Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Guess the Plot
1. Dewey Dalton loves working at the hydroelectric plant in Venus Springs almost as much as he loves his fiancée, Mary Doubleday. When Mary goes missing, Dewey sets out to find her, never suspecting that she's been transported to an alternate dimension from a portal that lies behind . . . Mercury Falls.
2. A rogue angel named Mercury has been shirking his duties because he'd rather play ping pong and make Rice Krispy treats. Can reporter Christine snap him out of it in time to help her prevent film school dropout Karl Grissom from setting the apocalypse in motion?
3. The day when gravity finally overcomes the forward motion of the planets revolving around the sun, each will obey the laws of the universe in its own time. Looking through his telescope in his second story bedroom, Jason Peterman can't help but wonder if his calculations on the anti-gravity machine were correct . . . or if he even wants them to be.
4. Workaholic thermometer salesman Jarvis Frankle's job is on the line with the new fancy digital thermometers. He embarks on a cross-country road trip to sell the last of his inventory, but when he accidentally drops his remaining thermometers into the Grand Canyon he must decide whether to go after them, or after his hiking guide, a beautiful Native American girl who makes his temperature rise.
5. As the temperature plummets bodies pile up at Research Station Alpha, but are all the casualties due to the cold? John Trent is sent undercover to find out what's going on but he dares trust no one, not even the gorgeous red-headed scientist who offers him the warmest reception.
6. A passing asteroid shower has knocked Mercury out of its orbit and it is on a collision course with Earth. NASA scientists work round the clock but they have no solutions to the impending disaster until Jeff Little comes up with an idea. But what are the chances the scientists will listen to a six-year-old?
It's the end of the world - and Christine Temetri [Anagram: termite.] is worried about her linoleum. [Anagram: lion mule. I get it, whenever we encounter a word we don't think belongs, it's an animal anagram. Clever.]
After years of covering the antics of End Times cults for a religious news magazine, [A religious news magazine publishing years of regular reports on cults is like Time magazine publishing weekly reports on what's happening in Liechtenstein.] Christine has become rather jaded about the prospect of an imminent Apocalypse. [I can't tell if that means she expects one or doesn't expect one.] [Also: Calypso ape.]In fact, she's beginning to have some serious doubts about her faith - not to mention her career choice.
But when she is given a mysterious briefcase by a dying Israel [Israeli] general while on assignment in the Middle East, Christine begins to suspect that she is being manipulated by supernatural forces beyond her understanding. [I don't recall ever being handed a briefcase, mysterious or not, but I don't see how this would lead me to conclude I was being manipulated by supernatural forces beyond my understanding. Are you sure you didn't leave out a step?] Embarking on a journey to find the answers to her questions, [The only question I have is What's in the briefcase? Which shouldn't require a journey to answer.] she encounters a rogue angel named Mercury who informs her that the Apocalypse is near. Mercury is supposed to be helping out with the Apocalypse, but he feels that he has better things to do - like making Rice Krispy treats and playing ping-pong. [This has morphed from thriller to fantasy to farce and it's not even half over.] Fleeing divine retribution in the wake of a card trick gone horribly wrong, [I'd leave the card trick out unless you want to explain what you're talking about.] she [Christine] and Mercury happen upon an attempt to assassinate Karl Grissom, a thirty-seven year old film school dropout who has had the ill fortune to be designated as the Antichrist.
Christine and Mercury foil the assassination attempt, thereby becoming embroiled in the inscrutable politics of Armageddon. Both angels and demons, it seems, have plans for the End of the World, but neither group is much concerned with the people who actually live there. Nor is "Apocalyptic" Harold Giddings, a fundamentalist leader [Is that what he goes by? Apocalyptic? Like "Buffalo" Bill Cody or "Blackjack" John Pershing? "Apocalyptic" Harold Giddings? It just doesn't have that ring, that panache.] who is convinced that it is his destiny to publicly denounce Karl, thereby setting the Apocalypse in motion. To save the world, Christine must outsmart Harold, ["Apocalyptic" Harold] negotiate the byzantine bureaucracies of Heaven and Hell and convince the apathetic Mercury to take a stand, all the while putting up with the fantastically irritating Antichrist. [I don't mind having the Antichrist around, but I wish he'd quit chewing his ice and laughing like a braying donkey. Christ, he's annoying.] Can she do it? Just as importantly, should she? And why can't she stop thinking about her linoleum? [I'm wondering why you seem so obsessed with her linoleum.]
Mercury Falls is my first novel. It is a light-hearted, fast-paced story peppered with references to everything from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Occam's Razor. It will appeal primarily to college-educated readers in their 30s and 40s who will appreciate the pop culture references [Creedence Clearwater Revival disbanded before anyone now in their 30's and 40's had reached high school. True, their music is still popular, but why single out those in their 30's and 40's when it's those in their 50's and 60's who lived through the CCR heyday?] as well as semi-serious discussions on topics like free will, fundamentalism and global politics. [Anyone who's considering reading this manuscript at this point does not want to know there are serious aspects. What I'm saying is, if they start putting broccoli puree in ice cream, they aren't gonna proclaim it on the front of the carton.] If sufficiently pressured, I would describe it as a cross between Douglas Adams and C.S. Lewis. [Hey, you'll get no pressure from me.]
I am ______________, AKA ______________. [Assuming you're planning to sign your letter, no need to identify yourself in the body.] Most of my writing lives on my website, _______________. _____________gets over 15,000 page views per month and was a finalist for Best Humor Blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards (I was crushed in the final voting by some guy who makes fun of comic strips). [I love that guy!] [But if it wasn't Evil Editor who crushed you, the awards are bogus.] I have a sizeable following of die-hard fans who are patiently waiting for this damn novel to get published so they can buy it already. [Take my word, 95% of them will patiently wait for the book to be made into a movie and will then patiently wait for it to be on network TV. The other 5% are your immediate family and a couple guys who sit in their parents' basement playing World of Warcraft all day.] I also run ______________, the most popular directory of humor blogs on the web. In my free time I am a web developer for _____________, currently working on a long-term project at Google.
Blogs are good to have if you're an author, but not good places to send editors. The one day they visit your blog will be the one day you're ranting about how crappy your server is and how you're moving to another one, so you'll be down a few days. Or it'll be the day you posted an offensive photo or spelled a lot of words wrong. And then there's the fact that if the ability to maintain a blog is evidence you can write a novel, there are about a half-billion novelists in the world.
What's in the briefcase?
Mercury Falling is a better title.
Why would an angel want to foil an attempt to assassinate the Antichrist?
Even without the blue words it's too long. Maybe you should start with Christine encountering Mercury. Everything up to then was pretty vague.