January 1, 1887
Dear Doctor Arthur Conan Doyle,
In the already saturated field of detective fiction, I look for memorable characters with staying power. I want characters that are unique, will create excitement and live on beyond the present. A powerful presence that could be featured on stage and screen and in advertising for generations to come! I need characters that transcend the written word and explode off the page. Gaston Leroux’s, Joseph Rouletabille with his wonderfully round head, or Arthur Morrison’s, Martin Hewitt, are excellent examples of detectives with staying power. These are the kinds of detectives in which the reading public hunger for and gravitate toward. These are brilliant detectives whose names people around the world associate with that of a detective today, tomorrow, and will continue to do so centuries from now. Regrettably, I see no future for Shlock. Wait, what’s his name? See what I mean? I’ve already forgotten.
I have been in the writing and editing business for over 30 years. I, if I may say so myself, know a good story and good characterization when I see it. In A Study in Scarlet, I don’t see it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I’d like to give you a word of advice, sir. Don’t quit your day job. Stick to doctoring and forget about writing. There is no future in it for you. Well, that’s actually 20 words. Should you insist on a writing career, please listen to me and abandon this crazy Holmes idea. I’m certain the reading public would be more receptive and be more likely to purchase anything else, including some exciting historical fiction over your detective and his less than bright sidekick.
Thank you for your submission. I’m confident you will place your story elsewhere.
Happy New Year!
Detectives R Us