I have officially entered the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Yeah me! The first round of judging is based solely on the pitch. Without further ado – here’s mine:
It’s 1943 and nineteen year old Genevieve Jones parachutes into Nazi Germany under cover of night. Her mission to infiltrate the Third Reich is cut short when she is murdered by none other than Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun. Her soul on the short list for extermination, Genevieve agrees to earn her salvation by recruiting and training soldiers for the Army of Heaven to fight in the Battle of Armageddon. Given unlimited funds and perpetual youth, Genevieve has been scouring the Earth for potential soldiers since her death. Seventy years on the job have left Genevieve burned out and emotionally dead – that is, until she begins to train her newest recruit, Gabriel Reid.
Gabriel Reid’s senior year at Avery High is cracking up to be a good one. He has a spot on the championship swim team, and he’s dating the most attractive girl in school, Genevieve Jones.
When Genevieve reveals her intentions to recruit Gabe for Heaven’s army, he’s confronted with the reality that he’s not a typical high school senior bound for college, but destined to lead an army in a war that will end the world as he knows it.
While Genevieve helps Gabe adapt to his changing reality, Gabe breathes new life onto the dying embers of Genevieve’s humanity, sparking a love she never dreamt possible. When she learns that a deadly rival recruiter for Hell’s army is after Gabe to either poach him or eliminate him if he refuses, Genevieve must try to save his life and the love she never thought possible.
As all is revealed to Gabe, he is compelled to question not only Genevieve’s motives, but the sanctity of the Bible itself and the purpose of his existence.
To come up with this pitch, I took an old version of my query letter and incorporated some new information that answered the questions Chuck Sambuchino raised when he edited my query letter – plus a dash of some wording from a book blob on Amazon, and wha-la! My pitch. Or at least my pitch for now. I have until the earlier of March 2nd or 10,000 entries to edit it – which I just might! Feel free to let me know what you think of it! I’m open to suggestions!!!
Naturally I hope it’s good enough to make the first cut. That’s my goal for this contest – to just make the first cut. If I can do that, then I’ll consider it a victory. After all, they take approximately 10,000 entries and narrow it down to 2,000. That means conceivably 8,000 will be cut (that is if 10,000 enter). So I’m happy with that if I make it!
Amazon says that
your Pitch should highlight your concept, protagonist, setting, and writing style—all the elements that make your story unique
I really feel like I’ve done that – but who knows if anyone other than me will agree! I’ve sent my pitch off to be critiqued by some beta readers (which is a snazzy way of saying my husband and sister), and hope to get some feedback there. I have the option of posting it on Amazon’s comment boards where thousands of others (at least it looks like thousands from the 6,097 comments so far) have posted their pitches for critique – but from what I’ve seen there, I’m not convinced that is actually going to help me to post mine there. I will say I think it IS helpful to see what others are submitting for their pitch. If you’re interested, take a look here.
But I’m glad just to have entered. I spent a lot of time finishing my manuscript so it’d be done in time (thank you Hubby for understanding all the time spent in the basement), and I feel I’ve accomplished my goal. I was watching some tv show about a shark hunting contest (I’m sure that’s not the technical term for it – but you get my drift), and this guy won with a small shark that was only 18 lbs over the minimum. The reason he won with such a small catch was because he was the only one to bring a catch in to be weighed. He said, “you gotta be in it, to win it.” I like that advice, so even if my pitch is imperfect, I’m glad I’m in it for a chance to win it!