Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Guess the Plot
Choke that Chicken
1. When Henrietta, star of the petting zoo, goes beserk and pecks out the eyes of two kindergarteners, Farmer Jones takes matters into his own hands.
2. When Super Chicken appears as a celebrity competitor on Iron Chef, Chef Campbell mistakes him for his main ingredient and fricassees him to death.
3. Blind 14-year-old jockey Harry Palms pits his knobby-kneed thoroughbred "Choke That Chicken" against favored competitors "Spank That Monkey," "Slap My Hamster," "Rub the Armadillo," "Flog the Dolphin," and "Pet That Weasel" in a race to see which one will come first.
4. Margo's new animal private eye business has it's first client: she's hired to delve into the mystery of Max, a bloodthirsty goat caught red-bearded with a dead chicken dangling from his mouth.
5. When 10 year-old Rosemary moves to farm country, her friend Mindy cries, then begs to visit. Mindy brings her best swimsuit and a loaded ipod, but Rosemary's father forces Mindy to clean chicken coops 12 hours a day.
6. When animal-rights activists stage a midnight attack against a poultry factory-farm they discover evidence that Colonel Sanders is alive und well und livink in Argentina.
Dear Undisputably Savvy Editor/Agent,
I would like to submit for consideration my 62,000-word commercial fiction novel currently titled This Sucks, Rename Me Please. (alt title: Choke That Chicken!)
Margo Gunniere calls herself an animal behaviorist and a boonie-bunny horse trainer/investigator. A mature, happily single woman (40 ackchoke something years old) she's got a hard-working physique, a somewhat irreverent take on life, and a firm conviction that one is never too old to enjoy a happy childhood.
She's recently segued her horse training business into an animal consulting business which leads her into investigating strange animal behaviors that leave owners perplexed. Aided by her friend and horse training confederate Carol, she's hired to delve into the mystery of Max, an apparently bloodthirsty pet goat caught red-bearded with a dead chicken dangling from his mouth.
[Are you the animal detective?
Yes, what can I do for you?
My chicken's been murdered.
I'll take the case. Suspect anyone in particular?
Yes, the goat.
The goat in whose mouth I found my chicken.
What does the goat have to say?
Says the chicken was already dead.
And what do you say?
I . . . loved that chicken. I say give the goat the chair.
The chair? But he's just a kid!]
During her investigation she interacts with an eccentric crew of small town locals, interesting critters, and a very sexy mystery man named Travis (who's apparently assigned by an unnamed and ominous govt. agency to a liaison with her). He's following an unusual gene-altered cat who's escaped from a secure compound and may or may not be involved with the killer pet goat belonging to Betti Hylund. [May or may not be? That can be said of everyone in the world.] When Margo discovers Travis is actually a veterinarian and capable of beating her in a pool tournament, she's intrigued enough to consider at least toning down her social life a bit in favor of monogamy.
Fans of Janet Evonovitch may enjoy this book for its irreverent and quick-paced readability. [They also probably know that she spells her name "Evanovich."] Margo is strong, opinionated and independent with plenty of confidence and a healthy sex drive.
Much like the author. [TMI.] I've been a lifelong animal behaviorist, a desert rat-ette, and a dedicated though unpublished scribbler of many a humorous tale. My critters and I live quite happily on a small rural farm somewhat similar to the one featured in this work of fiction, where all names have been changed--to protect the guilty of course.
Thank you for your attention and time,
Evil Editor made his changes on the original, as the majority were spelling errors--at least eight of them--that would have been caught by spellchecking. If the manuscript has that many, it will be a distraction, and probably fatal. Speaking figuratively.
The query is funny; the question is, can you sustain the humor for an entire book? Readers aren't likely to care who killed the chicken, so there has to be more here than a detective story. Presumably the Travis/Janet relationship and the govt. agency/cat play major roles. We can't tell if the chicken/goat story is the main thread, or a minor section. Perhaps cut the Evanovich paragraph and give us one more tidbit about where the story is going.