It’s funny the kind of thing that can get a person’s back up. We all have reactions to different things, heaven knows, but the result of one of my knee jerk responses will give you a chance to win a copy of any one of the Home Crafting Mysteries – including Wined and Died when it comes out this July if you’d like.
When I was, er, pre-published, a writing instructor friend told me (and several others) that a particular agent mentioned that authors were wildly overusing a certain name in the submissions she’d been receiving. This agent had in fact decided that as soon as she saw that character name in a manuscript, she would reject it.
That seemed a bit like overkill. I mean, really, what kind of criteria is that in the age of search-and-replace? Changing a name in a manuscript is easy peasy. There are lots of reasons to quickly reject a query, but that just doesn’t seem like a good one.
Never mind that I happened to have a variation of that name in the mystery manuscript I was shopping to agents at the time: Lye in Wait.
I didn’t change it. In fact, now every one of the Home Crafting Mysteries so far has some version of that name.
The first person to guess (or know) what that name is in a comment here on Hearth Cricket, on Twitter (@CricketMcRae), on my Facebook wall, or even emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a copy of the Home Crafting Mystery of their choice.
We have a winner!
Ruth, who subscribes to Hearth Cricket via email, remembered that in Something Borrowed, Something Bleu there is a Sheriff Jaikes. The name the agent didn’t like was Jake, and besides the good sheriff there is a Jacob in Lye in Wait, a Maryjake in Heaven Preserve Us, and a Dr. Jake Beagle in Spin a Wicked Web.
I may have gotten that out of my system now. ; )
Thanks for playing!