I sent my finished manuscript to a publisher late last night via email, and sent off a query to another one today. (Yes, I finally reached my 90,000 word goal and did a little dance to mark the occasion.) I am gearing up and eating some protein, so I'll have enough stamina to send it off to a third. My tummy is woozy and I'm emotionally drained. Each publisher required different things, and I spent a good part of two days obsessing about every little detail. Is the query too long? One publisher wanted me to write at least two paragraphs describing my book, but did not set a limit. What if I'm describing two books and I write ten paragraphs? They didn't specifically ask for a logline and synopsis, but they didn't say not to include them either--what should I do? I had to write a career arc and make a list comparable/competitive books for another publisher. I was suppose to give sales records if I had them. I had nothing like that, but I had you!
So, I turned them over to you by giving them this blog link as well as a link to fanfiction.net, which keeps the best stats of all of the JAFF sites. They can read my reviews there if they would like. And if they come here, "HOWDY! PICK ME!" or better yet, "FIGHT OVER ME!" :0)
I am actually pitching two books, the second one, which I am currently writing, is very closely tied to Speak Not Against the Sun--though I haven't told any of you why. Yet. Until now. Right now. Next paragraph. Read it.
My new book, Forgive Me, Jane, is based oh-so-very loosely on my experience writing Speak Not... And I say loosely, because it's a modern romance and the heroine is young, single, and of course impossibly beautiful. She's also brilliant and an overnight Internet sensation--pure fiction.
So, I'll give you my logline and my synopsis, since they're out running buck naked in the publishing world now anyway--shameless hussies!
Reluctantly using the Jane Austen fan fiction genre to break into a more intellectual writing career, Internet sensation “4giveMeJane,” A.K.A., Amanda Jorgenson, unveils her new book at the very quirky traveling “Always Austen Convention,” unaware that her own pride and many prejudices will come into play, as an unexpected love story waits for her there.
Amanda Jorgenson, a frustrated USC English Lit post grad, cannot get any publishing company to look at her overly erudite work, Transport to Nowhere. And until she gets her big break, Amanda works as a dental hygienist with her best friend and JAFF nut, Jessie, whom she berates for “slapping dearest Miss Austen in the face” with the literary aberrations she constantly reads.
Getting desperate, Amanda secretly researches the lucrative world of JAFF, and without Jessie’s knowledge starts writing her own JAFF book, Speak Not Against the Sun. (Yay!) Under the instruction of her geeky, viral marketing guru brother, she also starts a blog, “Forgive Me, Jane,” chronicling her journey, and starts to post her finished chapters on her blog and various fan fiction sites under the screen name “4giveMeJane.”
Almost overnight, Amanda, becomes an Internet sensation. Thousands upon thousands of fans all over the world can’t get enough of her writing, and soon she is contacted by a publishing company and gets a three-book deal. Amanda’s first book is due to be debuted at a traveling Jane Austen Convention. After coming clean with Jessie, she gets Jessie to join her on the book tour, acting as her personal assistant, while trying to rein her in, since Jessie is after all, visiting her personal Mecca.
Once at the convention, which is overrun with pudgy middle-age women running around in Regency costumes, and dealing with the surprising politics of other JAFF authors, Amanda starts to regret her decision to write the book. She is even more depressed to meet her fans, wondering in her head how they were able to tear themselves away from their thirty cats and stacks of newspapers piled to the ceiling to come to the conference. (Pure fiction, I hope, since I've never met any of you in person...)
After an exhausting evening of book signing and fake smiling for pictures, Amanda steals away to a neighboring hotel bar, where she has one drink too many—literally. She only has one drink, but she is the ultimate lightweight when it comes to alcohol. She meets a terribly handsome Brit named Rhys, whom she flirts with and inadvertently throws herself at, kissing him, without him returning the gesture. Jessie tracks her inebriated friend down; literally pulls Amanda off of the poor man and drags her away, apologizing to a stunned, but strangely charmed Rhys.
The next day, Amanda discovers the mysterious Brit she kissed is the actor who played creepy, oily and overweight, “Mr. Collins,” in the 2006 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. He is there along with other lesser actors who have been in Jane Austen films, to sign autographs, take pictures with fans, and sit on a panel for Q&As.
Although Rhys is completely fit and gorgeous now, Amanda, who is very conservative—never even having slept with a man—is absolutely horrified by her drunken kiss, and even more by the object of the kiss. She has always been repulsed by this particular Mr. Collins and cannot un-connect the actor from the character he played. She does everything she can to avoid Rhys the rest of the three city convention, to no avail.
She eventually finds out that Rhys turned down the coveted role of handsome, but rakish “Wickham” in order to stretch himself to play the repulsive Collins—which he purposely gained weight for. And he pulled off the part brilliantly. For no producer, director or woman for that matter, would think twice about him for a sexy lead after his very believable performance as Collins. And as cruel fate would have it, the actor who did play Wickham was catapulted to stardom after the movie, and Rhys has to live with his decision. At least he did it honestly, and was acclaimed for the role, though it came to nothing but offers for other overweight and less than glamorous bit roles. Played against Amanda’s decision to purposely lower her standards to gain success, there is an interesting dynamic and conflict between the two.
Subplots include a sweet love story between Jessie and Kevin, Amanda’s geeky but cute older brother, and an unlikely friendship between Amanda and the seemingly icy “Queen of Regency Romps” author, Lizzy Manchester.
Gradually, but hilariously, snobby Amanda gets over her prejudice against her bizarre but adoring fans. And although she fights hard against her attraction to Rhys, she comes to truly love the down-on-his-luck, but oh-so-hunky and talented actor.
So, does it make you want to read my book? Let me know what you think.