Let me tell you, writing fifty, sixty even eighty thousand words is nothing compared to trying to narrow an entire story down to a thirty-second “elevator” pitch. Basically, a brief yet POWERFUL summary of your story that should, if done right, leave the recipient saying, “My God! That is the most incredible thing I have ever heard!” and send him, or her, scrambling to the nearest book store like a junkie needing a fix (meaning – middle aged woman in search of dark chocolate.)
As I am knee deep in all things literary this week in New Orleans, first presenting my paper on Transcendent Regionalism in a Virtual World at the American Literature Symposium on Regionalism and Place, and then participating in the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance – #SIBA17 – trade show, I will be tossing out elevator pitches like beads at Mardi Gras.
Only this old gray nag’s memory ain’t what it used to be, no matter the amount of dark chocolate. Therefore I’m putting all my elevator pitches on the table here. As a reminder for me, but also as a reference for anyone interested.
Idabel Allen Sanctioned Elevator Pitches
Rooted: Set in the 1970’s, Grover McQuiston rules his Tennesee delta town and his family with an iron-fist until a strung out, New York punk rocker crash lands on his lawn, forcing the McQuiston’s to confront a violent and devastating past Grover has worked a lifetime to bury.
Think “Sid Vicious crash-lands in Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha county and causes a ruckus.”
Cursed! My Devastatingly Brilliant Campaign to Save The Chigg – Creative genius and future award winning zombie screenwriter/director/producer Ginny – J for Genius – Edgars embarks on her most preposterous adventure yet – helping 8th grade’s freakazoid #1, Carrie “Chigger” Larson, get to the bottom of a family curse believed to have killed the Chigg’s father – whether the clown-headed sourpuss likes it or not!
Strange Agonies in Some Lonesome Wilderness – On an isolated Mississippi river island once home to the plantations of Joseph and Jefferson Davis, the hoodooed residents of an all black farming community turn to an WPA anthropologist to help them pass on to the afterlife, challenging what she believes about the world, her life and the one that lies beyond. A study of what happens when a good person, in a moment of desperation, invites a little evil into his life.
Hopefully, hopefully, I can whip these elevator pitches out when needed. Wish me luck:).