In my spare time at the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop in 2009, I read Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain and I am not surprised to see it still prominently displayed today in my local bookstore. While this is not typically my type of book, being a dog person, I’ll read a dog book every once in a while. This particular book is unusual and appealing to me because it is narrated by Enzo the dog.
It’s easy to read and broadly appeals to men and women. The main character is a race car driver and should interest anyone who wants to know more about racing. It’s humorous, dramatic, tragic and hopeful. If this is up your alley, then read or listen to this one.
Here is something for the writers out there:
Jeff Kleinman, Garth’s literary agent, was at the SCWW conference in 2009 and participated in an open forum on a panel of agents, answering questions from aspiring writers. I asked Jeff if he remembered Garth’s query letter to him. Garth’s query letter was simple and straightforward. Since Jeff has agented a book narrated by a crow, Garth was hopeful Jeff might have interest in a book narrated by a dog; his current agent did not. He included a synopsis of the book for Jeff to read if he was interested in knowing more. He had previously published a couple of books, won awards for his work and had a connection to the agent. Jeff commented at the conference that Garth’s writing was smooth and elegant, and pointed out the importance of a well-written professional query letter.
Three months after the 2009 conference, Jeff provided us with Garth’s query letter and a detailed commentary on Chuck Sambuchino’s blog at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries-agent-jeff-kleinman-and-the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain