Sunday, July 17, 2011

Auntie B's Book Club Blog Fest!

Brenda Drake is hosting a super amazing first page/pitch blog fest!

Why so amazing?

1) The judges are from her teen book club. Yep. That's right. Teens. As in MY prospective audience. I have a few trusted students who read my stuff, and they give me incredibly awesome feedback, but WOW - what an opportunity for complete objectivity!

Side ramble: Hosting a teen book club? Totally cool. Will definitely be trying this with my daugher and her friends.

2) It's also a contest! The winner will receive a 10 page plus a synopsis critique, and two runners up will receive either a 10 page or a synopsis critique from the fabulous Cassandra Marshall agent intern/editor/cover art designer/writer extraordinaire. Mucho exciting!

Andbutso, I'm posting my pitch and the first 250 words from my manuscript. Then, I'll edit based on feedback and enter on Brenda's blog on July 20. Cool! I'll also be providing feedback to others. A list of all the entrants can be found here. (Psst - you should check them out too!)

Some of you helped me out BIG TIME when I entered my first 250 for Shelley Watters Contest of Awesome, sooo I was, uh...hoping you'd help me again. Please.


ANY feedback is fabulous, so feel free to be constructively brutal! Thanks!

Without further ramblings, my pitch and excerpt from Envious...

Pitch: Seventeen-year old Becky’s best friend kills himself without leaving a single clue. Yet as memories of that fateful night emerge from her subconscious, she suspects she may have had something to do with his death.

And now the first 250...

Mookie’s suicide hit like a sledgehammer to my chest.

He didn’t leave a note. No call. Not even a farewell text. Not a single clue as to why he jumped off the top of our bleachers—over fifty feet up.

They found his body early Sunday morning. They being Mr. Graham, my tenth grade Geometry teacher with a pug nose and a body to match. He arrived at school for a pre-dawn run and spotted Mookie’s sneaker sticking out of the new fallen snow. Then a frostbitten hand nearby it. A frozen pool of blood.

A police car arrived shortly after, then an ambulance. Even a fire engine although I wasn’t sure what that was for. A fire had already been put out—a burning heat that used to fuel my existence was gone.

Mookie lay on his stomach at the bottom of the bleachers, a short rusty stake the claim to his demise. The police concluded he hurdled the protective back, and the stake gouged his heart when he fell on it. Tox reports would take a week, but I knew Mookie’s system contained a combination of weed and booze—how much remained the question. Enough to delude my carefree best friend into thinking he should jump, ending what had seemed to be a great life with a bright future.

Yep. Mookie was my best friend. Most of the time—my only friend. And on January 3 he took his life.

This is where his story ends.

And mine begins.

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to your feedback!


  1. I liked it! Didn't see any real issues.

  2. I think you nailed both the logline and the excerpt. However, I'm not too keen on "This is where his story ends. And mine begins." I think this is implied.
    I definitely would read this book. Well done!

  3. Did you post part of this before? I love it! I didn't see any issues either and it definitely draws you in. Great writing.

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. One of my friends took his own life in high school. On January 3....

    "hurdles the protective back" confused me for a while and I had to read it a few times to figure out what you meant. Maybe protective railing?

    Also, the link that is connected to your Google username (when you leave a comment on my blog) is broken. It says blogpot instead of blogspot.

  5. Dang girl, that was awesome. So well done. I have no doubt you'll be moving on to the next phase of publishing really soon.

    What a cool blogfest!

  6. I'm a little confused by this... She says 'They found him', implying she wasn't there. So how does she know all the details? Did she arrive just after? Is this all hearsay?

    it reads well, but I had this nagging logical part of my brain ringing alarm bells right through.

    The pitch is good; really tells me what the book is about.

  7. Oh, your pitch is incredible. I'd totally read this book off that alone. Good luck!

  8. A really good pitch. I'd love to read more.

  9. I thought your pitch was very, very good and I wanted to read more.

    I wasn't completely convinced by the narrator's voice. If this was her best friend, I'd think she'd sound more despondent. As it is, she seems almost excited to tell the story. I also wasn't sure of the description of Mr. Graham so early on and it really confused me as to why he was at the school bleachers on a Sunday morning. Also, how does your protag know all the details of what happened to Mookie? Was she at the school when his body was found or was this something she read in paper? If it was the paper or hearsay, I think she should say so. It could be as easy as saying something like "The rumor around town is that Mookie..."

    Even with all of that said, I would still want to read on to find out what happened and why Mookie killed himself - or did he? Maybe he was pushed...hmmm :-)

  10. I think the whole thing is well done! No complaints from me :)

    Good luck in the contest!

  11. Could cut "Yet" in the pitch...and I'd probably fiddle around with the wording to get one of the two "she"s out of the last phrase. In a pitch esp, every word counts.

    Sounds like a cool contest! Best of luck!

  12. Awesome contest! I like your pitch. It intrigued me right off the bat.


  13. I think it is well written and keeps the reader wanting to go on, but I agree with a comment above. The narrator sounds like she is excited to talk about her dead best friend. This might get clarified later, but right now the two tones clash. For example, she keeps telling us he was her best friend, only friend, and then she describes how his body was found in (what reads like) morbid fascination.


Yay! I LOVE comments!