Hoots people, what a day it’s been! I’ve no time for a full explanation, suffice to say I woke up at the totally unnatural hour of half past six this morning to discover a number of both important and awesome emails in my inbox. The full lowdown will be delivered in a somewhat overdue SITREP in a few day’s time, but for now I’ll turn to the topic of today’s post; IRONFANG!
Or, maybe Ironfang. The ongoing poll shows Ironfang to be the most popular title for my mysterious urban fantasy novel. It’s still open to votes though so make your thoughts heard!
Anyway, on with the show. On Saturday I entered Ironfang into Pitch Madness. Summed up, this involves submitted the opening 250 words of the novel along with a 35 word summary to a small, brilliant legion of slush readers and agents. Whether anything comes of it remains to be seen, but it’s been great fun and I’ve already been introduced to a load of brilliant fellow-writerlings.
But that’s not the point! The point is Ironfang, and that 35 word “elevator pitch” summary! The idea is that the 35 words are ones you’d use when your friends and family inevitably come out with the classic “so what’s it about then?” Or you somehow manage to corner a writing agent in an elevator (seriously, has anyone ever actually done that?). Those 35 words must distil your novel as clearly and as succinctly as possible. For example, here’s the elevator pitch for the novel Stone Heart by Charlie Fletcher;
Grosvenor House, deep in the City something had been woken, something so old and so ordinary that people had been walking past it for centuries without giving it a second look…
See? Small and captivating. Have spent a good three days in literary agony crafting my own summary snippet for Pitch Madness, I realise it was also perfect for today’s purpose – telling y’all just what I’ve been banging on about for nigh-on two months.
A privileged few of you already know, and to be honest lots of you have guessed the general themes. Heck, you only need to be able to read post tags or be familiar with my past works. Today though, it goes official. Here it is. No sniggering at the back!
Struggling single mom and schoolteacher Valerie Chance finds herself plunged into a world of murderous cultists, hackers, suspicious work colleagues and ruthless government agents after her young son is infected with the werewolf ‘shaper virus.’
So, um, yeah. There you go. Think Underworld, not Twilight. Except there are no vampires. There’s nothing paranormal actually, except dem werewolves. Going for magical realism in a modern urban setting, dealing with the stresses and strains of single parenthood, a terminally ill son, and an examination of what it is to be human. How precocious does all that sound? Full moons and silver bullets included – these beasties are the real deal. Helicopter gunships, insane asylums and werewolf orphanages thrown in for good measure.
Also, the janitor dies.
But that’s enough with the teasing. My biggest hope is that I can make the old wolf-shifters interesting and avoid the many boring clichés. I managed to keep them original in Werekynd (according to some), so hopefully I can do it again whilst still respecting the mythology. We’ll see.
Right, back to redrafting!