Yum, right? So I'm working on my story, BREAKING THE RULES, and it's almost finished, but the blurbs were due last week. Who here likes to write blurbs? Let's see a show of hands? Umm, that's no one, right? Right.
I thought I was doing pretty well and had a kind of query-letter-type blurb written:
Breaking the Rules blurb:
...And then I find out that no, we can't write however much we want, there are guidelines. It's an anthology of 15 stories, remember, so we only get so much space. And we need to submit teasers too. So a 100 CHARACTER teaser, a 200 CHARACTER promo, and a 300 CHARACTER blurb. The blurb above? Over 900 characters...Boston police detective Jake Campbell isn’t great at following rules. Then again, what’s the rule for finding your girlfriend in bed with her yoga instructor? After the heated breakup leads to a botched arrest and an Internal Affairs investigation, the undercover assignment on Cape Cod sounds like a perfect opportunity to hit the restart button. Catching a few drug dealers sounds like a vacation after the pressures of the city… until he meets a suspect who makes him want to break all the rules.The only female chef at a five-star resort, Abigail Duncan knows a thing or two about pressure and rules. When she’s forced to hire an inexperienced prep cook, she has no intention of trusting the blue-eyed hunk with anything more than peeling potatoes, let alone her heart. Then people start dying, and Abbie realizes Jake might be the only one who can keep her safe. Whether her heart is safe is another matter.
No room for wasted words.
In retrospect, it's probably a good thing to boil down the story to a few images. But the pain of stripping it down... ugh. So of course I enlisted a friend and we went back and forth via text, phone and email... we played with some ideas...
Undercover at a 5-star resort, Detective Jake Campbell can’t resist falling for a suspect.
Undercover at a 5-star Cape Cod resort, Detective Jake Campbell can’t resist falling for a suspect. But is she willing to break her own rules to be with him?
Undercover at a 5-star Cape Cod resort, Detective Jake Campbell can’t resist kissing one of the suspects. But will she ever trust him with her heart?
The only female chef at a 5-star resort, Abigail Duncan knows a thing or two about pressure and rules. She has no idea her new cook is an undercover cop, but when people start dying, Abbie realizes Jake Campbell might be the only one who can keep her safe. Whether her heart is safe is another matter.
Yeah, all close but not quite right. I must admit, it really helps to have another writer to bounce ideas back and forth with. I liked the question aspect, and argued that it added a certain amount of anticipation to the teasers and promos. I mean, that first one - "can't help falling for a suspect..." ho hum who cares? And my friend kept arguing to keep Cape Cod in the sentence because it give sense of place, but then again, it's 8 characters... and whether to lead with Jake (since the anthology IS Hunks to the rescue) or make sure to get Abbie's name in there (strong, spunky heroine) was a big debate, especially after my friend spent all weekend at the Women's March in Boston.
But I needed to have it submitted by January 23rd. So we needed to come to an agreement. Here's what we finally came up with:
100 characters or less:
Undercover at a 5-star resort, can rule-breaker Jake Campbell resist falling for a suspect?
200 characters or less:
While undercover at a 5-star Cape Cod resort, Detective Jake Campbell can’t resist the fiery red-headed suspect. With a body count rising around her, can Abbie Duncan trust him with her heart?
300 characters or less:
Jake Campbell hates rules. When he accepts undercover work at a posh Cape Cod resort, he can’t resist red-headed chef Abbie Duncan, even if she is a suspect. She makes him want to break all the rules. With a rising body count, he must keep Abbie safe…but can she trust him with her heart?
I think we nailed it. What do you think? Be honest - even though it's too late this time around, it's all a learning experience. And there's always the next book blurb to write...