Monday, June 30, 2008
Guess the Plot
The Edge of Memory
1. Irwin needs to fit another 512Mb DIMM in his Dell XPS1720 so he can run the latest version of Hellspawn on Vista. But he's reckoned without the resource sapping power of the Aero interface. Can he downgrade back to XP, or is he destined to forever be at the very edge of memory?
2. A tall, strangely-dressed man is found wandering the desert outside Palm Springs. He claims to be Charlemagne. Is he delusional, or has someone at a nearby secret research lab really broken the time barrier?
3. Willow saw her mother killed twenty years ago, when she was only three. Since then she's lived in a silent world. Now Detective Gary Hiller has been assigned to the cold case. Can he reach Willow, or is she forever doomed to exist on . . . The Edge of Memory?
4. Beatrice lost a decade of her childhood to amnesia long ago. Fortunately she was taken in by a wonderful woman. Unfortunately that woman just died. Fortunately Beatrice finds a clue to the identity of her birth mother. Unfortunately, her birth mother was murdered. Fortunately her birth father is still alive. Unfortunately, her birth father is the one who murdered her birth mother. Fortunately, he just got out of prison. Can Beatrice regain her lost memories with the help of a murderer? Or is there another murder in the offing?
5. When strangers begin appearing in Carrie Strachan's life claiming to be old friends and lovers she begins to wonder how much of what she remembers is history and how much is fantasy. Her efforts to rediscover her true past draw the attention of a serial killer with ties to a counterintelligence operation. Carries must discover who she was and why her memories are important before she becomes another victim in a government-sanctioned killing spree.
6. You know how sometimes you're watching TV and an actor or actress is in the program and they look really familiar, like you know you've seen them in something else but you can't remember if it was a movie or TV show and it's killing you so you wait for the end to get their name but the closing credits go so fast you miss it? That's what life is like every hour of every day for Piper Jones, private eye to the stars.
Dear Prospective Agent,
My novel, THE EDGE OF MEMORY, tells the story of a woman with childhood amnesia whose search for her birth parents uncovers brutal family secrets that force her to confront a violent murderer.
Although devastated by the death of the woman who took her in thirty years ago, Beatrice Greyson's grief turns to betrayal when she finds a hidden letter from her birth mother. Leaving everything behind, Beatrice follows the railroad tracks across the Midwest in hopes of finding where she came from and what happened during the missing decade of her childhood. [It's The Wizard of Oz. The railroad tracks are the yellow brick road. The MC is trying to get back to her midwestern home.]
With the help of a charming man she meets along the way (Raymond Richter [aka "The Scarecrow"]), Beatrice discovers she was once Mallory Edgewood, missing and presumed drowned in the Missouri River at the age of twelve. Shortly after her disappearance, her father (Vincent Edgewood) beat her mother to death. [So that's why Dorothy lived with her Aunt Em.] Vincent has recently been released from prison and Beatrice must face him to recover her missing past. Her need to learn the truth will uncover darker family secrets, [Darker than the fact that her father murdered her mother?] jeopardize her budding relationship with Raymond, and leave her teetering on the brink of murder.
THE EDGE OF MEMORY (Upmarket Women's Fiction) addresses the physical and psychological impact of traumatic childhood, for which my current work as a pediatrician gives unique insight. I had several poems published in Scars Publications and in literary magazines in college. [In fact, this novel was inspired by my first published poem, which goes:
My daddy got thirty years
From a very lenient jury
For murdering my mother
And tossing me in the Missouri.]
Medical training consumed most of my time after college, but at thirty-four years old, I now have a job that allows time for both medicine and writing. [I always wondered what was taking the doctor so long while I was sitting by myself in the examination room in my underwear pretending to read Health Magazine; turns out she was working on her memoirs.]
[Reason for contacting this specific agent goes here.] THE EDGE OF MEMORY (89,000 words) would appeal to readers who enjoy the work of Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve. If you'd be interested in considering my novel, I'd be glad to send the manuscript for your review. Per your agency website's guidelines, I'm including [whatever they say they like sent].
I truly appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.
How is it that Raymond has nothing better to do than join up with a woman who's following the railroad tracks across the midwest searching for information about something that happened thirty years ago?
No hint about what was in the letter? Apparently something like, Take good care of my daughter, and if she ever wants to find me, tell her I'm living near the railroad tracks in the midwest.
When fiction is declared "upmarket" does it mean it will appeal to those of means? I can see a Lexus being called an upmarket car, but what makes a book upmarket?
You could put the word count and genre in the same parentheses rather than two different sets.
Sounds like an intriguing story, though it also sounds more like some hybrid of mystery, literary fiction and suspense novel than women's fiction. You haven't made it sound like something that wouldn't appeal to men. I take it the Raymond/Beatrice relationship is a major aspect?