Hi Mindi,

I hope you're good. I had a chance to look at The Fake McCoy and wanted to drop you a line. This is a really tough one for me--I think you're a really solid writer and have clearly put a lot of work into this book. And at the heart of it, you do have a really emotional story to tell. But somehow I had a really hard time getting into the story. Perhaps because so much of Seth's defining experience is off-camera, perhaps because he's still not a very likable character at the beginning and has a lot of growing to do. As I began the book, I almost expected that first party to be the one in which his friend dies. Also, in considering this book alongside titles such as STORY OF A GIRL or SPEAK, I'm not sure this hits the right emotional tone at the onset--and I worry that Rosetta "fixing him" is a bit contrived.
But what I kept coming back to is the polished writing, which makes me feel that you have a lot of potential and a definite career ahead of you. So, while I'm unfortunately going to pass on this particular novel, I really hope you'll keep me in loop on future projects. I'd love to have a chance to see other work of yours.
Thanks so much for tracking me down after my agency switch. Please stay in touch!
All best,

I was going to let this note stand on its own, but I can't resist this one explanation:  I don't feel like Rosetta "fixes him" at all.  I feel like Seth starts the path completely on his own.  Getting to know her helps him keep going.  But--and the same is true for the "fixing" of Rosetta--ultimately, he didn't change because of her.  He didn't do it for her.  On the last page, when he makes a decision to do one final thing for his arc he says:

I was going to [do it].  For her. 

And for me. 

And that's exactly the point for me.  The whole entire reason for the journey summed up in those three words right there.  He would do it for her, but she wasn't what it was all about.  She just gave him an additional reason.

Anyway.  The "contrived" part of the agent's comment might still stand regardless of how I see it.  But I couldn't just post this here in my journal and let it go without commenting.  I just couldn't!