Next week, I hope to sit down with Max and get a book cover (both back and front) ready for Becoming Brigid, a YA novel which I hope to have ready to publish by autumn of 2012. However, I'm still having a little trouble with the book blurb for the back, the part to hook readers in.
My target audience is girls 14-17. The book deals with a girl who has her life completely planned out for what she thinks she wants: a stable marriage, lots of kids, and not anything that focuses on developing herself. In other words, she thinks she wants what women have been told is best for them for centuries: taking care of men and children and letting her own dreams die ("like a raisin in the sun"). But then she is forced out of this way of thinking by a mysterious "dark man," who seems to be rather more than human. He watches her, waits for opportunities, then tries to kill her -- several times. And each time he is pleased to find that he fails. By the end of the book, the protagonist has not only realized that she is not who she thought she was, but also that what she really wants out of life is far different than what she's been conditioned to think she wants. (In other words, she's going to be herself first and let all other roles fall into place as they will, not crush out her dreams and her sense of self.)
That's what's going on in the book, but when it's said the way I just said it, it becomes a lecture and not entertainment. Hence, the book has a good deal of mystery, the supernatural, and humor thrown in. There's a hint of romance, too, in this one (unlike my vampire books, which feature a boy too clueless to handle much romance). Many of my ideas for this came from Celtic mythology, and the plot and relies upon that in several spots.
Here's where I need your help! Please let me know which of the following two "hooks" or "blurbs" you think would be most likely to make you -- or anyone else -- pick up this book to read more.
Here's blurb #1:
Pepper Kircy is a girl with plans for the future. In six years’ time, she wants to have a handsome, golf-playing husband, a degree in nutrition, and thousands of followers in the blogosphere. She's not about to let anything ruin her plans. Not her geeky, ghost-hunting father. Not living across the street from a mortuary. Not even the fact that she wears a "nearly-A" bra.
But Pepper never planned on Dougal. Too short and probably too old to be future husband material, he has an irritating knack for interfering with her future -- and her past. And he insists on calling her by the name she’s never used in her whole life.
But he quotes poetry and calls her a goddess.
Dougal’s tempting. Tempting enough that Pepper can’t get him out of her dreams. So, in spite of all his weird talk about mysterious portals and the Stone of Odin, she could really like this guy. Maybe even enough to change her precious plans.
If he just stop trying to kill her....
And here's #2:
What if, at sixteen, your plans for the perfect future were being ruined by the fact you'd never been on a date before? And what if the perfect guy you had in your sights was turning out to be a real jerk?
What if your geeky father believed you could see ghosts? But what if the mysterious man who walked straight out of another world wasn't a ghost at all? And what if he wasn't what you'd dreamed up, but he recited poetry to you and called you a goddess? What would you do?
What if he told you that everything you knew about yourself -- even your own name -- wasn't really who or what you thought? Would you believe him?
And what would you do if he tried to kill you?
What if he couldn't?
Please let me know if the comments section if you prefer one or the other of these -- or if you think they're both crappy. Help! I need input.