Inside the lonely "newsroom of the future"
12 hours ago
I’m ’s husband . She’s been urging me to write you regarding a novel I’ve written.
Shoot the Devil is the first part of the “life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly.” It opens in 1970 as Buddy Don Duncan drops out of his east Tennessee high school and runs away to California. His purpose is to avoid repeating his father’s life, but he soon finds himself back in Tennessee, married to the first girl he’d ever kissed, and living the very life he’d hoped to escape. By the novel’s end, he has divorced, survived his own suicide attempt, confronted many of his and his generation’s demons, and begun understanding how hard his task really is.
One of the things that makes this novel different and fun is that it’s rendered entirely in “hillbilly” dialect. This causes the reader to hear the music of the language and duplicates the story-telling methods my elders used when telling stories after dinner in the hills of east Tennessee. A couple of paragraphs will demonstrate best what I mean (and warn you of what you’d be getting into should you be so kind as to read a sample of the novel):we made it to texarkana by nex mornin. by then id made friens with sum of them other folk on the bus, n one verr frienly feller bought me a cup of coffee. twuz the furst id ever drunk n i wuz so grateful i dint think to ask fer innythang in it. been a'drankin my coffee black ever since.As for me, I’ve been writing as a “writer” since I wrote a poem almost by accident at age eleven. That started a life-long habit that has led to only one “success,” assuming you measure success by publication or production: a play I wrote, , was produced as a one-act comedy twice and as a musical twelve times, including two off-off Broadway productions.
i calld mama with my last 80 cents n she cried n wunderd why n all, but twuz the way the worl wurks n she knew it deep down inside so she never yellt nor sed inny discurgin wurds tho she did wunder wuther id stole the moon pies, witch funny thang wuz, i wuz tempted to lie bout it, but i cum clean n had to listn to how that mint my bruthers n sisters wood have to do without n bout then my money run out so the conversayshun ended without us a'sayin good bye n all or even i luv you.
I have experimented with almost every form (poems, stories, plays, screenplays, songs, essays, and forty years of a journal). The one form I seem to stumble over is the query letter. Though I have completed several novels, when it comes time to write a query letter to sell one, I turn to writing the next chapter instead.
I hope you will allow me to send you a larger sample of the novel, whether in printed or electronic form. I understand from  that this is not the kind of work you normally handle, but I hope you might be able to steer me to an agent who would be willing to take a chance on it.
Thank you for your time,