It's my submissions day! (I am making that term up, but feel free to send me a Starbuck's giftcard to mark the day.)

To celebrate the day my agent has sent off my pitch to various publishers, (she does all the work and I do all the celebrating--this is a great gig) the following is a list of several of my little darlings that were killed by the Liz the literary agent. If you like any of them, please respond somehow. If you agree with Liz (that these lines deserved the painful death to which they were sentenced) please keep it to your self and your therapist (who you are going to need if you make it through this sampling.

Some of the killed darlings:

1) ...but it occurred to Marco there was another motivation at play, deep below the surface like a giant grouper, lurking malevolently in the coral. (of note, Marco is a fisherman so the giant grouper simile pertains, No?)

2) Blood trickled out of his mouth, coloring his beard red. His intestines spilled out from the wound in his abdomen, spewing forth a noxious mixture of blood and stool. (How could anyone not like this line! Tell Liz next time you see her.)

3)..but at least she wouldn't confuse herself with someone who could get to heaven on her own merit, as if she didn't need His Grace for anything more than a tiara to adorn her head as she walked through the pearly gates. (It pained me to cut that one... how many times can you put the word 'tiara' into a thriller?)

4)But it was the smell that would plague him the most, the scent of sweat and terror that lingered despite the heavy aroma of the caper bushes that clung to the rocks below his window. (I can almost smell the capers...)

5)He passed a small church on a hill top and wondered if the parishioners were goats and cows, because they were the only living creatures he'd seen since leaving the main road. Not that he was complaining, because it wasn't often that a barnyard animal was able to identify a car or remember a plate number; of course, anything was possible in this infernal country. (I thought humor was always good?)

6)... her blue shirt had darkened with sweat, and clung to the heavy swell of her breasts with a tenacity that left little to the imagination. (And I didn't even read 50 Shades... maybe I should have!)

7)He assumed he was having an unpleasant dream--if the gentle pressure of her heavy breasts against his chest could be interpreted as unpleasant.

8)Could a dream really be this soft? Could a delusion really smell as good as she smelled, as if he were ensconced in a thicket of honeysuckle. (Honeysuckle smells really good!)

I think you get the point. To be fair, in many cases the lines were cut because of their effect on pacing. Absolution (my book) is a thriller, and the pacing needs to be fast--too much description slows (as I have learned.) But hopefully you have a sense of what I was taking about in earlier posts, and it was fun to air these lines out a little. If you liked a line, let me know. If reading one of the above lines made you search for a sharp instrument to stick in your eye, you can tell me that too. After five years of this, I have developed a thick skin.

Thanks for your attention, and please share the link. I now have editors reading the ms and the more blog views the better.


  1. A couple comments:

    First, the first two sentences are so blatantly Peter Hogenkamp, it's not even funny. I'm not sure what that says, though, if I attribute your "voice" to sentences that you have eliminated from your book...

    Second, I really liked #4. I see why it could be an issue with pacing, but I like it nonetheless!

    As for #6 and #7... I'll just leave those two alone

  2. I agree with John Pole and liked #1...but also #5..cows, goats, Vermont hilltops and small churches. What's not to like there? I would have replaced "because" with "after all" in the first line of #5...but I liked it.

  3. I kind of liked #4 too. Maybe it was the stench, terror, caper combo?

  4. Funny! Thank you for sharing these axed darlings so transparently. You have a great sense of humor and I wish you HUGE success with your book.
    P.S. Liz is my agent, too!

  5. Just found your great news over on QT and had to wish you tons of luck! Can't wait to more terrific news :)


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