October 26, 2011

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 14th Pitch

Greetings, folks!
Apologies for being absent from the blogosphere yesterday and late in posting Would You Read It today!  Yesterday was a C-RAAZY day!

First, I went to the New York State Readers Association Conference in Rye Brook, NY to mingle, sign books, and give a talk to actual professional grown-ups (and any of you who have been around here long know what terror talking to actual professional grown-ups strikes into my pitter-pattery little heart!)  I would be sharing a photo of me with fellow writers Lesa Cline Ransome and Ann Burg, but I don't have one yet!  (I'll add it in when I get it, or post it Friday along with my fun foto :))  The talk, much to my surprise, went well - such lovely people attended! - and I ended up having a really nice time.

When that was done, I high-tailed it home, picked up my daughter, drove her back to college after her long weekend (a 4+ hour drive), turned right around and drove back home.  By my reckoning, close to 550 miles of driving in about 11 hours in one day.  Thank goodness for my 3 month free subscription to satellite radio which allowed me to listen to a comedy station on the long drive home alone!  I felt like a cartoon.  Toward the end, near 11 PM which is WAY past my bedtime, I had to get out and run around the car a few times in the cold night air to wake up :)  If only I had video footage - it would be so entertaining!  I could post it on YouTube and go viral... but I digress!

So anyway, fueled up on coffee and imaginary chocolate donuts, I am here at last to post this week's Would You Read It :)  Just first, I want to mention that the theme for this week's Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza (which I keep thinking I should abbreviate to FFFF but it's too much fun to say fextravaganza!) is HALLOWEEN!  What a surprise :)

I also want to remind everyone about the HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST which will be taking place on Monday, which actually is Halloween - how apropos :)  A bunch of people seemed enthusiastic, so lets hope we get some entries - I already have the signed book prize in my hot little hands and I'm looking forward to the fun!

OKAY.  Time to welcome today's pitcher, Kim, a former journalist and current Communications professor who loves to write creatively.

Working Title:  Henry Hears You
Age/Genre:  YA
The Pitch:  13-year-old boy finds his voice as the new advice columnist for the school newspaper only to discover that some problems don't have easy solutions when he gets a letter from a kid threatening to kill himself if the gay bashing doesn't stop.


So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kim improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!

Don't forget to join us Friday for Fun Foto (Halloween), and get right to work on your Halloweensie Contest entries!!!  I know they'll be spooktacular :)


Reactions:

26 comments:

  1. Definitely yes! What a great angle for a story about bullying and sexuality for teenagers. My only question is the age. Is 13 too young? If the main character was a few years older, then would that help to get older readers to read the book? I don't mean 13 is too young for someone to have to deal with this kind of problem, I am just wondering if a 16 or 17-year-old would read it if they saw the book was about someone younger than them.

    This topic is so important, and a tough one to tackle, so I admire you for doing it! I think writing this book would be an incredible journey. Great pitch :)

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  2. I agree with K that 13 might be a bit too young for the protag - not because 13 year-olds wouldn't face this type of bullying, but because kids generally read "up" and older kids probably wouldn't read about someone younger.

    I love the premise though!

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  3. Would I read this? Not only does this receive a resounding "yes," I wish I were an agent, so I could rep such a story.

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  4. Yes, what a dilemma for the reporter. Agree about the age issue, but Yes!

    And Susanna I can't wait for all the Halloween fun!!!

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  5. And also yikes to all that driving, you sound like my hubby when he used to go to Aus! Glad you're back safely and *hugs* for the nerves, i would be just the same :)

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  6. Hi! New follower!

    Before I even read the comments I had the same thought. I think the age of 13 limits the audience for who would read this book. If you at least make him high school age I think you'd broaden your audience a ton.

    I think it's a fantastic story idea though!

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  7. I immediately thought either this is MG or change the age of protagonist for YA. I would go for the latter. Yes I would most definitely read this, great pitch. Great concept.

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  8. Thanks for the kind words everyone. Michelle, I wish you were an agent as I'm finding the traditional publishing world to be a tough nut to crack, especially when trying to pitch a young adult novel with a male protagonist. Most YA novels seem to be geared toward girls.

    It's funny that everyone is having the same reaction to Henry's age. I went back and forth wondering if 13 was too young and it sounds like I should make him a little older, probably 16. It's a pretty easy fix, especially since after reading the manuscript, my husband thinks his voice is more like a 16-year-olds anyway.

    My only struggle with making him older is in doing some research on current YA novels, it seems like so many of them that feature a 16-year-old protagonist are so much darker and edgier than my story. In fact, I can't believe how edgy some of the stuff is. Personally, I think stories that young people might actually experience would be more appealing to them, but I guess they like to explore issues outside of what they know too.

    Thanks again for all the great comments and support!

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  9. Wow. I would totally read this. In a heartbeat.

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  10. The character is too young. This sound more like a book for teens 14 + due to the subject matter. In that case, the character would be 16 or 17 (or even 18).

    Sounds like a great subject matter for a book.

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  11. I agree about the character's age, but otherwise, yes. :)

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  12. Kim, Julie, Michelle, Catherine, Kelley, Joanna, Jess, Stina, and Janet - thank you all so much for your comments for Kim! I'm amazed at the unanimity so far - I don't think this has ever happened before, that everyone is so much in agreement!

    Kelley - welcome! Followed you back :)

    Catherine - I'm so excited that you're excited for the Halloween fun!

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  13. Chiming in about the age. I agree it sounds like a YA as well.
    Susanna, I love the imaginary donuts idea. I wish that was enough to satisfy me!

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  14. I say yes. I would think he should be older as an advice columnist - not necessarily the subject matter. The topic itself seems fairly dark to me as the student is threatening to kill himself and there is gay bashing. Good luck.
    Oh Susanna, I used my most recent "Halloween" picture today! I'll see what I can do to play along this week.
    Glad you survived the talk and the drive!

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  15. The age would stop me from reading. Thirteen is middle grade. I would read it if the character was fifteen or sixteen (true YA). Age definitely matters.

    That's a lotta of driving. :-)

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  16. Dawn -well, when you haven't been to the store, sometimes imaginary donuts are the best you can do :)

    Stacy - you are a trooper! And thanks - the talk was scary and the drive was long!

    Robyn - telling me! :)

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  17. Hi Susanna! Stopping over from the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest. You've got a beautiful blog here! It's always wonderful to meet another children's book writer. :)

    Good luck with the fest!

    ~Melissa
    http://melissakline.blogspot.com/

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  18. Hi Melissa - thanks so much for stopping by. I'm guilty of not getting my warm fuzzies post up yet - hopefully tomorrow! i can't wait to check out your blog - i love meeting other children's writers :)

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  19. What a weekend! I'm glad it's over for you!

    I think 13 is too young for YA. YA is for 14-18, so the protagonist is too young to be of interest to most readers. At least, that's what agents and editors say.

    As for the content, middle school students call one another gay all the time. And harassment/bullying over gay issues happens in middle school. Students younger than middle school age have committed suicide over bullying. If we wait for them to get to YA books, we don't help 'em do we?

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  20. Yes! This is great and I think it would be a useful read for many people. I do agree that it could be portrayed as an older child so that an older age would read it as well, but kids at the age of 13 can have the same problem and we want to make sure their included in the group.

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  21. An absolute YES for me. Seems like a contemporary theme with many possibilities. How great to finally find your voice, but with that comes challenges and responsibilities. Sounds great!

    And Susanna- My Halloweensie story is done. Final edits left. Looking forward to others.

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  22. Thanks again for all this great support and based on all the comments, it definitely seems like I should change the age to 16 or 17. And you are right A2Z Mommy, finding your voice does come with challenges and responsibilities as Henry realizes in the course of the book.

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  23. Yes, I like the concept and subject matter. I agree with others, it sounds more YA. I would consider changing the age.

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  24. Sounds like you've been BUSY!

    I'd read it if it were YA.

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  25. Sorry to have taken so long to get here, but I loved this pitch and would absolutely read this book. The age borders MG, which is fine, too, as long as the writing leans that way. This sounds like a heart-breaking read that could really change lives. Good luck!

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  26. I think this pitch would appeal to young teens. I also believe Henry would be older. My daughter once worked on a school nwspaper and the Q&A Column was answered by a Grade 12 person, (partly because she had a free study period!)
    Jane in sunny S.W. Ontario

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