Guess the Plot
From Hopkins to Homeless
1. College sophomore Donna Williams works backward through the encyclopedia to learn about life, love, and spelling -- and gets her first job: baking crumpets at the Mad Duchess, a surreal cafe frequented by passionate young men who all look like Che Guevera.
2. Tired of inspirational stories about homeless guys becoming concert violinists and CEOs? Then you'll love this story of a doctor who threw away a promising career. Prescription forgery, suicide attempts, drug addiction and car crashes take him from respected doctor to homeless guy, and then to rock bottom: homeless guy writing a book.
3. When Bailey Barron discovers she's adopted, she drops out of Baltimore's Johns Hopkins medical school to experience the world of her homeless biological father. What she finds is a world filled with danger, hunger, disrespect and filth. But hey, it's got interning beat by a mile.
4. The true story of Dr. Shereen Martin, who went from Assistant Professor of Wymyn's studies at Johns Hopkins to homeless when her jealous rivals for the attention of biologist Dr. Lynn Morgan exposed her groundbreaking work on the plight of lesbian opticians in Baltimore as a total fabrication.
5. Dr. Jonathan Rydell was a brilliant plastic surgeon whose life fell apart. Alcohol, gambling, and the loss of his medical license, friends and family, are followed by a fall into homeless despair. But when developers plan to bulldoze the shelter and put up a high-rise condo building, Rydell springs into action.
6. Ian Adams, fired from teaching at prestigious Johns Hopkins medical school in Baltimore, demonstrates that even hobos can perform brain surgery. But can he prove his former students aren't behind the recent kidney thefts?
I am currently respectfully seeking representation for the publication of my autobiography, “From Hopkins to Homeless: My True Story of Drug Addiction”. This book addresses the disease of addiction and the process of recovery by providing a unique, thought provoking, and inspirational insight [through suffering, sacrifice, and redemption] [Those brackets should be parentheses; otherwise readers will think I put them there, and wonder what's so funny.] into the life cycle of addiction as experienced by a severe prescription addict [myself]. [Those brackets can stay, as that's pretty funny.] This book will have approximately 275 [8.5” x 5.5”] pages [Are you printing your manuscript on 8.5" x 5.5" paper, or have you already chosen the font and font size and book dimensions the publisher is to use?] divided into 12 chapters, 15 appendixes and 12 (if not cost prohibitive) pictures and illustrations. [When a former doctor offers to send me fifteen appendixes, I start to worry about where he's getting them.]
[Appendix 1: Possible side effects of taking six oxycontin tablets a day, including losing your job as a respected physician.
Appendix 2: Baltimore Restaurants with the best dumpster fare.
Appendix 3: Johns Hopkins nurses who put out when you're a doctor, but not when you're a homeless guy.
Appendix 4: Unrealistic things that have happened on House.
Appendix 5: My favorite bridges for sleeping under.
Appendix 6: Why killing other homeless guys and selling their organs isn't the best path back to respectability.
Appendix 7: How the hell did you come up with material for fifteen appendixes?
Appendix 8: Things doctors do with removed appendixes (includes recipes).
Appendix 9: Baltimore area pharmacists with lax ethics.
Appendix 10: Johns Hopkins doctors who are always high but haven't been caught yet.
Appendix 11: Why carjacking people as they pull away from the drive-thru at CVS is a bad idea.
Appendix 12: How you can get drugs to me.
Appendix 13: Heroin vs. aspirin: An ex-doctor's surprising perspective.
Appendix 14: Christ, it looks like I'm gonna make it to fifteen after all.
Appendix 15: Literary agents who refused to take me on just because I'm a homeless guy.]
Starting in my Doctorate program in Respiratory Medicine and ending homeless on the streets, addiction crept into my life [It wasn't addiction that was homeless; it was you. Try: ...in Respiratory Medicine, I ended up homeless on the streets when addiction crept into my life...] and took from me my possessions, my profession, my loved ones, and my sanity. [If addiction doesn't take your sanity, trying to make it as a writer surely will.] One day I was a respected well-known Senior Medicinal Aerosol Scientist lecturing all over the world, and next I was being arrested at a medical conference in Atlanta for forging a prescription earlier that day. [Signing another doc's name to a prescription is illegal; signing another doc's name to one of your prescriptions is stupid. But understandable if you were desperate for a fix.] The police waited until I finished my lecture, approached me, put me in handcuffs, and led me through the conference hall while all my colleagues were looking at me in utter disbelief.
[Cop 1: We should at least let him finish his lecture before we arrest him.
Cop 2: Are you kidding? If he goes on another five minutes we'll all be
This book describes all of the incidents that I experienced, [All of them?] (some very dark and disturbing), during my 9 year journey/battle from addiction to sobriety and recovery. From 3 suicide attempts, [If you can't slit your wrists properly in three tries, I'm glad you never operated on me.] 2 roll over car crashes, 15 toxic overdoses [each of which is described in detail in its own appendix], having a gun put to my head and many more. It is amazing to me that I did not die. [I'm surprised the doctors didn't let you die after 20 trips to the emergency room and no way to pay for them.] I feel I still have something I need to accomplish. I have kept all supporting documents during my addiction to prove my book is an accurate and factual account of my life as an addict. I knew one day it would be a remarkable story and at the same time have great potential to provide hope, advice, guidance, and assistance [Those last three are pretty much all the same thing.] to other addicts seeking sobriety and long term recovery.
My credentials and qualifications for writing this book include:
Ø For nine years I experienced every aspect of being an addict trying to regain my sobriety in a system that is overworked, under funded, and not always a priority to assist those addicts who truly want help. [Not really a qualification for writing this or any book.]
Ø Being school orientated, for years I researched addiction aggressively to find an answer. I became very educated about this disease but realized there is no textbook answer and I was going to have to trust people I did not know to save my life. [That must have been almost as scary as trusting a drug-addicted respiratory doctor you don't know to save your life.]
Ø A Master’s degree and required thesis in respiratory medicine. [Maybe you can explain why it is I can hear the dog whimpering three rooms away when I'm asleep, but I can't hear myself snoring like a chainsaw cutting petrified wood.]
Ø Nine peer reviewed publications in various medical journals.
Ø Fifty-five medical papers published and presented at the numerous medical conferences that took place every year.
Ø Contributing author, (in one chapter), in the book, “Inhalations Aerosols”, [Anagram: Heroin: Satan's lasso.] edited by Anthony Hickey.
To help you decide if you might be interested in representing my book, I can send the following immediately upon your request: My Promotion Plan, My Curriculum Vitae, My Competition Analysis, and a Proposal of a possible subsequent book taken from daily journals and experiences in my year long residential treatment. [What about the book? Can you send the book?]
Thank you for your generous time. I eagerly await your response and look forward to hearing from you soon. I have enclosed a SASE for your convenience.
It's too long. You don't need to tell the publisher the page count, paper size, number of chapters/appendixes. The word count will do.
You don't need to list your qualifications. You experienced the events in the book. That's what's important for the writing of an autobiography. Although . . .
I'm not sure I'd call it an autobiography, as it has a narrow focus.
You don't need documentation of your addiction in your book. You may need it to get on Oprah, as she's probably being careful about that stuff these days.
The query details your fall, but as you claim the book will aid other addicts (those who read books, anyway) you might want to tell us how far back you've come. Do you have a home, a job, a family? Do you help the homeless? Show that ultimately it's an inspirational story.