Friday, August 14, 2009
Guess the Plot
The Black Douglas
1. Genealogist Hamish McBride discovers that the legitimate heir to one of Scotland's clan chieftainships was included in the ill-fated Darien Scheme to colonize America in 1684. And he finds a direct lineal descendant, now living in Jamaica. But are the conservative Scottish clans ready for . . . The Black Douglas?
2. When Edgar Beaucoup buys the black-on-black, he's sure his millions were well invested -- until Taciturn Winters announces she created the hideous fake to protest greed and corruption in the art world. Edgar knows he should help put her away . . . but it's love at first sight.
3. In this sequel to the movie Braveheart, Scottish teenager James Douglas takes up the fight against the English after Mel Gibson's death. Unfortunately Douglas fails to grasp the fact that wars are usually won by the side that has weapons.
4. This volume of the color-coded memoirs of Douglas Figstiffle covers his Black period, in which he adopted a "Puritan" style complete with black clothes, black hair dye, black furniture, etc, and matched it with such relentless gloom & doom & talk of Hellfire and damnation, the Taliban mistook him for one of their own.
5. Minnie Wax last solved the case of the Green Douglas, in which she unmasked the notorious dog-napper of Detroit. Now a burlesque dancer's cat has gone missing in Las Vegas, and, astonishingly, Minnie's top three suspects are, again, all named 'Douglas'.
6. The Black Douglas is your typical pirate ship - except, of course, for its all-female crew. Can Katherine "Ugly Kitty" Duglan hold this unruly band together long enough to take revenge on the British officer who killed her father, framed her brother, and possibly stole her parrot?
Eighteen-year-old James Douglas is forced to watch as the Scottish freedom-fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered, his still-beating heart cut out. With his country under the heel of a brutal English tyrant, James takes up the battle for freedom. His only weapon is ruthless cunning. In ambush and terror, he carries the fight to the English [Ambushing soldiers may catch them by surprise, but . . .
James Douglas: We'll hide behind these rocks. When the English army comes through the pass we'll spring out unexpectedly.
2nd in command: But sir, the English have crossbows and swords and we have no weapons.
James Douglas: Wrong. We have ruthless cunning.]
and counts it worth the cost, even if that cost is sharing Wallace's fate. The only thing he truly fears is that he may have become as merciless as the conqueror he hates. [How merciless can you be when your only weapon is cunning? Even if you trick the enemy into entering your trap, you need some rope or a lead pipe or a candlestick to hold off their swords. Give them some weapons.]
THE BLACK DOUGLAS is a 100,000 word historical novel which takes up where the movie Braveheart leaves off.
I am the author of A WARRIOR'S DUTY published by Swimming Kangaroo Books, and my flash story Guardian Demon appeared in the Editor Unleashed/Smashword Flash 40 Anthology. I also have a BA in English with a minor in history.
Upon your request, I am prepared to send a partial or the complete manuscript. Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.
You need to tell us what happens in your book. All we know is your main character's name and that he fought against the English after Wallace died. You don't even make it clear that Douglas isn't a fictional character. His write-up in Wikipedia shows him to be as compelling a character as William Wallace. Your query should declare that your novel is based on the exploits of James Douglas, who successfully . . . whatever. Then relate some of the crucial events in your novel.
The Wikipedia article indicates that James was sent to Paris for safety early in the Wars for Scottish Independence, and that he returned to Scotland in 1306. As William Wallace was executed in 1305, James wouldn't have been there to watch the execution. Did he make a quick trip over and back? Or is there an error? The fictional parts of historical fiction should be the parts no one can check up on. The facts you need to get right, because your readers will take you to task otherwise.