Find Me by Haley Bonner
When her older brother tragically dies in an accident, Emily flounders in the wake of her grief and guilt. Her family, though well-meaning, doesn’t help her either. After an “accident” of her own, Emily finds herself on regimented doses of antidepressants and a round-the-clock suicide watch. Content to float in the numb awareness of her meds, Emily plays along for a while. But when faced with how much her continuing apathy wounds her family, she reaches her breaking point.
Running from the reminders and the blame, Emily leaves her family. Taking up an alias, she finds herself taken in by another well-meaning family. It seems like the perfect place for new beginnings, but home isn’t content to stay away and her ghosts aren’t done playing.
My writing credentials include one short scene piece and various poems published in a literary arts magazine. I graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a B.A. in English. I currently work as a web writer, but my free time is taken up with writing and reading creative works. As my fist completed novel, Find Me is my greatest accomplishment to-date.
The Book Doctors: This story is happily right in the middle of a very fertile part of the publishing kingdom: books that appeal to women. And since the one thing we can count on in life is death, there will always be people wanting to read about other humans dealing with family, grief and loss. Additionally, the over-medicating of America is a fascinating and hot-button topic. But this pitch deals so much in generalities that we don’t make enough emotional connection with our main character. Everything is told and little is shown. It opens with the phrase “tragically dies,” which is a cliché. Then you take what seems to be a fantastically dramatic and mind-blowing event, and reduce it to something that our eyes just skim over. Display your writing chops for us by showing this death, and Emily’s part in it. Later you hint that she’s dealing with the guilt. Is she responsible in some way? Does she think she’s responsible? And then she has an “accident.” We don’t know what that is. Does she try to take her own life? This has been done in so many stories, we have to know how yours is different; we have to know that you can take us into that dark heart where these kinds of things happen. And we think you can do a better job of describing that narcotized feeling of being on drugs than “numb awareness.” We don’t know exactly what that means. We also don’t get a series of events that lead to a fiery climax. We don’t understand what the ghosts are who follow her to her next well-meaning family. Lastly, you can also have some more fun with your bio. Be more specific about where you were published. We wouldn’t put that this is your greatest accomplishment. And there’s a spelling mistake in your bio. David always has someone read his stuff before he sends it out anywhere because he’s a terrible speller, and a worse proofreader. Know thy strengths. Do not make spelling mistakes. Promising family story with unexpected twists, the pitch doesn’t have enough depth of character, doesn’t show enough of the plot.
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