What’s my book about?

Next to “What’s it called?” the other completely reasonable question people have been generous enough to ask is “So, what’s your book about?”

They want me to tell them? I’m the guy who once described Red (the movie starring Brian Cox, not to be confused with Red, in which Brian Cox had only a supporting role) as a movie about an old man and his dog, which, to give a more familiar reference, would be like describing Independence Day as a movie where Will Smith is a pilot and then some stuff happens.

When I think of summarizing my book I always think of an example of a bad query letter in a book about writing query letters. A query letter is a single page letter to an agent, which includes a one or two paragraph not-quite-teaser of what the book is about, because the idea is to pique an agent’s interest but not leave too much untold because they need to know what the book is about to know if it’s something they would want to represent. Right in there somewhere. Well, someone opened a query with “I’m not very good at expressing myself in words, but…”

That was, of course, their comic relief example of how not to open a query letter, but I identified completely. I’m the worst person to ask to summarize my book. It’s almost like asking someone in a band to show them what kind of music they play by painting a mural. I waffle between giving too many vague overall plot points and trying to describe favorite moments in too much detail. In the last eleven years, I’ve probably written over a hundred query summaries, but here is the most recent one I sent to agents. I’m still working on a good teaser for the back of the book, so any comments or constructive criticism would be a big help. One friend read an earlier query and said, “Now, remember, I’m an old lady, but to me it seemed really busy.”

That told me just what I needed to know. So if you have a thought, feel free to leave it in a comment or send me a PM. In any case, thanks for reading.

When talking to his pretend girlfriend turns out to be not only simple but fun, what is a fully content recluse supposed to do? Maybe not fully content, he does get caught romantically leering at Angela through her name written in the condensation of his car window, but could she see him through that? Trey struggles to perceive any social interaction in a typical way. Sean likes him because Trey thinks about things no one else even notices, but Sean is constantly analyzing strangers’ thoughts and slipping into rages over their behavior. When Sean’s antics put him in peril, Trey has to suppress his romantic notions and ease Angela’s concerns. Trey will have to immerse himself in these friendships to maintain them.


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