Joe Hoffman (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 12:24:43 -0500 Hi David:

If you like dark fiction, have you read Dark Matter by Garfield
Reeves-Stevens.? And if so, what did you think?

It is probably the darkest book I have ever read, and I slept with the
nightlight on for days afterwards.

Anita Hoffman
-----Original Message-----
From: David Hale Smith <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 12:34 AM
Subject: RARA-AVIS: RE: Agent to RARA-AVIS


Thanks for your post and your questions. As an agent who actively seeks out
crime fiction, I see a ton of stuff claiming to be hardboiled fiction, but
not only is it not hardboiled, it is not even good. Among other clients (I
handle both fiction and nonfiction), I represent Greg Rucka, Gary Phillips,
Richard Abshire, Clay Harvey and the quickly-becoming-infamous-on-the-list,
Boston Teran. They are not all hardboiled authors, of course, but in this
market I just try to look for stuff I can sell and if possible, also be
proud to have on my client list.

I am a huge fan of hardboiled and noir fiction, counting authors such as
Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, James Ellroy,
Charles Willeford, James Crumley, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosely, James Lee
Burke, Ross Macdonald and Lawrence Block (mostly his early Scudder novels)
among my favorites not just in crime but in all of fiction. The darker the
better for me. I also read and dig a lot of suspense and thriller fiction
in a dark vein, such as Thomas Harris, John Sanford, Stephen Hunter, and
Jeffrey Deaver, to name a few.

Honestly, presenting fiction to publishers as hardboiled in this market is
like meeting your prom date's father with bourbon on your breath and a
roscoe snugged in your belt, then eyeballing her gams and belting dad in the
beezer. It makes for a great story, but not a great impression. When I
presented God is a Bullet, I didn't call it hardboiled although the female
hero of this book certainly is that. I did call it a "dark thriller" and
said it contained classic noir elements. I also pitched it as a book that
transcends genre classification and stands on its own as a work of superb
fiction. Knopf is publishing it as "Fiction," and I think it deserves that,
but I think most of the writers I mentioned above deserve that, too. But
you may also notice that Knopf has worked hard to get BULLET into book
stores that specialize in crime because they know that there is a great core
audience for fiction with a hard edge.

There's my three cents.


DHS Literary, Inc.
6060 N. Central, Suite 624
Dallas, TX 75206
214-363-4422, x100

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