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I don’t know about you, but while I love to talk about writing, I often find it hard to talk about my own work.  Unless I’m prepared for it, the words “What’s it about?” send my brain into automatic shutdown. 
I find myself in helpless burble mode: “Well it’s er… it’s a book, and er… it’s about this guy and this thing happens to him… well, it doesn’t so much happen to him, it’s more that it happens when he’s there. It’s good. At least, I like it anyway. Ooh, and there’s a giraffe…’ 
The poor unfortunate soul in front of me, who more than likely just asked out of politeness, stands there with a fixed grin on his/her face, staring over my shoulder in search of an excuse to get away.
Then I learned about elevator pitches, those one-sentence book summaries which we all need for query letters and chance encounters with potential agents. 
GSHW friend, Gary Frank, has an excellent one for his novel, Forever Will You Suffer.   Ask him what it’s about and he’ll say, “It’s a three hundred year love story gone horribly wrong.”
Over time, I came up with my own one-line summaries. Now when someone asks me ‘What’s it about?’ I’m completely relaxed:
“It’s about a boy who meets a talking cat that only he can hear.” (Fur-Face)
“It’s about a shy scientist who gets the brain patterns of a bad-tempered CIA agent stuck in his head.” (Waking up Jack Thunder)
“It’s about a medieval James Bond-type, set in a world where humans are just one of many species to evolve into ‘humanoid’ form.” (A Union of Snakes)
Of course, those only work for my own books. Ask me about someone else’s novel and all bets are off - though if you wait long enough as I attempt to describe it, I’m pretty sure I’ll throw in a giraffe somewhere. 
How about you?
What’s your elevator pitch?

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Jan. 6th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
I love the one for Waking up Jack Thunder, I really want to read that!

Here's one for my trilogy that I'm planning to condense into a single book:

150 years in the future Midwest USA, a teenage fugitive and a deeply conflicted gay white supremacist join forces to overthrow a repressive, ultrareligious dystopia.
Jan. 6th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I hope you get the chance :)

I hear trilogies are popular with publishers (for obvious reasons). Did that figure in your decision to write one or was it just the way the story panned out?
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Well, I originally decided to write a trilogy because I was a newb writer and I thought that would be a great way to start. LOL

Now I'm determined to condense it into a single book, because that way I have a much better chance of actually getting it to some semblance of completion, or even (gasp!) ready to submit somewhere.
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
I wish you luck :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks Jon, and same to you! :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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