imageA literary agent lets us guess why the book, Fortune’s Fool, will only be self-published. Of course we have seen non-fiction works about the shroud that are weirder:

Dear [Agent]:

A Tudor earl and hero joins an illicit faction of the Church of England to steal the Turin Shroud from the Vatican before Sir Walter Raleigh and his rival group can subject it to black magic and thus become an invincible danger to Queen Elizabeth’s throne [Some day I gotta put together a list of the most unbelievable Guess the Plots that turned out to be the real plot.] in my 111,000-word fantasy novel Fortune’s Fool.

When Earl Hertford and Raleigh mix up the magic cloth with a number of decoys, both men escape the pursuing Catholic Church possessing a Shroud each believes authentic. [When you go into the Vatican gift shop and see an entire rack of Shrouds of Turin, you can be pretty sure the real one isn’t among them.] Unfortunately, they are not the only dupes, for their activities have drawn the attention of a being from outside our world who may be either an angel seeking to reclaim the Shroud from human abuse or something far worse.* [An angel ought to know that the fake Shroud is the one with the label that says Made in China.] [Also, what’s with the asterisk?]

The being begins murdering off both factions, who should stand between it and the throne instead of constantly infighting. [Imagine the being’s embarrassment when he kills a couple dozen people only to end up with the Shroud of Hong Kong.] [Is there something more specific we can call the being instead of “the being”?] Hertford digs through secrecy put up by his allies as well as his enemies until he finds that the power behind the Shroud also drives the being and he can use one to destroy the other– a truth neither the Catholic Church nor his own countrymen will accept. [Come to think of it, I don’t accept it.] Abandoned by his allies, Hertford must destroy not only this being but also a sinister third party responsible for the rumors of Raleigh’s intentions and determined to destroy him and everything he holds dear. [Ah, so it was only a rumor that Sir Walter Raleigh was going to subject the Shroud of Turin to black magic and become invincible. Amazing how many people will believe a rumor, no matter how ridiculous it sounds.]

The plot is similar in vein to [books]. [I would rather know that it’s similar in theme or in plot or in tone or even in length than in “vein.”] [Why am I not surprised that your attempt to think of books this is similar to has thus far been in vain?] [I am approaching you [Agent Name], because of [reason specific to agent].

Thank you for your consideration and time. An SASE is enclosed for your reply. May I send you the manuscript, which runs to 111,000 words?


Source:  Evil Editor: Evil Editor Classics