Saturday, May 27, 2006

The pitch...?

So this weekend marks the third weekend in a row in which my goal for the weekend is to write a one-page letter to use to pitch my novel Exmormon to literary agents (and possibly also publishers).

This has been a terribly productive goal for me because -- due to the magic of procrastinating an important task -- it has helped me come up with a long list of totally unrelated future blog entry topics and has even helped me get more psyched about my project at my real job!!!

But really, my one obsession is getting this novel off the ground and into the hands of readers. It's one of the three reasons why I'm here blogging with you guys at all.

So maybe some of you out there in blog space have some ideas for a catchy and concise way I can express this that will jump out and make an agent say "Yes!! This is sure to be a big seller!!!"

My main selling points I want to get across are (1) timely and (2) entertaining. Here's the idea, in a nutshell:

This is a story about the interplay among religion, relationships, and sexuality, which is a hot topic in today's red-state-vs-blue-state, metro-vs-retro climate, where questions about abstinence-only sex-ed and teaching "Intelligent Design" in schools are taking the center stage along with questions of legally recognizing gay marriage at the other end of the spectrum.

This novel puts a human face on the controversy by presenting lively stories of how this clash of philosophies operates within families and and even within individuals. And as the people who have read the novel know, even though my sympathies lie on one side of this conflict, I portray likeable, interesting, whole characters all over the spectrum rather than heavy-handedly stacking the deck in my favor.

But even if it weren't timely subject at all, it's a fun read. I've had tons of very positive reader feedback, and the general consensus has been that all of the sub-stories are entertaining and lively and full of realistic characters that the reader comes to care about.

And straddling my two selling points is the fact that it's about Mormons. Face it: everyone knows Mormons are funny!!! I defy anyone -- even my LDS readers -- to deny it!!!

Mormons are funnier than French people. What am I saying? Mormons are in a wholly different league -- Mormons are funnier than Estonians!!!

And now Mormons are timely too.

By luck, I wrote this well before HBO's Big Love was announced and aired. And by luck, I just happened to write some stuff about polygamy!! My angle is a little different from a lot of polygamy stories in that I focus more on the unfortunate by-product of polygamy, the so-called "redundant" boys.

So that's the idea. Now I just need all of you clever people out there to write it into a pitch.

I know, I know, here in blog space everyone and their dog has written a novel or is working on it. But I don't care. Blustering forward with total disregard for the laws of supply and demand, I refuse to see you guys as competitors rather than as friends.

As many of you already know, I like reading your work as well and giving feedback and analysis. In fact I've decided I'm no longer wasting my time reading any more books by dead people or really any works I can't discuss with the author online (such as those by authors who are too famous to give a fig about my comments). Because I like to read and discuss, plus reading a work after it's already passed the editing-and-public-acceptance phase is just too easy!!! And you guys know I love a good challenge.

(Well, I might make an exception for that last Harry Potter novel, but no more after that!!!)

I'm not really trying to mooch ideas off my readers here. (That said, if you have any good ideas to send me, I won't kick 'em out of bed...) I know I'm going to eventually just break down and write this my own silly self.

It's just that I'm thinking about it, so I'm going to blog about it. ;-)

p.s. I don't want to receive any "vanity press" advertisements over this -- I already have physical copies printed up by (and you can too!!!) which I'm very satisfied with, but it's not the same as getting it published for real, sold in real bookstores, at a price-to-customer of less than $10 per copy if possible.

No comments: