Val Landi's novel A Woman from Cairo is an interesting case study, one which is worth keeping an eye on.
A while back, Val got the kind of phone call that many writers dream of but never actually get: a big-time agent ringing to say that she loves the book. In Val's case it was Jean Naggar, who represents Jean Auel, of Clan of the Cave Bear fame, NBA winner Mary Morris McGarry, and New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin, among others.
What is more, Val got taken to lunch.
So far, A Woman of Cairo has collected a number of what is known as rave rejections, some of which you can read in the latest post on his blog. And he is beginning to wonder if his book is perhaps a bit too realistic for today's market, which favours more escapist books. Or at least, that is what he has been told.
Well, we shall see. In the meantime you may just care to note that finding an enthusiastic agent is one thing (and damned hard); finding an enthusiastic publisher is yet another step; and finding an enthusiastic publisher who thinks that your book is just the ticket for the modern reader is a third step.
I don't think I ever implied that this business is easy, did I?