Guys, please tell me if this is any good. Don't be afraid to tell me that some part of it needs work -- the better the pitch, the more likely I am to succeed.
Here it is:
As a teenager, your #1 task is to invent yourself. Starting from the raw materials your parents give you -- keeping some things, rejecting others -- you construct an adult.
My novel Exmormon is a set of interconnected stories about the lives of a group of teens and young adults as they navigate through typical coming-of-age issues such as popularity, finding love, sexuality, and getting along with family, but all of it comes with a Mormon twist, framed by common events of growing up Mormon such as Youth Conference, a church play, attending Brigham Young University, a sibling's temple wedding, and serving a two-year mission.
All of the stories are lively, readable tales, told with humor and a dash of drama, in which the main characters who question their faith grow and forge new paths -- making mistakes and learning along the way -- while their friends and family members who stay in the LDS church do the same. The characters on both sides of the faithful/unbeliever divide are portrayed as whole humans with strengths and failings rather than as stereotyped good guys and bad guys.
In addition to being a fun read, this novel is fantastically timely in today's retro-vs-metro, red-state-vs-blue-state climate, where such front-page issues as abstinence-only sex ed and teaching "Intelligent Design" as science in public schools are focused around young people.
Placing these issues in the context of questioning Mormonism has the advantage of being less threatening to mainstream Christians than a story about fundamentalist Christians might be. Plus Mormons are currently in the general interest spotlight with the popularity of HBO's "Big Love" and with the FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs being placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. The novel explores the mainstream Mormons' complex relationship with such fringe groups.
I am currently generating interest for this novel on my popular and entertaining blog "Letters from a broad..." (http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/) where you will find a summary of the novel plus sample chapters, reviews, and other commentary in the sidebar links.
The complete manuscript is available on request.
Thank you for your time,
C. L. Hanson
So what do you think?
I want to get across the idea that it's not a simplistic formula novel, yet it's also not some dense, weighty tome that's difficult for ordinary people to enjoy. I'm not sure if I captured that...
But this is the best I've come up with so far, so look out literary agents!!! You'll likely be seeing some variant of this in your mailbox... ;-)