- Christina Fotinelli
Jürgen Koskinen’s agent is trying to let him down gently. He has suffered through six excruciating drafts of Jürgen’s latest ‘dirty cop reluctantly pairs with on-the-spectrum detective to uncover a fetishist serial killer’ novel and Marti's blood pressure reader is beseeching him to read no further.
Knowing that Jürgen laminates his rejection letters and stuffs them in his bedclothes, as a bizarre act of mortification of the flesh, Marti is reluctant to deal the final blow. But his Editor is threatening to downgrade him to soft-cover crafting manuals if he doesn’t cut Jürgen loose and land the next big crime writer. After all, the literary Scandi crime wave isn’t going to be a fan favourite forever. Readers are fickle. Audiences of highly profitable TV adaptations, even more so. Marti has no choice.
Ever since you won the blue ribbon in Mrs. Aarnio's essay competition, your future as one of Scandinavia's brightest literary lights was foretold. The nuance with which you captured your family's off-season, low-budget holiday in the Archipelago had us enthralled. The whole school, all ten of us, were convinced from the tender age of eight that your humble ribbon was a precursor to a Pulitzer, nay a Nobel.
You got close, too. No matter how the judges mocked your oeuvre, never doubt to me you were a winner.
If You Can't Trust Your Agent, Who Can You Trust?
Have I ever misled you? Lied? Inflated projections? Increased my cut, even when your sales faltered? Perhaps, but you have always been my favourite author, Jürgen. That is why this is so hard.
For decades, I have flogged your work to publishers far and wide. I have nourished you through vomit drafts and writer's block. I have convinced sub-editors not to throttle you on account of your deplorable grammar. I have - and thanklessly might I add - saved you from career annihilation. To clear this up once and for all, zombie-themed haikus in iambic pentameter were never going to be a thing!
And before you even broach it. No Jürgen, no one is interested in your memoirs. You're a hermit. You live in a desolate cabin, bathe weekly, and eschew daily discourse for a furtive wave to the odd, passing reindeer. Not exactly bestseller material. Is it? #wildernesschicissoyesterday
All Suns Set, All Candles Burn, All Lights Fade
The long and short of it is that I have some bad news but words fail me so I leave it to the master of Country Music, Mr. Kenny Rogers, to say it with grace.
"You've got to know when to hold'em
Know when to fold'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run"
There is new blood out there, Jürgen. They are hungry, they are prolific, and they are good! You had your moment. Put down your quill. Pull the ribbon out of your typewriter. Snap the lead from your pencil point.
Your draft sucks. Come to think of it, so have the earlier five. #epicfail Sit this one out, mate. And the next one. And maybe all the rest after that.
Have You Thought of Writing a Blog? Or tweeting?
On a lighter note, it is my sworn duty as your agent to keep your back catalogue selling briskly. IMHO, now may be an opportune time to take to the internet. Lick your wounds. Bemoan your fate. Shake your pen at those who have succeeded where you have faltered. Be bold. Be bitter. #willwriteforlikes #followme #sackedwriterseeksfans
Say it in140 characters or less and the world will rally as you embrace your next literary adventure. Plus, no one to harpoon your grammar or limit your ambition here.
On the off chance this works and you find yourself back on a bestseller list - no matter how obscure - I have prepared the attached anthology of Jürgen Koskinen’s abridged works. It's a slim volume and I've yet to find someone willing to write the introduction but I remain cautiously optimistic. G2G, BFN.