Sunday, May 21, 2006

Face-Lift 31


Guess the Plot


The Teen Queen and I

1. When sixteen-year-old Gwendolyn becomes Queen of Lutania, she immediately takes a lover. Me.

2. Jamie Madigan wasn't your average geek. He had a secret life...as a girl. And that girl was the Queen of Pyrvania.

3. When Kevin attempts to get a pop star's autograph, she slips him her phone number, and the rest is music history.

4. Winning the lead in a gay and lesbian youth camp's summer play leads to more drama than new kid on the block Ashley Monroe was anticipating.

5. The story, told in diary form, of Queen Amidala's hairdresser and makeup artist extraordinaire.

6. When the tiny kingdom of Miniheim is threatened, can its unprepared and soccer-mad young queen find the wisdom and courage to lead her nation? Her handsome young tutor tells the story.


Original Version

The Teen Queen and I is a 75,000-word novel which will appeal to anyone who dreams of meeting his favorite celebrity. [Those who dream of meeting Evil Editor, watch for the upcoming Treat Evil Editor to a Weekend in Paris contest.]

As 19-year-old Kevin Derow waits for an express bus home to Staten Island after an exhausting first day of college, a limousine pulls up. Out steps Shannon Kistler, the rising pop star proudly displayed on his t-shirt, who sarcastically praises his taste in clothing and then flees the scene. [Flees the scene? You mean she doesn't hang around the bus stop striking up a friendship with Kevin? She snubs him?] Six days later he visits a Queens record store to get her autograph, but [Another writer in love with "but."] she is shocked to see him among her young female fans and slips him her private phone number to make up for the earlier encounter. [Later he discovers she's actually slipped him a 976 number with which he can speak to one of her "girlfriends" for $3.00 a minute.]

Kevin and Shannon see each other despite their busy schedules. [Come on! This is about as believable as Britney Spears getting involved with some lowly backup dancer from her stage act.] But while she confronts the pitfalls of early fame, his admiration for her costs him two jobs, [That may sound preposterous, but Evil Editor once fired his assistant for admiring Jim Belushi.] forces him from his home, and nearly gets him paralyzed on the Coney Island boardwalk. [It would be interesting to speculate on how one could know with certainty that one "nearly" became paralyzed. Perhaps he was shot, and the bullet lodged a half-inch from his fourth vertebra. If so, now we must speculate on how his admiration of Shannon Kistler led to his being shot.] What's worse, Kevin discovers Shannon's record label may be paying radio stations to play her songs--and while trying to find out for certain, [A college freshman gets his dream-come-true, a romantic relationship with his favorite celebrity, and he starts investigating her?] he may have wrecked her blossoming career. [Presumably she reacts to this, about the same way Britney would if Kevin Federline wrecked her career: she has her bodyguards kill him.]

The stories "Tunnel Vision" and "Between Two Worlds" appeared in the magazines Somnoliloquy and Skunk's Life, [You wrote "Between Two Worlds?!" Evil Editor has cherished his May, 2001 copy of Skunk's Life ever since it came out. For those minions who don't subscribe, "Between Two Worlds" is the story of a skunk that leaves the forest and gets hired to run a Fortune 500 company, only to fail miserably. Sounds kind of crazy, but it has some real pathos.] and on the web sites The Fiction Network and Alternate Realities; I will soon begin writing my next novel. [It's about a plumber who's obsessed with Madonna, and she ends up marrying him.] Your focus on commercial fiction attracted my attention, and I feel The Teen Queen and I would be a good fit for you. A synopsis and sample chapters are available.

Thank you for your kind attention. I look forward to hearing from you.


Revised Version

The Teen Queen and I is a 75,000-word novel which will appeal to any teenager who dreams of meeting a celebrity.

As 19-year-old Kevin Derow waits for an express bus home to Staten Island after an exhausting first day of college, a limousine pulls up. Out steps Shannon Kistler, the rising pop star displayed on Kevin's t-shirt. Shannon praises Kevin's impeccable taste in clothing as she leaves the scene.

Six days later, Kevin visits a Queens record store to get Shannon's autograph. She is shocked to see him among her young female fans, and, in a moment of insanity, slips him her private phone number, seemingly unconcerned that he could post it on the Internet, and she would start getting more phone calls than American Idol.

As Shannon confronts the pitfalls of early fame, Kevin's obsession with her costs him two jobs, forces him from his home, and nearly gets him paralyzed on the Coney Island boardwalk. To make matters worse, Kevin discovers--in his capacity as an FCC payola investigator (his third job, the one he didn't lose)--that Shannon's record label may be paying radio stations to play her songs, and that Kevin, while looking into the matter, may have destroyed her blossoming career.

Your focus on commercial fiction attracted my attention, and I feel The Teen Queen and I would be a good fit for you. A synopsis and sample chapters are available. Thank you for your kind attention.


Notes

Perhaps the market for this book is the same as the market for Shannon's music: teen girls. In which case Shannon should become Justin, and Kevin should become Karen.

8 comments:

December Quinn said...

If Kevin Federline wrecked Britney's career? :-)

I like the payola scandal angle, even though I can't figure out why Kevin would care or be surprised by it. Especially when she's the type who makes fun of fans who wear her t-shirts.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure everyone knows you're backed up beyond belief in the post-Snark world of EE, but for those of us who have submitted queries for your destruction, is there any way for you to let us know who's still in the running for a critique and who has to find a hanky and wipe their tears away knowing they didn't make your cut?

Snowy

Kendall said...

I don't buy the payola plot, since payola just changed infrastructure and name to work around FCC rules. Read about the music industry (if you like wikipedia, read its 'payola' entry): Labels pay "promoters" to pay radio stations to play certain songs and/or artists. The "independent" middlemen (the "promoters") make it all "legal." (Wikipedia claims several labels were fined in New York in the last few years for actual payola, which is just paying withouth announcing that fact.)

So why would Kevin, of all people, investigate this? Nah, I don't buy it.

desert minion said...

Don't all record labels pay to get their songs on the air? Isn't that how songs get playtime, as a matter of course, at least on commercial stations?

Hopefully Kevin finds this out as part of the story, and the reader isn't supposed to believe Shannon's label is somehow unusual in this regard.

Bernita said...

Don't publishers pay booksellers for position?

BuffySquirrel said...

Check it out, Snowy -- http://www.evileditor.net/

Anonymous said...

I love the way the rewrite of the query is almost as snarky as the EE comments of the original ... it makes the query more interesting to a blog reader, if perhaps not more likely to receive a request for the complete manuscript.

Jeffrey H. Baer said...

Yes, it's me, author of The Teen Queen and I. And I'm here to clear a few things up.

First of all, Kevin cares about the payola scandal because his idol is now involved. And why is he surprised? Well, he's a big music fan. While keeping up with the industry, he learns about what happened before he was a twinkle in his parents' eyes, but he didn't think payola still went on after Alan Freed was sorely punished for his misdeeds. When I followed the music business religiously years ago, I found out about payola and all that other stuff too.

(If you wonder why I don't follow today's music business, I have four words for that: "Smells Like Teen Spirit.")

Now as for Shannon making fun of him, it's because she never expected to see a 19-year-old male college student wearing one of her shirts. So she slips Kevin her number because she realizes he's serious--and clearly a very different fan from all her others.

Finally, Kevin doesn't investigate Shannon's label, but he gets the ball rolling on the NYS Attorney General's investigation. And as you might expect, that comes back to burn him.

While I realize all there is on the site are queries, I have since rewritten my query to clear things up. If anyone is interested in reading it, just drop me an e-mail.