April 17, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #84 - Hurricane Enrique (PB)


Something Chocolate?

Why yes thank you, don't mind if I do!

There's nothing like a little chocolate mousse in the morning among friends!  Who's with me?

You will notice I added some healthful and nutritious raspberries, which are especially good for you on account of the phenolic phytochemicals like ellagic acid, but also they taste really good with chocolate mousse :)

And speaking of chocolate mousse, does anyone remember Fred Gwynne?  (No, I am not off my rocker!  I'm going somewhere with this...)  He was Herman on The Munsters, and he played the southern Judge Chamberlain Haller in one of my all-time favorite movies, My Cousin Vinny (I highly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it - SO funny - but not for you for a few years, Erik - I think it's rated R for language!)  ANYWAY, he also wrote several humorous picture books for children that illustrate idioms.  One of them happens to be called A Chocolate Moose For Dinner.  See?    I told you I was going somewhere with this.

That's as far as I go, though.  Chocolate mousse reminds me of A Chocolate Moose For Dinner.  You should read it some time.  Maybe I'll do it for Perfect Picture Books one of these days :)

Now, if you all could please get off the topic of chocolate mousse and on to something serious and important, I would like to announce the winner of the March Pitch Pick!

Duhn duhn-duhn duhn-duhn duhn DUHN!!! It was was ERIK!!! with his pitch for The Adventures Of Tomato And Pea!  Congratulations, Erik!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts and comments :)  And congratulations to the other pitchers who also did an excellent job and in fact tied for the remaining votes that didn't go to Erik!  Thank you all for bravely pitching your work.  It gives us all an opportunity to learn and improve.

Now, onto today's pitch which comes to us from Deborah who says, "I'm a mother of five and Nana of three.  I've taught preschool and worked as a children's librarian, but now I work as a companion to elderly folks. My writing has appeared in several children's magazines, but my dream is to write a picture book that my grandkids will love."

Working Title: Hurricane Enrique
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-7)
The Pitch:  When a hurricane strikes, a young girl bravely rescues the awful dog that belongs to her dearest friend. 

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 Deborah 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.  There are openings in June so you have time to polish your pitch for a chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Deborah is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to taking my dogs for a run in the sunshine.  Look at them.  They're totally ready.


The weatherman promised sunshine today, and warm temperatures, and I intend to hold him to it.  There will be no chocolate mousse, with or without raspberries, for the weatherman if he doesn't come through!

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Reactions:

72 comments:

  1. delores @ thefeatherednestApril 17, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    Well it certainly sounds like it is going to be an exciting story. I would like the pitch to have a little more substance though. Maybe something like, "Midge wasn't fond of Rufus. He had some VERY bad habits but he was her best friends dog. With no one at home at her friends house and a hurricane bearing down Midge knew she had to rescue Rufus...but how?

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  2. Haha, Susanna! You are very funny today. Love the pics of your dogs!

    Congrats to Erik!

    And kudos to Deborah for her brevity! But I feel the pitch needs a little more intrigue. I am not sure she should say the young girl actually rescues the dog- but rather mention the dilemma she is faced with (as Delores suggested.) Sounds like a great story!

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  3. WOW! I won! Thank you everyone! ;)

    I would read the book (I like the topic), but I need a bit more detail on what happens. How is the dog awful? Why would the girl save it?

    Erik

    P.S. I can't believe I won! I really can't...

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  4. Yes - I would absolutely read it. I love that the entire story can be pitched in one line. wow. I immediately sense that this story will have some ethical conundrums and growth of characters.

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  5. congrats to Erik! I can't wait to learn more about how the adventures of the veggie duo turn out.

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  6. YAY! Congratulations to Erik. We look forward to reading your book in the future.

    For the pitch, it is intriguing but maybe a bit too brief. Including the reason the dog is so awful - or at least a hint may help. Best of luck.


    Cool Mom for Stanley & Katrina

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  7. Congratulations, Erik!

    And, Deborah, yes I would read this book, sounds like it's based on a true story. ? I applaud you for condensing your story into a 1 sentence pitch! Some agents do prefer short! However, maybe you don't want to give away the ending.

    And, Susanna, the mousse looks yummy. I, too, had no idea what you were talking about, and I think of myself as old! :P

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  8. Congrats Erik!! :)

    I think I'd read it, but need more info. I was waiting to read just one more little thing about the story. seems too short to me.

    Thanks so much, Susanna. It was fun doing the pitch with you :)

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  9. Best of luck to you Erik. Now the pitch: I have to be honest. My first thought when I heard it was about a hurricane was yes, and it still is, but I'm stuck on the word awful for the dog. Why is the dog so awful? I think we need more information there to better understand.
    Now would I read it? yes, because I want to know why the dog is awful, I'd also like to know how he is rescued, and more importantly how the little girl deals with the hurricane. I'd like to hear more about that in the pitch as well. - :-) Cynthia

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  10. Congratulations Erik!

    Deborah, I agree with Denise and Erik. I think the topic for your story is good, but I definitely want to know more. What is her relationship with this dog? What is the girl's name? Who is her friend?

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  11. Woohoo, Erik!!! It was an excellent pitch. I'm going to hold my breath until you write that book...so please hurry. ;)


    I would read Deborah's book because I think the one sentence gives it an exciting start. Given that it's a really short pitch, and she could add another sentence or two, I suggest including some tantalizing details on what gets in the girl's way specifically to ramp up the suspense.

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  12. Woohoo, congrats to Erik! Nap-time over, doggies!

    Mine is a maybe on the pitch. The premise is great, but it needs spicing up a bit. I need more details to becomeintrigued. Why is the dog awful? Maybe add some names or more about the friendship or the problems the hurricane poses?

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  13. p.s. Susanna, if I gain 10 pounds this year because I started following your blog, I'm going to be very annoyed...LOL!

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  14. Would I read it? Yes. But I would like the pitch to tell me more. What are the girl's challenges in rescuing the dog? Why is the dog deemed awful? Why can't the dearest friend save her own ding-dang dog? A little more info would draw me in.

    And please, please, please tell me the name of the dog is Enrique. 'Cause that would make said working title a GREAT title.

    And Fred Gwynne, eh? Should I expect a future HACKS Seal of Approval nomination?

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  15. Susanna, I will be quite sick if I ate the mousse on top of the cheese cake and strawberries I had for breakfast an hour ago. Can I save it? for later?


    Congratulations,, Erik! That was a great pitch and I can't wait to read the book.


    This pitch, like everyone else thinks, is too short. The hurricane implies danger and suspense but it needs to be noted and explained in the pitch. The conflict needs to be noted. And the awfulness of the dog explained not just told. Remember your show don't tell.

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  16. Susanna, Love chocolate mousse! How about for breakfast and dinner? Deborah, if your going for the one sentence pitch, then yes, I think yours does the job. Lately I've been reading pitches that are closer to 3-4 sentences, so I agree with everyone else to expand it. How does the girl rescue those dogs?

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  17. Yes to the pitch because it's something to root for--and I agree with other's comments about adding some more. :)
    And I already kinda knew we had similar tastes in humor (Jim Gaffigan!) but now that you've mentioned My Cousin Vinny I know for sure. LOVE that movie. One of my fave bits is the "two yoots" line.

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  18. How about chocolate mousse with raspberries while we watch 'My Cousin Vinny' ? :)
    Very funny movie, Susanna...wasn't he in Car 54 Where Are You? also?
    Congrats, Erik! I'm SOOOOO happy you won...although the other pitches sounded like awesome stories as well. :)
    And yes, Deborah, I would definitely read your story...but I agree with many of the others that the pitch needs to be just a tad longer. I'm not crazy about the word 'awful' to describe the dog...maybe we need to hear why he is so 'awful', especially in respect to the mc.

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  19. Glad if I amused you, Iza :) You should bring Jambo down here and we could go for a walk with ALL the dogs :) Thanks for your comments for Deborah! .

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  20. Congratulations again, Erik! You deserved it :) And thanks for your comments for Deborah - very astute.

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  21. Thanks for your very helpful comments for Deborah, Angela. And you should see the dogs now that they've had their run... flat out in the sunshine on the back porch loving every minute of this beautiful day! :)

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  22. Thank you for your excellent suggestions, Delores. I'm sure Deborah will find them very helpful :)

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  23. Thanks for your enthusiastic comments for Deborah, Sue - I'm sure she'll be pleased :)

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  24. Thanks so much for stopping by to congratulate Erik, C.M., and for your very helpful comments for Deborah! :)

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  25. I'm sorry, Tina! I didn't mean to make you feel old first thing in the morning :) ... although I guess it's not first think in the morning where you are :) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Deborah!

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  26. Thanks for your two cents for Deborah, Denise, and thank YOU for submitting your pitch! We all enjoyed it :) Feel free to submit another any time :)

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  27. Congratulations, Erik! Well deserved. And Susanna- if I keep up with your blog posts, I'm going to gain a lot of weight with all your sweet treats! Yummy!

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts for Deborah, Cynthia - I'm sure she'll find them helpful!

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  29. Thanks so much for chiming in, Heather! :)

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  30. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Deborah, Teresa!

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  31. That's the beauty of my offerings, Teresa - they're calorie-free! And you are welcome to come running with the dogs any time :)

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  32. Nap time was over and has now resumed :) Thanks for your helpful comments for Deborah, Joanna! :)

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  33. Thanks for your very helpful comments for Deborah, Mike. Also, "Ding-Dang-Dog" sounds like a good title for a picture book - I will be expecting to hear you've sold it to some huge publishing house shortly :) As for Fred Gwynne, I hadn't even thought of him for HACKS, but yes, I think he deserves a seal of approval. Plus his books have been out for ages - he didn't just climb on the celebrity publishing bandwagon like Madonna! :)

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  34. YUMMY!
    Go Eric!
    The wind up on the pitch needs to be a tad longer.
    Your dogs totally look ready for a run in the sun. Not.

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  35. Thanks for your helpful comments for Deborah, Clar. And yes, you are excused from chocolate mousse until lunchtime - I agree that it might be overkill after cheesecake and strawberries (but I'm glad to see you're working some vitamin C into your breakfast :))

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  36. Ah, Pam! A girl after my own heart :) Of course you may have chocolate mousse as many times a day as you like around here :) Thanks for your comments for Deborah! :)

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  37. Two WHAT? Did you say yoots? hahaha! :) One of these days I'll have to work, "So I wore this riDICulous thing, for you!" into a blog post :) Oh, really, SO many funny lines. Now I want to go watch it... but I should really work :) Thanks for your comments for Deborah, Coleen!

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  38. EXCELLENT plan, Vivian! I like the way you think! Let's all agree to drop everything and meet at my house around 8 PM for chocolate mousse with raspberries while we watch My Cousin Vinny! Thanks for your comments for Deborah, too :)

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  39. You're welcome to come running with me and the dogs :) I invited Teresa too :) .

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  40. They are uncontrollable bundles of energy. Can't you tell? :) We had a lovely outing though. Scout went swimming four times and is now on the back deck baking (but not appreciably dryer) in the sunshine, and Jemma went wading after frogs (she only goes into water up to her tiptoes :)) and is now sound asleep under the piano bench. It's good to be a dog :)

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  41. It's funny because we often ask for shorter pitches, but yes, I think this one could benefit from more info. I LOVE the idea of rescuing an "awful" dog instead of a beloved one...I think that is such a great example for kids and such a great telling of how tragedy can bring us all together. I'd want to know a little more about why the dogs are awful. Maybe start with that and then talk about a hurricane strikes and now she sets out to rescue them. And maybe a little more about the girl. Her name? Age-ish? If she normally hates all dogs or just this one? There may be a way to answer most of these questions without adding more than a sentence or two to the pitch. Good luck! And thanks for sharing! (And yes, I'd definitely read the book.) :)

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  42. Congratulations, Erik! Susanna, you may want to invest in a wagon and a few pillows so you can pull Scout and Jemma along on your run. I like the pitch, but we need some hints to explain why the dog is horrible, and maybe where the friend is.

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  43. Yay! Go, Erik. Deborah I think your pitch is perfect. Love the moose pun, Susanna.

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  44. Congrats to Erik! Hooray for chocolate moose! And yes, definitely, to Deborah's pitch - although cannot imagine any dog being awful!

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  45. Congratulations ERIK! I like the pitch, but wouldn't mind more voice in the hook - like 'awful, stinky-breath dog that never. stops. barking.' - or something along those lines!

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  46. Thanks for your enthusiasm for Deborah, Patricia! And I'm with you... no awful dogs :) My dogs may have moments when they SMELL awful, but they are never awful themselves :)

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  47. POSTED FOR TRACY at www.tracycampbell.net/blog

    Congratulations, Erik! Woot! Woot!
    And I loved Deborah's pitch. I would read it.
    The pitch was concise and provided enough information to reel me in.
    Deborah is your title set in stone?
    What about Hurricane H......., or some other name that begins with the letter "H". Just a suggestion.
    Susanna, I hope you were able to bribe the dogs and get them out for a walk. :-)

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  48. Thanks for your comments for Deborah, Tracy, and you'd be surprised how fast the girls wake up when they hear the word walk - despite their awe-inspiring talent for sleeping, they are not hard to convince :)

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  49. Thanks Julie! I'm sure Deborah will find your suggestions and examples helpful!

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  50. Susanna, I want to kiss your pooches! I miss my walk buddies. :( It looks like Deborah got a LOT of advice. I'd echo the maybes who want to know a bit more (can't believe any dog deserves to be called "awful"!)

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  51. I knew that would appeal to you, Catherine :)

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  52. Congratulations Erik! Will look forward to your critique.


    Yes, I'd read it, but there is too much info missing. You received plenty of advice, so won't add mine. Just needs developing a little more so we have a sense of why she needs to rescue the dog.

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  53. I was teasing my doggies just a little, Genevieve :) They are good sleepers, but they LOVE to go out, and if I don't get my derriere in gear fast enough they complain vociferously :) Thanks for your comments for Deborah!

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  54. Thanks so much for your helpful comments, Pat :)

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  55. If you don't live too far away, you can come and smooch my doggies any time, Wendy :) And maybe one of these days it will feel right for you to rescue a new walking buddy - my pups are rescue dogs and they're just the best in the world. Thanks for your comments for Deborah :)

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  56. Thanks so much for your very helpful suggestions for Deborah, Wendy! :)

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  57. Thanks, Tracy--I keep hearing editors don't like alliterative names (Bobby Bunny, Skyler Skunk, etc.) so I did change it, but to Hurricane Carlos. I had to research and make sure that name hadn't been taken by an actual hurricane, and isn't on the list for future ones. Thanks for your comment!

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  58. Thanks, Wendy! A lot of people agree that the pitch was too short!

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  59. Thanks, Cynthia! That's just what I wanted people to wonder!

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  60. Thanks, Sue!

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  61. Thanks, Teresa!

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  62. Oh, it's fun to hear more of the story, Deborah! Thanks for sharing :)

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  63. Ah, but your photos inspire me to bake, and then eat, which in turn makes me gain weight. ;) Dogs are great for helping to lose weight!

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  64. Congratulations Erik!
    Unfortunately, children are facing more and more severe weather situations it seems these days, so that part of the book is relevant. The pitch for me is missing why she needs to save the dog or is in a situation where she can save the dog. Was there a fight and she needs to make it up to the friend? Is it during a sleepover?

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  65. True about the extreme weather, Lauri. Thanks for your comments for Deborah!

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  66. I'm late to the party, but had to say CONGRATULATIONS, ERIK!!!!


    As for today's pitch, it's a maybe for me. It's definitely an important topic, but perhaps the pitch could have a little more punch to it? I'm not sure what to suggest, but I haven't read the comments, and I'm sure clever people have come up with awesome suggestions.

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  67. Deborah Holt WilliamsApril 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Thanks, Catherine!

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  68. I may have a solution... you can mail half your baked good to me :)

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  69. Thanks for chiming in for Deborah, Beth! And yes, many clever people and awesome suggestions so you're off the hook :)

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  70. LOL! I love sharing my baked goods! If you were my neighbor, you'd be on a sugar buzz all the time. LOL! I used to give everyone baked good for Christmas until people started going on diets; now I give handmade soaps and lotions which don't contribute to health issues. ;)

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  71. I am impressed that you can hand-make soaps and lotions! I would totally do that if I could... but as it is I still give baked goods :)

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