Saturday, February 24, 2007
Guess the Plot
One Way to Paris
1. Library assistant Gertrude Moffin is too claustrophobic to take the Chunnel and too afraid of flying to take a plane. When a mysterious man offers her passage on a Unesco hospital ship, she knows it is her last shot at a vacation on the Continent.Will she accept without a round trip guarantee?
2. When sexy spinster Amelia Pettipants goes undercover in a lingerie factory, she discovers a frightening plot to blow up the southbound Chunnel using explosives hidden in corset-boning. Can she prevent a rapid British population decline? Or will France be forced to digest the influx of British cuisine?
3. It's good-bye Siberia! Hello world! when Demetri Pushkin uses duct tape and baling wire to reinforce the machinery of his grandpa's old car, waves adieu, and steers toward Paris with his dog Groucho.
4. This exposé of the Parisian chocolate factories explains why the world can't get enough French chocolate. The trail of clues leads from the Belgian guilds to the Pennsylvania countryside to the war in Afghanistan. The investigators conclusion: "It's just a freaking Hershey bar sprinkled with opium!"
5. Fatima escapes from an arranged marriage, looking to Paris for a new life. Unfortunately, a clerical error lands the burqa-clad beauty in Paris, Texas. Hilarity ensues when the handsome Homeland Security agent takes her aside for some 'probing' questions.
6. When Annie is forced to rent out rooms in her downtown Paris home, she gets some odd tenants, including a woman whose husband apparently has rabies, and a master vegetable peeler from the United States.
Attn. Evil Editor
Query for ONE WAY TO PARIS, a story of resilience, rebirth and the power of love.
Annie’s husband died on her two years ago and she’s not exactly recovering. [In fact, she's still trying to get out from under him. What was she thinking, marrying a sumo wrestler?] She’s only thirty-five but has three demanding children in tow. [The word "but" implies that it's unusual for someone only thirty-five to have three children.] Sure her beautiful house is located in the heart of Paris, but it’s derelict and bankruptcy is looming. Annie, an American, is surrounded by French people, a breed she doesn’t particularly trust. She’s anxious whenever she leaves her house, she’s too fat, at least by Parisian standards, and for a reason she can hardly admit to herself, she’s angry, angry as hell. These days, Annie’s options are, unlike her, pretty thin. [That's two cracks about her weight in two sentences. Meeeoow.]
Lucas, her wealthy, blue-blooded, Lanvin-wearing friend who knocks at her door daily and complains about her American coffee will not, absolutely not, charm her into selling her beloved house, her one anchor in this world, for her own good. What Annie will do, in part to make ends meet, in part to infuriate Lucas, is rent out rooms to perfect strangrs. “Start over in Paris?” says her small ad placed in two American newspapers.
Enter Lola from Bel Air, who’s everything Annie wishes she were: gorgeous, even-keeled, and long-legged. Lucas, that rat, is smitten. They don’t know that Lola is secretly hiding from her violent husband, who’s currently foaming at the mouth and circling the globe in search of her. [If you're looking for someone, and you've managed to narrow down her location to "somewhere on the globe," it's time to settle for someone else with the same color hair.] Althea, the second tenant also looks harmless at first. She’s a quiet young mid-westerner, master vegetable peeler, [She can finish off a good-sized cuke in six strokes.] albeit anorexic and crippled with a teensy bit of a death wish. Althea puts Annie’s patience and empathy bone to the test and she wonders if Althea will manage to kill herself before she [Who's "she"?] strangles her with her bare hands. Things unravel completely with the arrival of a third tenant, a smoldering French artist named Jared. The women in the house swoon while Jared spends his nights roaming the underbelly of Paris or locked up in police stations. [Not clear how Jared's arrival and the resulting swooning constitutes a complete unraveling.] [Also, this makes it sound like it's his roaming and getting into trouble that makes them swoon, rather than his accent and that cute thing he does with his eyebrows.]
What did Annie get herself into? The plan was for them to start over! But what happens when you get involved with people is that your heart might open up in dangerous ways. You might face the lies you’ve been repeating to yourself for the last ten years, and you might--kicking and screaming and against your better judgment--begin to trust again, forgive yourself, and perhaps even fall in love.
ONE WAY TO PARIS is a work of women’s fiction and is 95,000 words long. I hope you will be interested in reading my manuscript and look forward to hearing from you.
Heavy on the synopsis side, but I'd rather hear more about the book than a list of credits--unless those credits sparkle. This makes the book sound entertaining, amusing, fun. Assuming the book is fairly light (describing it as a story of resilience, rebirth and the power of love doesn't get that across; perhaps you could describe it as exuberant, spirited, or lighthearted without sounding like you're bragging, the way you would if you called it hilarious, rollicking, or effervescent), the tone is spot-on.
I don't, however, think you're fitting all of that on a page, so here's a shorter version that might squeeze in.
Annie’s husband died two years ago and she’s not exactly recovering. Her beautiful house in the heart of Paris faces bankruptcy, she's surrounded by people she doesn’t particularly trust (the French), and for a reason she won't admit to herself, she’s angry as hell. These days, Annie’s options are (unlike Annie) pretty thin.
Lucas, her blue-blooded, Lanvin-wearing friend who knocks at her door daily and complains about her American coffee will not, absolutely not, charm her into selling her beloved house, her one anchor in this world. What Annie will do, partly to infuriate Lucas, is rent out rooms to perfect strangers. “Start over in Paris?” reads her small ad, placed in two American newspapers.
Enter Lola from Bel Air, who’s everything Annie wishes she were: gorgeous, even-keeled, and long-legged. Lucas, that rat, is smitten. They don’t know that Lola is secretly hiding from her violent husband. Althea, the second tenant, also looks harmless: a quiet young mid-westerner, a master vegetable peeler, but crippled by a bit of a death wish. When a third tenant arrives, a smoldering French artist named Jared, the women in the house swoon.
Annie's plan was to start over, but when you get involved with people, your heart can open up in dangerous ways. You might confront the lies you’ve been telling yourself. You might forgive yourself, begin to trust again, and even . . . fall in love.
ONE WAY TO PARIS is a lighthearted, 95,000-word story of resilience and the power of love. I hope you will be interested in reading the manuscript.