Thank you for taking the time to look me up and for requesting a submission of my manuscript. I feel honored and flattered that you are interested.
However, I have received advice to latch on to an agent and to let him or her do all the selling and deal making.
Therefore, I regret to tell you that I will not be submitting my manuscript to you for your review.
I have made this decision partly against the urging of my heart, yet my head demands that I obey the competent advice I have paid to receive.
Again, thank you for your interest in my work.
In the mid eighties, David Hendricks, a chiropractor turned entrepreneur, was indicted for the massacre of his wife and three children with an axe a month following the discovery of the mutilated bodies in their beds by police in Illinois. He was convicted and subsequently sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Hendricks spent seven years in state prison before he was granted a new trial by the Illinois Supreme Court and acquitted by a second jury. While incarcerated, Hendricks married a prison groupie with two children only to divorce her shortly after winning his freedom. First relocating to Ohio from the Menard Correctional Center, Hendricks wound up in Florida: Lutz to be exact, a suburb of Tampa.
I contacted Hendricks by phone from Florida while there on other business, but missed the opportunity of actually meeting him in person. His message back on my answering service a day later claimed to remember me as “the tennis player who dated Dawn Rueger.” The recollection wasn’t entirely correct. Though high school friends, I never actually went out with the sexy redhead who once modeled back braces designed by Hendricks, and who was one of a series of young women the State paraded in front of the jury in the first trial to say that this self-professed devout Christian and loyal family man fondled them under the guise of a proper fitting for his prosthetic device.
Hendricks and I spoke at length about the book he was writing, titled Tom Henry: Confession of a Killer as Told to His Prison Cellmate, David Hendricks. He had spent the last several years researching the facts concerning the case of his pal at Menard. Explaining a little about my past and background as a literary scout, I said that I might be able to help him place the book with a publisher in New York.
Hendricks took me at my word, and we made arrangements for him to send me what he had. He stressed that this was his “last shot at fame,” so he was very concerned about approaching the marketing of his work in the right way. I assured him his material was safe with me, saying that the best I could offer was an honest reading and that we could then proceed from there.
But, alas, as he so eloquently put it in his note, and as sometimes happens, his head simply got the better of his heart.