FROM THE DESK
OF EUGENE SIMMONS,
EDITOR, SIMON & SCHUSTER
Re: Hardy Boys Manuscript Submission
Thank you for your submission of a Hardy Boys mystery. As explained in our submission guidelines, to appeal to today’s readers, the Hardy Boys series seeks to bring a contemporary feel to its newest offerings. While we here at Simon & Schuster fully appreciate your efforts to modernize the characters and their adventures, as per our instructions, we have some concerns with your draft.
First and foremost, we are unpersuaded that the subject matter of The Case of the Secret Meth Lab is appropriate for our readers. We understand that the manufacturing of narcotics in otherwise bucolic towns has indeed become a problem. That said, we ask you whether Joe Hardy would realistically go undercover and turn into what his brother repeatedly refers to as a “crankhead.”
Page 42: While it is important to end each chapter with a cliffhanger, we don’t think Frank pacing outside the bathroom door while his girlfriend, Callie, uses a First Response pregnancy test is consistent with the Hardy Boys formula. And he certainly shouldn’t be muttering under his breath about doubts that it’s even his.
Page 50: Colorful banter between the brothers is, of course, to be expected. Please reconsider, however, whether Joe would tell Frank to “grow a pair.” Further, Joe would not dismiss Frank’s suggestion to call for help with “Step off, bitch. I know what I’m doing.”
Page 57: Lighthearted exchanges with family members have always been a staple of the series. We are having trouble, however, with Aunt Gertrude “tying a few on” and playfully commenting that Frank is “a little light in the loafers.” On that note, Frank’s adamant attempt to persuade Chet Morton that it is entirely normal for boys to skinny-dip together and his persistent requests for help applying sunblock are probably out of bounds. Question: When did Frank develop a lisp?
Page 60: We encourage including Nancy Drew in the adventure as it represents great cross-marketing with our other adventure series. We would think it goes without saying, however, that she would not have, nor even contemplate, surgical enhancement. Please delete all references to her “killer rack.”
Page 72: While we understand that violence is a necessary part of any adventure series, we think it best that it be downplayed and referred to as delicately as possible. Neither Frank nor Joe has ever “popped a cap” in anyone’s posterior and they never will. Furthermore, we would prefer that Joe’s “going medieval” on the villain in this scene explicitly refer to a swift uppercut punch. Period.
Page 80: What’s a “k-hole”? Please clarify.
We look forward to receiving your revisions. Please bear in mind that we are well aware of the difficulties of maintaining a proper balance between the series’ original concept and the need to reflect current social and cultural norms. That said, your proposal for the next book in the series, The Mystery of the Hot Girl in the Night-Cam Video, is likely not headed in the right direction.