Friday, June 16, 2006

Face-Lift 69


Guess the Plot

Soul Haven

1. As Groj'htas, evil emperor of Briin'nthur, sucks souls from human bodies, Aaar-prtyrm races against the clock to defeat him with the Amulet of Immortality.

2. When editors from German mega-publisher Novel Haus start turning up dead, homicide detective Bob Langden must go undercover as a drummer for the German heavy metal tribute band "Soul Haven" to get the evidence he needs.

3. Soul Haven’s hippy parents were lucky to survive the 60's; and their chubby daughter was lucky to survive school. Forty years later and forty kilos overweight, Soul’s last chance is a reality TV show where participants sell their souls in exchange for weight loss.

4. Need a vacation? Send your mind to Oxford for intellectual stimulation, your body to Gomorrah's Secret for stimulation of another kind, and your soul to . . . SOUL HAVEN.

5. Teen runaway Lauren has finally found a shelter to take her in...but she thinks she'd be more at home in the graveyard next door.

6. A female police officer meets a homeless man who's a suspected cop-killer--with soulful blue eyes. As she tries to prove his innocence, he tries to stop a deadly military project that uses human test subjects.


Original Version

Dear Mr. Editor:

After reading several of your recently acquired titles such as Fabulous Novel and Book That Sizzles, I believe my 75,000-word romantic suspense novel Soul Haven would be a good fit for your line. Please allow me to describe this project to you:

Homeless people disappear all the time. But in Center City, Philadelphia, they're turning up again weeks later: [Zombies again?!] as corpses incinerated in deliberate fires [Are you a "corpse," technically, if you've been converted to charcoal?] to disguise their cause of death. [Are they incinerated elsewhere and the bones dumped in Rittenhouse Square? Or are there body bonfires on Broad Street every time the Phillies win a game?] [How do they know they're all homeless guys, if they've been incinerated? They wouldn't have anything but teeth to go on, but the police wouldn't have dental records of a transient population, some of whom probably don't even have teeth, or haven't been to a dentist since they were living in Texas ten years ago.] Someone is stalking Philadelphia's transient population with less than charitable intentions.

For Renata Bowers, freshly minted police officer with a grand total of two days' active duty under her belt, the plight of the homeless is the least of her concerns—until she meets Kale Tyrell, a homeless man and suspected cop-killer with soulful blue eyes that tell a different story than the sarcastic, hateful words leaving his mouth. [He's homeless, he's a possible murderer, and he's spewing out a stream of vitriol. But because his eyes are soulful, this cop's going to fall for him hard. I guarantee it.]

Kale's life is a constant struggle: against the Philly PD, who believes he killed one of their own and got away with it; against the staff of the homeless shelter, who despises him for a murder he didn't commit. [Why does everyone think he did it, if he didn't do it?] Now he has to deal with a female cop who seems intent on killing him with kindness. [Can't a guy catch a break?] When an old Army colleague offers Kale the chance to discover the identity of the real killer—at the risk of his own life—he seizes the opportunity. The race is on as Kale positions himself as bait [Why is being bait a race?] to stop a secret military project that uses human test subjects with deadly results; and Ren [Ren? How did Ren get into this? Is Stimpy here too? (Hey, the last one was a video game, I thought maybe this one was a cartoon.)] is submerged in a nightmarish world of justice gone wrong as she scrambles to prove Kale's innocence and save his life. [All of her colleagues think Kale's a cop killer, yet after two days on the job she risks their hostility because the guy has sexy eyes?]

[Pentagon conversation:

How's the new project going?
We're at the testing stage. Just need some guinea pigs.
Is it dangerous?
It's always fatal.
Hmm. Animals?
PETA would be all over us.
True. Homeless guys?
That's what I'm thinking.]

By way of background, I am a full-time professional freelancer with ten years' experience in writing, editing, proofreading and copywriting [blah-de-blah, lengthy and impressive credentials omitted for space reasons].

May I send you this completed manuscript for review? I have enclosed the requisite SASE; you can also reach me via e-mail at myaddress.com or by phone at (123) 456-7890. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


Revised Version

Dear Mr. Editor:

After reading several of your titles such as Fabulous Novel and Book That Sizzles, I believe my 75,000-word romantic suspense novel Soul Haven would be a good fit for your line. Please allow me to describe this project to you:

For Renata Bowers, freshly minted Philadelphia police officer with two days of active duty under her belt, the plight of the homeless is the least of her concerns—until she meets Kale Tyrell, a homeless man and suspected cop-killer, whose soulful blue eyes don't jibe with the sarcastic, hateful words leaving his mouth.

Kale's life is a constant struggle, not only to find food and shelter, but to stave off the Philly police, who believe he killed one of their own and got away with it. Now, suddenly, he must also deal with a female cop who seems intent on killing him with kindness.

When an old army colleague offers Kale a chance to discover the identity of the real killer—at the risk of his own life—he seizes the opportunity. He positions himself as bait, trying to expose a secret military project that uses human test subjects--the homeless--with deadly results; and Ren submerges herself in a nightmarish world of justice gone wrong, scrambling to prove Kale's innocence and save his life.

By way of background, I am a full-time professional freelancer with ten years experience in writing and editing [blah-de-blah, brief most-impressive credentials omitted for space reasons].

May I send you this completed manuscript of Soul Haven? I have enclosed the requisite SASE; you may also contact me via e-mail at myaddress.com. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


Notes

It wasn't bad, but Evil Editor feels guilty about not providing revised versions lately. Also, the part about burning the bodies was raising more questions than you want to answer here.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay. I'd read this novel, and I'm not crazy about procedurals.

Intrigued.

I'd want to see a partial. Too bad I'm nobody.

evil minion 666 said...

The reappearing bodies phenomenon seems like a plot hole. Everyone knows that evil secret military projects have huge corpse-disposal line items in their budgets. They don't need to toast the homeless to disguise cause of death when they can just dump them out in the Atlantic from a black helicopter.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on Law & Order CI. Only that time, someone forged documents to make it look like the homeless were CEOs of big overseas companies, then took out life insurance policies on them. The killing and burning was the same, and sexy Vincent D'onofrio figured it all out (of course).

Anonymous said...

The crime drama part seems interesting, but I'm having a really hard time swallowing the romance part.

Anonymous said...

Please consider changing the hero-dude's name to something less giggle-inducing. I mean, Kale? I keep seeing a head of green leafy vegetable wrapped in a dirty trench coat.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good but:

No more "romantic suspense" heroines named Renata, please.

Anonymous said...

and Ren [Ren? How did Ren get into this? Is Stimpy here too?

I remember typing up a letter for my boss to a guy with the last name of Beavis...heh heh...

Sorry. My bad (but it IS true). Sounds like an interesting premise (but I'm not sure about the romance part, either).

Verification: wkjxa

~Nancy

Anonymous said...

This is a romantic suspense, right? Love the idea of the romance - sounds intriguing, something to jazz up the book. Wish I could read more! Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Author! Soul Haven was just accepted for publication by Wild Child Publishing. Go do the happy dance.