An Exercise in Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

I’m trying to sell a book.  I have a few books on the horizon, but only one of those will be ready to start sending out to agents and publishers within the next few months, so I’m struggling to work on my agent package.  Once I have completed my final draft (I’ve got a few more steps to go, but I’m getting there!), I fully intend to start going to a few networking events and networking my way to a book deal!  A girl can hope, anyway.

So, you’re my first pitch! I’m giving you a one line intro to my manuscript.  And I’m not just going to pitch you this book.  I’m going to tell you what I’ve got stewing on the back burners as well.  Because you guys are my blog followers, my loyal readers, and if I didn’t share with you first, what kind of a person would I be?

So first, the actual book I’m marketing, which would be Book 1 of a series of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.  I’ve got all 7 (at least) books of the series planned out, to varying degrees.

The Order of the Key: After discovering that she is the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that hunts interdimensional creatures, eighteen year old Jacklyn Madison becomes the prime weapon in a war between the group’s brutal leader and her idealistic son.  

The next book on the list is a romantic comedy.  It is complete, but needs MASSIVE edits, and perhaps a rewrite.  So, it will be a long time coming, but it’s there!

Legally Insane: A traumatic event leaves Leah Marinillo with an imaginary friend – her favorite television character, Carter St. James – who is on a mission to help her repair her boring, broken life.  

The final two are just twinkles in my eye.  I’m still in the outlining stages, so the distance from these will increase or decrease depending on the work it takes to make the other two shine.  Most especially, if the series gets picked up, these get put in the fridge or freezer to get heated up later.

First, the New Adult/Literary Fiction novel.

The Broken Hearts Club: Through a series of journal entries, recovering alcoholic and writer Grayson Butler chronicles the trials of his close knit circle of friends as they endure the “worst year ever” – a year rife with illness, backsliding, rediscovery, relationships formed and relationships up in smoke.   

And Second, the Paranormal Romance…

Soul Sight: All his life Martin Treadway has been looking for someone to tell him he’s not crazy, but when he finally meets someone who can, he learns that there is something worse than being haunted by ghosts – being hunted by one. 

So, what do you think?  Are you interested?  Would you like to read them?  Do you hate the very idea of them and wish to set them on fire before I even write them?  Be honest in the comments below!

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9 thoughts on “An Exercise in Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

  1. I believe I’ve read a bit of “Order” and it was fine, but it strikes me as just another “quest” story. And yes I know that according to Joseph Campbell all stories involve some sort of “quest; and I know this one is your baby – the one you’ve put the most heart, time and effort into but that’s the mpression I have of it.
    “Brokenhearts Club” reminds me of Maeve Binchley – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…she was an excellent writer and I’ve read my fair share of Binchley (perhaps that’s why the premise you’ve described reminds me of her long relationship-driven novels), but for me personally they aren’t what I want to read anymore. Other people probably will though.
    I really like Legally Insane and Soul Sight. The plots you’ve described sound unique.

    1. Cool! Thanks for your honest and thorough consideration of the pitches!

      Order, is definitely a quest story, and it is my baby. My heart and soul belongs to Order and the whole series I wish to build from it. Yes, you did read part of Order, but it’s pretty far removed from what I’ve got now (as drafts often go). I have never read Maeve Binchley, so now I’m going to go seek her out and see what I can learn from her. Thanks for the recommendation.

      I know these types of novels are not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay! I know my writing interests fly all over the place, so readers may like some things I write and not others.

      As for Legally Insane, oddly enough, that story sprung out of a conversation with SG1 Fandom people on some form of social media (LJ? Tumblr? Twitter? Can’t remember.) Someone made a joke about what it would be like to have a Jack O’Neil and a Daniel Jackson on your shoulder, ala’ the angel and devil cliche. And it just spun around in my head until I created this little bit of crazy with nary a Jack or Daniel in sight, but the idea is still similar. I think you would enjoy it. It’s a little silly at times, but it’s got real heart. Now if only I could edit it down to a manageable length without losing that heart…

  2. Is the recovering alcoholic one related to one of your published works? Or am I completely cracked?

    Anyway, I admit to not being much of a fantasy or paranormal reader. So I’m probably not much use there. I’m too apt to say, “Well, of course it’s brilliant! You wrote it!” I don’t know what an agent would look for to be different Deion the rest.

    Legally Insane sounds potentially cute and fun and quirky to me. 🙂

    1. Good eye, my friend. Yes, Grayson originally appeared in my flash fiction, Tunneling. I decided he had more of a story to tell and the events of Tunneling are just the beginning.

      I understand what you’re saying re: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal. My husband writes high fantasy. I do NOT read high fantasy. I like his, because he’s a good writer, and I read them despite the fact that if any other name was on the byline, I wouldn’t touch it. And I end up enjoying them. But I’m also not the best judge of the genre specific stuff. So I totally get you withholding judgment (and totally love that you believe in them just because. You are the best.)

      As for Legally Insane, I enjoyed it so much, I stayed in that world for about twice the number of words I should have written. LOL – so it’s going to endure a rewrite, but I really do love the characters and the message of that story. So I hope you will like it as well!

      Thanks, as always, for supporting me. HUGS.

      1. I have no idea what autocorrect is thinking sometimes. Deion just randomly appears in my comment, and it has nothing to do with anything.

        Anyway, you’re welcome as always. 🙂 (and reading more about Grayson could be very interesting!)

  3. Hi Justine, just landed on this post, I know it’s old so maybe you’ve already scrapped or fleshed out some of these–which were you pitching at the WD? (just curious) I love the sound of Order of the Key,

    Legally Insane sound great too, except for the title (is the main character, Leah, a lawyer? in which case the title makes sense)
    Anyway, I’m a big SG1 fan–did I hear you say you write fanfic??? I’ve read some. I read pretty much everything and every genre. (I’m a librarian–enough said! Though surprisingly few of us actually read these days!)

    The new adult novel doesn’t interest me–alcoholism–meh–I’m not your target reader there anyway, being much older!

    Soul sight sounds very interesting–sort of a Sleepy Hollow vibe going there. (Love that new series–don’t you? I wish it was more sf/f and less horror, though!)

    1. The Order of the Key is my primary book, the one I am currently shopping out, aka my BABY. This is the one that I pitched at WD, although the pitch has gotten much stronger since I wrote this. Because I had more time than a 1-2 line elevator pitch there, this is what was actually pitched.

      Jacklyn Madison has a thing for heroes. She reads about them, watches them on TV, and would very much like to become one. When a monster makes an attempt on her life she discovers she is one – the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that protects humanity from creatures that come through interdimensional rifts. It’s all fun and games until training for her duties reveals the Order’s out of touch views – Keys, like Jacklyn, are protected while Guardians, like the rest of her family, are expendable. As she rails against their value system, she finds herself in the center of a power struggle between the group’s leader, Lavinia, and her idealistic son, Kyp – the boy Jacklyn likes. Worse, Kyp’s attempts to protect her only entangle her in a mire of deceit. Viewed as a target on one side and a weapon on the other, Jacklyn must find a way to protect the people she loves and decide what kind of hero she’s willing to become.

      As for Legally Insane, Leah is a legal assistant and works with lawyers, hence the title. Although that one is open to change. Sometimes, I think it may sound too close to Legally Blonde, which is not a desirable comparison for the type of story I want to tell. So it’s up in the air.

      Yes, I write SG1 fanfic! I also write fanfic for Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld novels. I’m including a link!

      As for the NA, fair enough. That novel won’t be for everyone, I know. It demands to be written, though. I’m sure you know the feeling. 🙂

      Soul Sight gets more and more interesting to me the more I outline it. I’ve never seen the new Sleepy Hollow series, but now I think I have to!

      Thanks for checking this out! I’ve loved reading your thoughts.

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