May 1, 2013

Would You Read It Wednesday #86 - Day Dreamer (YA Sci-Fi) PLUS The April Pitch Pick

Happy May Day, Everyone!

Isn't it so appropriate that the birthstone for May is emerald?  May is so beautifully green!

And in the spirit of spring, I'm going to go hog wild and serve strawberry shortcake this morning.  I know it isn't chocolate, but YUM anyway! :)  Please!  Help yourselves :)

Now then.  A teensy item of business before we get to the pitch pick and today's Would You Read It pitch.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I did not detect the usual level of enthusiasm for my most recent hare-brained scheme contest.  I have decided this is my fault.  I thought it would be totally fun to see what you clever folks came up with - you always amaze me with your creativity!  But I can see how maybe it's more fun for me than it is for you, even though there are prizes.  And far be it from me to force anything on you that you don't think is fun!

So please let your opinion be known below.  Would anyone like to try the contest?  Or shall I make it easy - points for Face Book posting, Tweeting, or blogging about the ebook on May 7-9 or something - and lower the prize quality accordingly?  Ready set vote! (By 9PM EDT tomorrow, Thursday May 2)

Phew!  Now that's out of the way, let's do the April Pitch Pick.  Here are the newly improved and updated pitches from our intrepid pitchers thanks to your excellent feedback.

#1 Pam
Flood Dogs (Picture Book ages 5-8)
Based on a true story, FLOOD DOGS tells of a girl, her two dogs, and the flood that comes between them. As Cadence fears the fate of her dogs, she must also face the devastation of her town and home.  When she finally reconnects with her dogs, Cadence is overjoyed to discover just how much she still has.

#2 Elaine
Giant At The Gym (Picture Book ages 3-7)
When Giant works out at the 24-hour Animal Fitness Gym, he discovers that the weights are too light. Grabbing treadmill runners, stationary bike riders and bench pressers, Giant soon has animals of all kinds hanging from his barbells. Yet the barbells are still too light! Will Giant find the right amount of weight before he runs out of gym-goers or will Elephant put him over the top?

#3 Deborah
Hurricane Enrique (Picture Book ages 4-7)
Every Friday afternoon, Molly takes care of her best friend's yippy, nippy little Chihuahua, Carlos.  When a tropical storm strikes, Molly finds that rescuing Carlos isn't easy, but friends are friends.

#4 Cynthia
A Noise In The Dark (Picture Book ages 4-8)
Nicky knows he'll never get to sleep unless he finds out what is making so much noise in this closet, but it's dark and he is scared and all he really wants to do is hide under his covers. When Nicky gets no help from mom he realizes he must find the courage to face his fears so he could finally get some sleep.

Please vote for the pitch you think deserves a read by editor Erin Molta by Friday May 3 at 11:59 PM EDT.  Thank you!

Now then!  Onto today's pitch which comes to us from Jesse.  Jesse says, "I am an ad copy and commercial writer by trade. I am a husband and father of two (ages 3 and 6). I have tried my hand at writing stories for my children. I am in the process of self publishing a picture book entitled, "That's Not How Mommy Does It" and recently I began writing the Day Dreamer novel for young adults. I would love the aid of the writing community as well as the backing of an agent and publisher. I have also had multiple articles published in an Apple related business magazine, i.Business.

Here is a link to a facebook community that I started, 'The Indie and Self Publishing Forum'. It has been accepted warmly by the writing community: http://www.facebook.com/groups/480809531948228/

And this is my personal facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jesse.lee.71697

And this is my Commercial Writing and Marketing Blog: www.realnichemarketing.com

Here is Jesse's pitch:

Working Title: Day Dreamer
Age/Genre: YA Science Fiction
The Pitch: What causes Deja Vu? No one has been able to scientifically prove the cause. But, Neurologist Dr. Edwin Wallace has found the answer. And the answer gives a clue to his visions. But as his visions fade with his age, a new and exceptionally gifted 17 year old Day Dreamer, Jackson Cooper could unlock the secret to harness their premonitions for the good of mankind. But when Jackson is taken by a secret government agency hoping to use his gift for military purposes, he will have to fight his way back home with the help of a group of gifted youths that he will meet along the way. This exciting and highly realistic science fiction drama presents a believable explanation to how a person could accurately see the future.

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 Jesse improve his 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 a little time to polish your pitch for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Jesse is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to finding out what you really think about the jingle contest so I can come up with a new plan if need be!

Have a lovely day, everyone! :)

Reactions:

60 comments:

  1. Okay I have to be honest. I've got nothing. I loved it, and would read it now. Great job. :-)

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  2. I'm sure Jesse will be glad to hear your opinion, Cynthia! :)



























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  3. delores @ thefeatherednestMay 1, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    I guess I'm a little confused. Deja Vu is that feeling of having been there and done that...but the book is about seeing ahead into the future? I'm always up for time travel so yes I would read it. The pitch does seem a tad wordy though.
    The contest? It's hard to write a jingle when the book isn't availaable to be read. That said, I have half a song written to the tune of Ghost Riders in the Sky which is not what you want but it was fun anyway.

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  4. Thanks for your comments for Jesse, Delores! And as for the jingle, of course the book is available to be read! Can't Sleep Without Sheep has been out for over 2 years in hardcover - your library should have it! I will look forward to your jingle :)


























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  5. is it dejavu or premonition? It sounds interesting (even phillip k dick-ish) so I would prolly read it. But for the pitch maybe just start with Jackson & his special talent, and the problem with military co-opting it.

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  6. Thanks for your helpful suggestions for Jesse, Sue! :)



























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  7. Sorry about the wordy pitch. Hard to go from Novel mode to short pitch. Thanks for the feedback.

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  8. To get the connection you have to read the story. They are connected.

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  9. The pitch confused me. Do we need to know about Dr. Wallace in it? It sounds like the story is Jackson's and while the Dr's research may play a part, I don't know that he's part of the pitch. Maybe something like: When 17-year old Day Dreamer Jackson Cooper is taken by a secret government agency hoping to use his power of premonition for military purposes Jackson must fight his way back to X (family) Then a sentence about the stakes in order to Y (save the world, save himself).

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  10. Thanks for your very thoughtful suggestions for Jesse, Wendy - I'm sure they'll be helpful!



























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  11. When I first I read your contest's rules, I thought, "Dang. I won't have the time to give this one the attention it deserves."



    So here's hoping the rules are revised a little. But if not, I wish the participants well. The winners will have earned their prizes!

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  12. Jesse, your facebook page looks great! I'm not sure I want to go the self publishing route yet, but if I do I will certainly join your facebook group. It looks like a great community. As for your book I agree with most everyone else has said, but I think it sounds like a great premise for a story. I know a lot of people who are interested in that kind of thing.


    Susanna, I have never written a jingle before and I personally think it would be fun to try. I say we keep the jingle contest! I feel like I have enough information to go off of by reading the summary of your book.

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  13. I started working on a Jingle for Can't Sleep Without Sheep last night . . . but you didn't know that, did you?


    Probably because you had visions of Strawberry Shortcake dancing in your head. :D

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  14. Great improvement on those pitches!


    As for the Day Dreamer book - Yes! Ever since the Matrix, deja vu kind of freaks me out. I'm getting goosebumps right now. Just tighten that pitch up by a sentence or two.

    I haven't decided about the jingle, but I still might make a sheep cake if NaPiBoWriWee doesn't drive me to the crazy house.

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  15. Susanna, I'll tweet about your book with or without a contest. Jesse, your book sounds exciting. As for the pitch, it's a maybe for me, but I think with some tweaking, it would be a yes. It doesn't sound like the Dr. is necessary, so I would start right with Jackson being taken away. I'm assuming the story is about him fighting to get home, so what does he realize at the end of the story? Or, what do the rest of the characters learn? Does he get left alone? Does he help society in some other way?

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  16. pennyklostermannMay 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Yes!!! Would read. I have never done a YA pitch, but I read synopses when I buy on Audible. I would've added this to my cart!

    I have been practicing my jingle!!! (Don't worry...the doors and windows are closed, so no one should be hauling me away in a white jacket!)

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  17. Thanks for your helpful comments for Jesse, Pam! And thank you so much for being willing to FB and tweet with or without contest - you're very sweet and I really appreciate it! :)


























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  18. Thanks for your comments for Jesse, Penny! And as for your jingle, well, you're the best! I can't wait to hear it. I know it will be fantastic and I so appreciate you giving it a shot! :)




























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  19. Deborah Holt WilliamsMay 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Science fiction isn't my cup of tea, so I probably wouldn't read it, but that certainly doesn't mean kids wouldn't love it! I don't know what a Day Dreamer is, and I share Delores' confusion about deja vu looking backward and premonitions looking forward. I think the pitch is a little long, but it's very well written!

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  20. Thanks for your helpful comments for Jesse, Deborah! Much appreciated :)


























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  21. Thanks for your thoughts for Jesse, Lauri. And baking is soothing. You can think up stories for NaPiBoWriWee whilst you bake a beautiful sheep cake :)


























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  22. It's true. I do get side-tracked by cake :) I'm so excited you're working on a jingle! It sounds like maybe more people are interested then I thought... or maybe I just guilted you into it! :) - but either way I'm SO excited to see what all you clever creative types come up with!!! Thank you, Nancy :)


























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  23. pennyklostermannMay 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    What about using images from the book? Like if I took pictures of some characters? I don't want to use Mike Wohnoutka's work without permission, but since this contest will hopefully help promote the book,...would it be OK?

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  24. Jam-packed post, Susanna.:)

    I voted: 100% yes to the jingle contest!

    I voted: Love all of the pitch stories...but was able to choose one.:)

    And yes to Jesse's story...sounds awesome! I think, perhaps, it might be tightened up...maybe something like this:

    Jackson Cooper has a gift - he can see into the future. When the teenage Day Dreamer is kidnapped by a secret government agency, he must join a cadre of other exceptional youths to fight his way back home.

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  25. I think it's okay, especially if you use parts of the pictures as opposed to the whole spread and as long as you credit Mike :)



























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  26. Oh, yay! Thanks, Vivian! :) Looks like we might have a contest after all :) And thanks for your very helpful suggestion for Jesse :)


























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  27. Keep that jingle contest as is - if I come up with something good I'm entering! Good luck to all the pitchers, too bad I could only vote for one! I don't read much YA, so my comment comes from an amateur's POV I guess: Deja vu is a good hook, as everyone MUST be interested! I would tighten it for sure:

    Dr. Edwin Wallace has found the answer to one of science's great mysteries - deja vu, revealing a clue to his visions. But as they fade with age, could 17 year old Jackson Cooper unlock the secret to harness the premonitions for the good of mankind? When Jackson is 'taken' for military purposes, he will need to rely on new found friends to help him fight back.



    I would use the last sentence in another paragraph in the cover/query letter.


    Hope that helps some. Good luck, Jesse!

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  28. Oops! I meant to write "...rely on the bonds of new-found friends..."

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  29. i like your version. thanks!

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  30. So happy for you and Can't Sleep Without Sheep! I will share and tweet the heck out of it when it comes out as an ebook. As for a jingle...eeesh, that requires rhyming, I suppose. My nemesis.

    The YA pitch sounds super interesting. My only question was what is a Day Dreamer? It sounds very official and important to the story, so if it were me, I would drop a more specific clue into the pitch so that there is a bit more understanding. Otherwise, great job!

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  31. Yum...strawberry shortcake! I made a gorgeous one one year that I used as my icon for years. :)

    Voted and voted...

    And re the pitch (I hope I don't repeat too much of what others said...it's a crazy busy day and I haven't the time to read everyone else's comments today) - Yes, I would read it, because I heart sci-fi! However, it's way too long of a pitch. There are also too many "buts" in there. I get turned off when people praise their own story, so instead of saying the story is "exciting," Jesse can say it's "fast-paced." :)

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  32. delores @ thefeatherednestMay 1, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Susanna I hate to tell you this but our library does NOT have a copy and neither does the local bookshop. They checked for me and I don't believe there is a copy to be found in Ontario. Bummer!

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  33. Oh YAY! I will keep my fingers crossed for a jingle from the world famous JRZ! Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions for Jesse!


























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  34. Well, Amy, yes... technically a jingle requires rhyme. But after that video you id for Renn which was SO GOOD I really hope you'll give it shot! You'll get points for trying to rhyme :) Thanks for your comments for Jesse!


























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  35. You and your baking, Teresa...! :) I think you're going to have to move to the tri-state area :) Thanks for voting, and thanks for your comments for Jesse!


























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  36. *sniffle*! *sob*! That is so sad :( I would mail you one, but it won't get there in time... You can watch my trailer - that would give you the general idea of the story... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5rTzSjGqT4


























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  37. delores @ thefeatherednestMay 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Never mind....I just blasted ahead and finished my song which is very very silly and posted it on Youngish.

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  38. Thanks for your comments for Jesse, Heather, and for you enthusiasm for the contest! :) If you can't get the book from your local library (apparently there are some libraries in Canada where Delores lives that DON'T HAVE IT!!!) you can at least also watch my trailer for a little more info http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5rTzSjGqT4 :)



























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  39. I will look forward to it :)



























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  40. I know, Mike, it was short notice. If only they'd given me ANY CLUE, even a teensy hint, a bit sooner, we would all have had more time :( But there do seem to be a few gluttons for punishment who are going to try anyway, so I am REALLY looking forward to the entertainment! :)


























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  41. Thanks to every one for all of your excellent insights. I am glad to know that in spite of my wordy pitch you would still want to read my story.

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  42. It's a maybe for me on the pitch. I'm wondering if you need to mention the neurologist at all, and if the pitch would be stronger if you keep the focus on Jackson. I wondered how the government agency discovered Jackson and his abilities, and also where they have taken him (since he has to find his way home).

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  43. Got my votes in. Still yumming on my virtual piece of strawberry shortcake lol!


    As for WYRIW, yes, I would definitely read it. Many helpful comments have been provided and reiterated so no need to repeat.


    Okay, back to yumming more shortcake :-)

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  44. Yes. I would definitely read this. The comments below are great. One thing - the first line caught me - hook, line, and sinker. Good luck!


    PS - I do so love Strawberry Shortcake.

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  45. Hi Sharron! Nice to see you :) Thanks for your comments for Jesse, and please help yourself to as much strawberry shortcake as you like! :)


























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  46. Thanks for voting and for your comments for Jesse, Angela! I'm so glad you're enjoying the shortcake! :)


























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  47. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Jesse, Andrea!



























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  48. Sorry I'm a little late with the comment. I wanted to give Jesse's pitch some serious thought because, though I'd definitely read it as it is, I think the pitch is super close to being something special. Here are my suggestions:
    -Condense the first two sentences to "No
    one has been able to scientifically prove the cause of déjà vu, but Neurologist Dr. Edwin Wallace has found the answer."
    -Revise the second sentence for clarity and to remove repetition. Is his answer relating to the cause, source, meaning, etc. of the visions?
    -add how the Dr. feels about his visions fading or the consequences of it. ex: is his research incomplete? is he trying to figure out how to harness the visions but doesn't have the chance?
    ...and I'm going to send the rest of my suggestions to Jesse via facebook...this comment's length is getting out of hand.
    Thanks, Susanna for giving writers the chance to give/receive pitch feedback like this!

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  49. Yes, I'd definitely read, first line hooks me too! Have I read this before? Just kidding, I couldn't resist the deja vu humor. :)

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  50. Laura Anne MillerMay 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I just now read Monday's post [how absolutely splendid on the e-release-I can't wait to order] and Wednesday's post, I definitely want to help promote via FB or blog (I still haven't figured out twitter)...but I feel inadequate when it comes to writing poetry or jingles.....perhaps I'll enlist my youngins to assist me (is that allowed?)... Congrats again!

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  51. Of course it is allowed! Or they can just do the kids contest if you want :) Thanks so much for wanting to help - I SO appreciate it! :)


























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  52. Hahaha :) Very funny, Coleen :) Thanks sharing your opinion for Jesse!




























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  53. I'm a littl late to the party (sorry about that!) Congrats on your app's- I will definitely buy them the minute the come out! (Hooray for STEM projects!) Woot, Susanna!
    Now, as for Jesse's pitch, I would definitely read it! The pitch could be tightened a bit and there are a few grammar issues (not my strongest suit either). Someone had told me that you shouldn't start too many sentences with conjunctions (And, But, or) other than that, the premise sounds fascinating! Good luck, Jesse!

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  54. Thanks for the congrats, Elaine :) And just so you know, it's an e-book, not an app, but it does have a read-to-me feature... I have't even gotten to see it yet! Thanks so much for you comments for Jesse :)


























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  55. Sorry, I'm really late to the party! Jesse, your pitch sounds interesting, but I'm not really sure what your book is about. From the first three sentences, I thought it was a non-fiction book. Then you introduce Dr. Wallace and I'm not sure if he is the main character or if it's Jackson. It's probably just me. But if you were going to rewrite the pitch for a dummy like me, I would 1) only name the main character or at least name him first, 2) start with the action/emotional crux of the story rather than a fact, 3) and cut it down to three sentences leaving any less important information out. Best wishes with the book launch and all your writing projects!

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  56. Thanks so much for your thoughtful suggestions for Jesse, Hannah - I'm sure he will find them helpful! :)


























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  57. Aww... I couldn't vote... :( I want to join the contest, but I don't know if I have time. I went on a surprise trip wit my parents that I heard you know about ;) Josie and I are still going to try to get our entries done!

    I agree with Ms. Holt. Although I would still read it. I like Sci-Fi. and most YA. :D

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  58. Sorry you missed the vote - although it was for a VERY good reason :) - but I assumed you and Josie might still want to try to participate if you had time since you were one of the few who expressed interest at the beginning. Thanks for your comments for Mr. Lee!




























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  59. Wow, Beth! Thank you for your very thoughtful and helpful comments for Jesse! It was kind of you to take the time over it! And you're very welcome for WYRI - feel free to send in a pitch any time :)


























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