Thursday, September 28, 2006
Guess the Plot
Children of Mercury
1. A thermometer bursts as a feverish woman gives birth. Adorable quicksilver twin babies unwittingly poison hospital staff. Boy in the Plastic Bubble meets Terminator 2.
2. Mercury Hospital in central Little Rock was shut down and abandoned fifteen years ago because of a stillborn rate two hundred times the national average. Now the neighbors are seeing eerie lights in the maternity wing, and three children are missing.
3. After sweeping first through third in all sprint events for 6 track and field meets in a row, the sprinters in the Santa Monica Junior Track Club are dubbed The Children of Mercury by the press. Future Olympians? Or will they be busted for designer steroid use?
4. Alice Jerman's affair with Mercury, the messenger of the gods, was terrific. Bearing his children wasn't all that bad. But trying to find shoes at Stride-Rite that will fit winged feet is nearly impossible.
5. All they want to be when they grow up are merchants, controlling the trade and profits of the planet. They claim direct descent from their ancient god. But when Belabarians show up to invade their planet, only the children of Mercury can avert a galaxy's demise.
6. Book 1 in my series which will include Children of Venus, Children of Mars, etc. Here's hoping we don't quite make it to Children of Uranus.
Most honoured and praiseworthy Evil Editor!Though but a humble lurker on your blog, I humbly submit my first 150 words for mockery and dismemberment at the hands of Your Esteemed Self and the Minions. The title Children of Mercury is based on the medieval and Renaissance system of astrology, where it was the planet and not the constellation of birth that governed one's temperament. Mercury is the patron of artists, philosophers, doctors, astrologers, spies and thieves, several of which professions appear in the story. If it became a series, others would be titled (for example) Children of Venus (courtesans, hunters, musicians), and Children of Mars (soldiers and mercenaries). [Included to show where the correct Guess the Plot came from.]
Children of Mercury is a 90,000 word mystery set in early Renaissance Italy, where a painting could bring down a city, and the finest colours came from the deadliest poisons.The struggling Florentine painter Agnolo asks only for obedient apprentices, clients who know what they want, and a life untroubled by the powerful. [Evil Editor asks only for obedient minions, authors who know what Evil Editor wants, and a life untroubled by submissions.] The last, at least, he might have achieved, if his old friend Gaudenzio--brilliant artist and ruthless duelist--[Not as cool-sounding as "ruthless vigilante sorcerer, but a much better tongue twister.] hadn't asked for help with a simple task.
Before that "simple task" is finished, a prince will be poisoned and a workshop burnt, assassins and espionage encountered. Agnolo and Gaudenzio must unmask a murderous Milanese spy without bringing down [You already used "bring down" in the first paragraph. Come up with something new and exciting.] Gaudenzio's wealthy and vindictive patron who (knowingly or unknowingly) shelters him. ["Him" meaning the spy, but that's not so clear, as you mentioned Gaudenzio more recently than the spy.] Their fresco of The Planets And Their Children may provide a chance to expose the spy--if they live to paint it. [Or it may bring down all of Italy.]
Children of Mercury is complete in itself, but could become first in a series. Historical mysteries continue to be popular, and Italy has been surprisingly underexploited as a setting in the genre. [I've never thought of novels as exploiting their settings.]
I have been involved in historical reenactment and living history displays for almost 30 years, often portraying a painter, so I am familiar with the texture of late medieval life: the feel of wool and linen, the taste of pottage, [Evil Editor is familiar with the taste of porridge and of potted meat food product. I hope pottage tastes better than those, whatever it is.] and the labor of grinding pigments.
SASE is enclosed. Thank you for your time and consideration.
This was actually pretty good. Just address the few serious points made, and the other ones sure to be made by the minions.