Monday, March 05, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. The Romanian village of Voza was invaded by 27 different armies in a hundred years. The Voza Surrender Chorus is still sung in church on Sundays. But Dracula tourists with plastic fangs are worse than Huns! Vladimir Creanga begs the people to stop the Chorus and use real weapons.
2. Chained to a post in a windowless room by mobsters, ace reporter Nick Voza laughs. Torture him all ya want -- he'll never tell where Maryanne is. So the fiends deploy a secret weapon -- Big Sal, the belly dancing hypnotist.
3. Voza has a singing voice that could fell a deaf yak. When an unlikely series of events has her singing the national anthem in front of the president of the United States, hilarity ensues.
4. Voza travels medieval England alone. He sings, dances, recites poetry, plays a charming lute -- and seduces multitudes of nuns and ladies -- until the Duke of York promises half a kingdom if he leads the Queen astray. But things do not proceed as planned. Is the old bat deaf, or what?
5. The only sound more dreadful than Vogon love poetry is heard, briefly, in the mating season of the greeble-throated Voza. Deaf Dora is the only survivor on the island, but now her hearing is getting better. If she can't attract a rescue ship before next mating season, she's doomed to die horribly when next the . . . Voza Sings.
6. Voza was a chubby little girl. She was a fat teenager. Now, an obese adult, she decides to try out for American Idol. We all know the old phrase, "It's not over 'til the fat lady sings." We just didn't realize "over" meant "Armageddon."
Dear Evil Editor:
In most books, the lovable loser transforms herself into a winner everyone admires -- in a span of mere pages. [While in a query letter, the lovable loser has only one page to transform herself into a winner.] What happens if the loser tries with all her might, but still fails spectacularly? [Form rejection letter.]
That's Voza's story. Voza Sings encourages perseverance and rewards heart in this well-paced picture book for early elementary grades. Voza's teacher appoints her to the made-up position of Rest Leader because she has the worst pipsqueak voice in the entire fifth grade chorus, but that doesn't stop Voza's determination to sing. Similar to Bob of the namesake title, [Bob of the namesake title? Meaning Bob from the book Bob Sings? I'm not having any luck with Google or Amazon--unless you're talking about Bob Dylan. Is Bob in this book?] Voza finds her voice differently than most: by inadvertently screeching the national anthem to the President of the United States. [Sadly, Voza's singing is mistaken for ululation, and an overzealous secret service agent concludes she's a terrorist and shoots her.] [How do you inadvertently sing to the president? It's pretty hard to get into the same room with the president inadvertently, and belting out the national anthem without realizing it seems unlikely whether the president's in the room or not.]
Thank you for reading my enclosed manuscript, which I am sending exclusively to you. I hope you fall in love with Voza as much as I did.
If singing for the president turns out to be a good thing, tell us how. It sounds more like an embarrassing situation.
Perseverance is fine in many fields, but if music is your life, and you can't sing, maybe you should take up a musical instrument. Occasionally the American Idol judges tell a contestant to stick with it, but even Paula seldom says that to the ones who truly suck. Wouldn't the better lesson be Everyone can be good at something, and you should look for your area of talent, rather than Keep trying and you'll be singing at the Met before you know it?
It's awfully short. I realize you are enclosing the entire book, but it wouldn't hurt to describe the plot more fully in the letter.