Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Looking for...Outdoor Adventure, Religion & History, oh my...

Ah, the best laid plans….

I had intended to do a daily blog entry about what I’m going to be looking for, but the start of a new intern and a raft of contracts that needed reading has set me back a bit. But here I am, with a few more subjects:

Outdoor or Sporting Adventure, with an emphasis on sea-going stories or diving adventures.

Publishers like to call this “armchair adventure,” because you get to sit at home in your comfy armchair and read about some other poor idiot who lost his life—or certainly risked it—on the high seas or below them. There have been more than a few such best-sellers and publishers—and therefore TZC—are looking for more. So if you tried to sail around Cape Horn and got hijacked by pirates and left for dead on a deserted island, only to survive when you lashed together stale pretzels into a life raft, I’d like to hear from you. Or if you found yourself deep in an underwater cave, running out of air, facing off with a Great White, please let me know.

Also, if you climbed a mountain and had to eat your climbing partner to survive, or raced to the North Pole and wrestled a polar bear along the way, I’m the agent for you.

Or anything similar provided that the adventure is of the nail-biting type and the writing is compelling. Note, you don’t need to be John Updike in writing this kind of thing, but please don’t be Forrest Gump, either.

Nonfiction Inspiration and Spirituality.

Okay, I have to be careful here. I have no desire to offend anyone. But I also have no desire for crackpot religious types to be writing me. Everyone in publishing has seen these. If you don’t have a job, write by hand, and are sequestered in a tree house because it brings you closer to G-d, then I’m probably not interested. If you have faced a real trial and found that your relationship with G-d helped save you, then I would be interested. You can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Pagan, I don’t care. What’s important is that others will be intrigued, impressed, and inspired. And remember, one important word above is “nonfiction.” I don’t believe in “creative nonfiction.” I believe in the real thing. So if you’re making any of it up, embellishing, etc., I’m not for you.

Religious History.

Are you a PhD in religious studies or divinity? Have something on Biblical history, philosophy, analysis, etc.? I’d like to hear about. I’m especially interested in works that explore the historical basis of the Bible or look at Biblical places or events and try to tie them into real history.

Judaism/Jewish Life.

Are you Jewish and writing about ancient or more contemporary Jewish life? I’d like to hear from you. Are you Anita Diamont? My phone number is…. But please, please, please have better credentials than just “I’ve always been interested in Judaism.” It’s not just about the subject. It’s also about the writer, and the writer has to have more going for them than a passion for the subject.

Ancient Cultures.

Maybe it’s because I’m addicted to ROME on HBO, but I would love to see more written about those times, but in an accessible manner and perhaps not weighing more than an anvil. Again, you have to have the credentials to write such a work, and not merely be “passionately interested.” Hence, if you are not a trained historian, your work is likely not salable to a publisher.

Also, I confess to being very interested in Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle. While not exactly “ancient cultures,” if you happen to be the next Charles Berlitz, bring it on.

More soon….



Anthony S. Policastro said...

I think the information in the blog is great. It's like I called you on the phone and asked, "Hello, Mr. Zack, what type of manuscripts are you looking for? What types of books do you think you can sell to the big six?"

I would like to pick your brain a bit more if you don't mind. Why did you choose these particular categories?

Andrew Zack said...

Thanks for the appreciation. If you delve deeply enough into the past posts, I explain what drove me to pick these various categories.


Christy Lenzi said...


Thanks for being so specific. Do you think you'll be open to (ancient) historical fiction in the near future?

Andrew Zack said...

You'll just have to keep reading here, as I add new categories....

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