a harmless prank, soon backfired into a frenzied search for the missing muffin pan. Three pie servers, a rolling pizza cutter, and countless other 'displacements' later...my tightrope toddle along the brink of madness spiraled into the tongue-twisted tale you are about to read.

At this point, I have no idea what kind of book this is.

Some call it 'crazy'. Others call it 'cuckoo'. I prefer to call it: 'clarity'.

I call it confusing.

The lost socks, the misplaced keys, when the 'displaced' are 're-placed' in those spots you searched thrice...

I'm losing my mind here, does that count?


Based on a true story, THE GREAT GNOME COLLECTIVE is a transitional picture storybook of 1250 words. Entertaining meets educational in this lyrical work of modern folklore: a fun read woven through an intricate maze of elevated vocabulary, emphatic punctuation, and eloquent wordplay, all set to complex rhythmic rhyme with a splash of Seussian flair.

Never compare yourself or your work to Dr. Seuss. Let other people do that.

I am best known as (nom du plume): mama to one, auntie to seven, and 'grammar nutsy' to the core. This is my authorial debut, though it is my hope and intent to grow THE..COLLECTIVE into a series of gnome adventures.

Authorial debut sets my teeth on edge.

I'm not sure if that's just me.

This is your first book. Just say so.

Fancy pants writing is best left for dialogue to illustrate hoity toity characters.

Miss Bickerstaff perhaps who refers to her serviettes, and would sooner go without food than sit at a table without flowers. She is someone who might use authorial debut.

One minor concession, if I may: THE GREAT GNOME COLLECTIVE must be--and is found most enjoyable when--read aloud...preferably, *with gusto*. Please do not dismiss this request. The gnomes will know.

I know you're trying to be whimsical and light hearted here.
But please do not dismiss this request isn't something agents find funny. Ever.

Thank you for your time & consideration.


Form rejection.

Why?
Because picture book queries include the entire text of the story.

You can break all the rules that you want, but if you do not give me what I need to evaluate your work, I'm not going to write back and tell you what you did wrong.  I'm going to pass with a form rejection.


Your question:
Can even 'the best query letter ever' not only overcome, but actually upsell the very characteristics that have been deemed genre pitfalls?
You're breaking the wrong rules.


 

Benjamin Sobieck's Page

Profile Information

Hometown:
Minnesota
About Me:
By day, I'm an online editor for an international publisher of enthusiast titles. By night, I write.

I'm the author of crime thriller novel, "Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders," the Maynard Soloman crime fiction short story humor series and many flash fiction works.

See all my titles on my Amazon author page.
I Am A:
Reader, Writer
Website:
http://www.CrimeFictionBook.com
Books And Authors I Like:
I will read anything by Elmore Leonard and Hunter S. Thompson. My favorites. Much of what I read comes from recommendations and authors I meet online.
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
Justified, true crime TV shows, cooking shows

Cleansing Eden - The Celebrity Murders

Cleansing Eden - The Celebrity Murders available for Kindle and in print exclusively through Amazon here.

Cleansing Eden is a highly suspenseful read. Benjamin Sobieck has an inventive way with words. He writes with a voice that's strong and uniquely his.” – Debbi Mack, New York Times bestselling author of the Sam McRae series

Cleansing Eden by Benjamin Sobieck is a gripping story about individuals who give up more and more of themselves over time, becoming the things they hate.” – Michelle Peden Vasquez, Life in Review

“Benjamin Sobieck has got mad skills when it comes to taking complex characters, fantastic crime, murder, drugs, and good vs. evil, rolling them up into one and spitting out a novel that will twist and grip you from beginning to end.” – Molly Edwards, Reviews by Molly

“Drugs. Murder. Charismatic demagogues. What else does a reader need? Ben Sobieck's first book, and a damn good one. He's going to write more. And they will be just as great to read.” – B.R. Stateham, crime author

It's time for brain-dead celebrities to get what they deserve.

After recruiting a drug-addled street rat to do his bidding, an eccentric inventor of designer drugs launches a campaign of violence and manipulation to cleanse the world of impure celebrities.

But as the street rat wakes up to what's really going on, he's not liking what he sees. He's torn between getting sober and the drug-fueled haze that keeps him killing celebrities.

As the body count rises, a decision needs to be made. Either way, someone's going to die.

* Includes bonus short story

Click here to buy the 5-star reviewed Cleansing Eden - The Celebrity Murders e-book from Amazon for the Kindle and in print.

Benjamin Sobieck's Videos

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Benjamin Sobieck's Blog

Big News: Writer's Digest to Publish My Weapons E-Book

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 11:26pm — 4 Comments

Someecards Writer Humor

Posted on November 22, 2012 at 6:21am

How a Fictional Detective Made a Real-World Impact

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 11:00pm

Comment Wall (37 comments)

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At 4:05pm on July 6, 2011, Noir Nation said…

Hi Benjamin,  the discussion on the forum about social commentary in crime fiction has gotten quite a lot of responses.  This has inspired us at Noir Nation to add a new section to the first issue of Noir Nation wherein writers opine on the following question: Must crime noir have a moral point?  The word limit is 300 to 500 words. Include short bio, and photo. There is a $25 honoraria, payable on publication. Best five get published in Issue No. 1. Send to eddie@evegaonline.com

 

-- Eddie Vega, Noir Nation editor in chief
At 5:52am on June 28, 2011, Noir Nation said…
You just might find him or her in the first issue of Noir Nation, due out in September.
At 8:20am on June 13, 2011, I. J. Parker said…
Great!  Side-loaded?  Who knew?
At 1:07am on June 13, 2011, I. J. Parker said…
Thanks, Benjamin, for the link.  The book is doing amazingly well, publicity-wise. A lot of people willing to help.  You, too!  Thank you.
At 4:12am on May 21, 2011, Jennifer Chase said…

Hi Ben,  Would love to submit to your blog (great blog by the way :).  Let me know which ones.  I have some others I'm working on about fingerprints too.   -Jen (contact: jchase2000@aol.com)

 

At 1:11pm on April 27, 2011, Laura L. Cooper said…
Thanks for the invite.  BTW loved the cover and title for WHO WHACKED THE BLOGGER?  Good luck with the story!
At 3:52am on February 25, 2011, Dorte said…
Thanks for your mail. Will take a look at your website + stories later - have got the flu right now :(
At 3:09pm on September 14, 2010, Copper Smith said…
Remember Goofus's and Gallant?
Read all about Goofus's drift to the dark side in 'Always the bad example.'
At 4:22pm on June 23, 2010, Melissa Emerald said…
Now I see the problem. I can't read. But I never let that stop me from writing. Besides, in journalism, we all just looked at the photos. :-)

You wrote, "I asked a retired newspaper reporter (no, they don't all fall off the wagon before 40) how long articles should be. He answered, "Until it's done.""

"Until it's done" or "As many as it takes" used to be the word count for news stories. These days, what with short reader attention spans and the high cost of newsprint, short is in. Editors at the paper I used to work for generally liked a story to be between 8 and 14 inches ... unless it's a juicy one.

As far as books go, take a look at the links that I posted in your thread. I think those will be good guidelines for all of us. At least that's what this unpublished writer is shooting for. :-)
At 4:01pm on June 23, 2010, Melissa Emerald said…
Ah...I thought I read a post where you said you were a retired newspaper reporter ... something I rarely hear of. Most of my colleagues can't afford to retire. Even more sad, most of my colleagues (including me) are victims of newsroom downsizing.

BTW ... I'm jealous of that $42.71 401k you've got going there. I think mine has $22.50. On the up side, being much older than you means I don't need to make mine last as long. :-)
 
 
 

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