Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Flying Monkeys

So, what's in a great book pitch? I know you're dying to know. Well, flying monkeys. That's what. And if that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to you, well, let me explain... 

But first, let me digress. A scant few week's ago, I participated in pitchapoolza, sponsered by the The Book Doctors. It was a lot of literary fun. The Doc's received almost 800 pitches from wanna be's like me. And selected 25 for critique during pitchapoolza. Mine wasn't selected. But since I bought their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, I won a free 20 minute consult with David Henry Sterry. He's such a character! He has numerous titillating books under his belt, he's married to an agent and has lived a life that literary tales are made from. The take away? You guessed it. No flying monkeys. To make a long story short, it was like I was pitching the Wizard of Oz, but omitted the good stuff, like you know, flying monkeys. My pitch was not all that and a bag of chips. But, I thought it would be fun to post my old pitch and then later on, when I insert the flying monkeys, I'll post the revision. And all of you will be shocked and amazed. You may even have monkey nightmares like I used to have. Ha!

The Pitch

Something happened before the death of my father. A seed was planted. An idea burrowed its way into my brain and festered. But that was O.K. It needed time to grow and spread its tentacles. I know all about growing seeds. I’m a farmer’s daughter. The challenge was taking these beginnings that were rooted in reality and slowly weaving them into something else. A hybrid. A story that was inspired by real life events but is a complete work of fiction. They say that real life is stranger than fiction. I say that real life is scarier than fiction. The inexplicable series of events that preceded the death of my father inspired The Chorus of the Crows.

Sharon Wagner
The Chorus of the Crows

Oren Walton is a farmer. He has worked the land of his birth for his entire life and persevered through unthinkable loss, never losing his innate sense of humor. Now, he has Parkinson’s. A disease that is pushing his good nature to the limits of human comprehension. He’s hallucinating. Or, at least that is what his daughter Sedona and lady friend Lavinia are trying to persuade him to accept. He doesn’t believe it. And when Oren finds love with a mysterious new comer, he down right refuses to believe it. But one thing is certain for everyone that loves Oren. The struggle these hallucinations create and the mystery that surrounds them will never be forgotten.

So that was the pitch. But before my consult, I came up with character descriptions. If you're curious, check them out. It was kind of fun actually. 

The cast...

Oren Walton

Oren was raised to be a steadfast, upstanding citizen of Bird Hall. The small, rural town is the only home he has ever known. And hard work is the frame work of his life. He was naturally blessed with good humor. But, that innate gift is being sorely tested. In several twists of fate, forces unknown to him threaten to pull apart the very foundation of his life. His only question is, why in the holy hell does the good lord torture him so? First, his wife and son are taken from him. Now, he has this gall darn disease. And after all of that bad luck, he's supposed to believe he's hallucinating the best thing that has happened to him since his wife Amelie? No, it can't be. His new gal is real. She has to be. But he can't deny that things just keep getting weirder with every passing day.

Sedona Walton

Sedona abruptly quits her job in true country music song fashion. Not that she would listen to that crap. Her dad needs her anyway. He's sick. And his Parkinson's is escalating. He's hallucinating for god's sake. Moving home is the least she can do. And, besides, ensuring he doesn't marry her uptight old teacher Lavinia is a top priority. She didn't expect much from the small town where she grew up. In fact, she expected the worst!  Especially since there are so many devastating memories embedded there. But, sometimes, things can surprise you. Like Jeb for one.

Amelie Walton

I died. But I still live. I live on through my precious words. Words that are being read by my beautiful daughter Sedona as we speak. If I could reach out from beyond the grave to ensure she keeps reading, I would. It could solve everything.

Lavinia Swift

Lavinia is determined to win over her old high school crush Oren, even if neither of them are spring chickens anymore. When she retired from teaching and her husband La Verne died, the loneliness was overwhelming. Sure, she plays cards with her friends, attends church and speed walks her way to good health. But, would a little romance be too much to ask for? 

Jebediah Landon

Jebediah's dreams of a life on stage were dashed a long time ago. Maybe he'll never be a screen star or even act in an off-Broadway play, but, he can still hold an audience spell bound. Jeb can't deny the thrill of an audience.  Even if his onlookers are only populating a lowly pew, instead of a plush seat in an auditorium. At least he is helping people. And, as the new pastor of the Methodist church of his youth, he sets his old dreams aside to focus on the here and now. Luckily, the here and now isn't so bad. After Sedona sidles back into town.

So that's it. For now. My new goal is to finish my book and write a pitch that will have David Henry Sterry watching the skies and ducking for cover. Why? Because the monkeys are coming...


Maggid said...

YOU are so amazing!!!

Linda Hensley said...

It sounds like a wonderful experience. I like your pitch even without the flying monkeys.

Marie C said...

Your posts are always so much fun to read! I loved learning about your characters and a synopsis of your book (the pitch)...your writing is clever and interesting! I can't wait to read the book! I hope that "book pitch" will go over, gangbusters, flying monkeys or not! :-)