Another Shot at the Blurb

Fireborn

It was almost a year ago that I asked for comments on a  blurb for my book, “The Fireborn”.  At the time I was planning on sending query letters to agents.  Well, a year later and I haven’t sent out a single query.  I performed another rewrite back in November thinking it would inspire me to start the process, but even that didn’t work.  Knowing agents aren’t going to come knocking at my door knowing I’m sitting on a book I guess I really need to start sending letters out.  With that in mind, I’d like to know what people think about the following blurb.

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. His detractors, of course, would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate romantic authors and absinthe addicts. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

In my 79,000 word urban fantasy, “The Fireborn”, Elliot is forced to confront an army of the mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding an heir to Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

“The Fireborn” is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The whole book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with various other characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.

When I haven’t been immersed in Elliot’s world I’ve been practicing my craft on Trent’s World, the Blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com.  You can also get there through my website at www.trentsworld.com. Every week I write and post a new work of fiction. My hundreds of readers have also enjoyed almost daily doses of poetry and thoughts about creativity, the arts, imagination and life in general.

So, what did you think?  Look good?

If you have time, would you mind comparing it to the original blurb?

 

 

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41 thoughts on “Another Shot at the Blurb

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks for the input! One thing caught my eye – “my 79,000 word” – every source I’ve read made mention of putting an approximate word count into the query letter. As a sales pitch to the general public I’d leave it out. The other suggestions I’ll play around with.

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                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  No, no, like I said, I understand most of your edits and slap myself on the head and think, “Oh, why did I do that? I need to make them think I know how to write, not think I failed every writing course I’ve ever taken.” So if I put more stuff up I’ll expect unreasonable, I mean picky, I mean good editing suggestions ; )

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  1. Sue Vincent

    I like the sound of the story… there are several elements that capture my attention. The mix of myth and archaeology, the alternative history with the woad vs really blue men… I think it needs to be a little more concise though and I’m not sure about that last bio paragraph. If you are self publishing, you may need to check of the links are acceptable.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Sue! I fixed the links. When I send the letter out I’ll try to change the last paragraph/bio. I want the query letters to be somewhat personalized to the specific agent. I want to try to get someone interested in publishing it before I go the self publishing route. If I do self publish there are a lot of things I’ll have to look up and possibly change. For instance, I think I’ll have to change the working title.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I guess the main idea of that paragraph is that when I do personalize it, I want to remember to send them to my blog – they’re just going to search for it anyway.

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  2. alienorajt

    It certainly grabbed my interest, Trent, and made me want to find out more. A very small point: I would not have had the word ‘shadowy’ twice in the first paragraph, as I think it dilutes the power of what you are saying a wee bit!
    The mention of things Arthurian is a great hook, and will, I am quite sure, lure loads of people in!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Ali! What do think of “Our reluctant hero, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, knows this hidden world well having spent most of his life exploring it through a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation” for the second sentence? Parts of this story are set in your corner of the globe, at the eastern edge of Somerset.

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      1. alienorajt

        Yes, that’s better and clearer – nice one, Trent. Good heavens – how very strange re the setting. Which part of Somerset? I probably will know it! xxx

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          At the beginning it is very vague, may or may not be Somerset, but there is a hint later in the book that it is. Later there are a few chapters in a fictional little “half-village” between Queen Camel and West Camel. Actually, if you’re not too busy and don’t mind being a beta reader I’d like to have you take a look to make sure I’m not TOO far off the mark (I know I missed the mark, but hopefully in a way that most non-natives/residence won’t know)

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                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  If you do that’s great, if not that’s great too! Just want to know what you thing, particularly since I’m an American with a mostly British characters (one reason Elliot spent the last decade in New York) and takes place on British soil, places I’ve only driven through many years ago.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! At one point the main character says he doesn’t respect people who rewrite the Arthurian legend and then spends the rest of the book doing just that, rewriting the Arthurian legend.

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  3. nerdinthebrain

    I like it (and I want to read it!), but I did notice a couple of things (I hope you don’t mind)…

    The second sentence of the first paragraph: Though written correctly, I had to read it twice to make sure I understood it. Something about the sentence made my brain go wonky. Of course, that could just be me.

    This is another opinion one…”joyful romp” seems to get used a lot in blurbs, and it always brings forth the silliest image in my mind, no matter how serious the book. ;)

    And a technicality….fast paced or fast-paced?

    I love this part: “In the shadowy area where myth and history collide…” That would catch my attention right away. :)

    Now, where can I get my paws on this book???

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! OK, in the second sentence how about substitute the words “as given by ” with “through”? (“having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions through a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation”) I’ll have to think about “joyful romp”. I think you’re right about it being too much of a cliche, but I’m not sure how to change it. And perhaps we can talk off-line about you beta reading it…

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    2. trentpmcd Post author

      For the second sentence what do you think of “Our reluctant hero, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, knows this hidden world well having spent most of his life exploring it through a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation”?

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      1. nerdinthebrain

        I swear I’m not trying to be persnickety, but it still sounds a little clunky…if that makes any sense. What about:

        Having spent most of his life exploring this hidden world through the lenses of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, our reluctant hero, knows this world well.

        (If I’m just being a jerk face, feel free to tell me so…I promise I’ll stop.) ;)

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