I've just had a terrible shock. I have been taking my time meandering through all your author's websites. There is so much to read on the blog AND also to keep up with the daily writing you do, fun commenters, other blogs, my own work and then, of course my full time gig, mothering/homeschooling.
I just read this in the works of Phillip DePoy: "2013 December's Thorn... Fever's wife? The mythology of Tristan and Isolde combines with Fever's dim past". And this: "To his family home in Blue Mountain, a small town in Georgia's Appalachian Mountains."
I know my story and this one cannot be the same at all from the little blurb I have read. My ms was written last summer before I had even heard of your blog. My point is, my story takes place in Appalachia in the Georgia Mountains and the mythology of Tristan and Isolde combine with my character's lives as well. It wouldn't/couldn't happen again, such an odd coincidence? But what if I did query you and there were these bizarre similarities? What if I hadn't gone through all your authors books and queried?! I might not comb through other agent's websites as I do yours. This is so strange, would an agent see something like this as a joke? Or worse somehow, along the lines of plagiarism???
Yikes my heart skipped a beat. To have two such strange coincidences...if this book also has to do with the Foxfire Magazine...errg. It's not like being queried for another vampire novel. It just seems so strange. I know I am overreacting. Would you notice something like this? And if so what would your reaction be?
I most likely will not notice if you too use a long established literary trope like Tristan and Isolde as the narrative blueprint for your novel. Well, I'll notice the Tristan and Isolde part, I just won't assume you're lifting it wholesale from one of my client's books.
Tristant and Isolde is everyone's to use. As is Romeo and Juliet. As is "a monkey and horse walked in to a bar."
On the other hand, we're going to have some problems if you query me for an ex-military policeman, doing the vagabond shuffle, carrying only a toothbrush, and getting into trouble in cafes where he drinks too much coffee.
That's NOT a trope, that's a fully fleshed out character and Lee Child isn't a guy you'd want to steal from.
Do you see the difference?
And even if you lifted every single element of Phillip DePoy's amazing Fever story, unless you write as well as he does, you're out of luck that I'd want to read it.
As long as you really are doing your own work you'll be ok.