Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #48


Title: GETTING DOWN AND DARBY
Genre: Commercial Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 86,000

Query:

Taylor Ford’s mother is a floozy. The bummer is that Taylor hasn’t fallen far from the tree. In fact, she has her own branch.

When Taylor’s academic reference letters get lost, so does her hope for a prestigious PhD in Sociology. Scrambling, she applies to Maritime University, a school she’s never heard of in a province she’s never seen. At her Goodbye to Toronto Party, Taylor hooks up with her best friend Caleb, which would have been great except for his live-in girlfriend. Who finds them together. Not sleeping. 

Escaping to MU, Taylor gets busy forgetting her guilt. As the Don of Darby Hall, the lone all-female residence, she spends her nights mopping floors after impromptu foam parties and putting out fires in the elevator. Accustomed to marathon library sessions and cutthroat competition, Taylor flails in the relaxed academic environment.

When Caleb resurfaces to declare his love, Taylor has little choice but to face her inherited Other Woman Gene. Mostly because Caleb just won’t go away. With the help of a ganja-friendly hottie-pants and some giddy Darby girls, Taylor learns to give herself a break. Forgiving herself means forgiving her mother, though, and that's something Taylor didn’t plan on doing. Ever.

First 250:

Holy Hell. This can’t be it. 

Driving past the WELCOME TO FREDERICTON sign, I promptly ran over the small amount of optimism I’d managed to bring with me from Toronto. The strip mall on my right looked like an apocalyptic movie set and it didn’t bode well that the streets were practically deserted. When I passed what had to be the first McDonald’s franchise, with its old-school sign and vintage arches, I looked twice to see if there were any carhops rolling around on skates.

Not a good start.

When I pulled into my hotel for the night, The Lord Pennyhill Hotel, I had expected something regal and possibly wearing a top hat. Not the concrete communistic prison that stood before me. While waiting out front for the valet, I called my cousin Rachel.

“Hey Taylor, just one sec, okay?” Rachel said quickly before muffling the phone and barking orders at someone. “Sorry, I’m back.”

“Not a problem. You’re at work? It’s Sunday.”

In the most unlikely of career choices, Rachel worked as a chartered accountant in a fancy downtown firm. Glass walls contained men and women in business attire, sitting at oversized desks with huge piles of papers, isolated from the outside world but on full display. It was my idea of a nightmare but Rachel loved it. Probably because it gave her permission to lecture those who tried to write-off kitchen renovations and green fees as “legitimate” business expenses. 

26 comments:

  1. WHERE IS THE REST??? I would like to read this one!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you GG! Hopefully you'll be able to read it soon!

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  2. This looks like my kind of read....would love to have the rest! The description is funny and leaves me wanting more!

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  3. Hey sounds good Jennie!!

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  4. i would love to see what happens to Taylor! congrats Jennie x

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    1. And hopefully soon you will! :) Thank you for commenting!

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  5. Bouncer IheartbooksFebruary 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I'm intrigued... You're in!

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    1. Yay! Best Monday Ever! Thank you!!

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  6. This looks like a fun story and I really liked the voice. I would totally keep reading based on the first page.

    I'll just give you a couple cautions about the query that might cause some folks to have trouble suspending their disbelief. If I were judging this query letter, my first thought would be 'how do reference letters get lost?' They generally are sent directly to Institutions from professors (so the student wouldn't even know they are lost). It is also increasingly the norm that they are sent via email or uploaded onto a special website. But even when paper letters are lost in the mail, the receiving institution would get in contact with said professor and sort it out. So, if there are problems with a reference letter, it's almost always the student's laziness or incompetence to blame, not bad luck, which would colour my opinion of the protagonist right off the bat.
    The second is the issue of dons. It's extremely uncommon for dons to be grad students, much less students who've never lived on that campus before, especially in Canada.
    The third is that, being that this is set in Canada, and that an MA is required for a PhD in Soc, it automatically makes me think that the protag is either quite lazy or not very bright if she is unaware of another grad institution in her country that has a scholar in her specific area of study. A lot of these issues would make a lot more sense if your protag was applying to an MA, not a PhD.

    All that being said, I could see this being a problem for agents with grad school knowledge or those who are concerned about accuracy, but chances are most people won't pick up on what I'm pointing out.

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    1. Thank you for your cautions. I'm taking it as a huge compliment that you kept reading :).

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  7. This is awesome! The voice hooked me immediately. I love the premise as well and wish I could find out what happens with her mom!

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    1. Thank you so much! Those mother-daughter issues are never easy! Ha!

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  8. Where can I read the rest?!?!?!?!

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    1. Nowhere now, but hopefully somewhere soon!

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  9. I would definitely want to see what happen to Taylor! Engaging!

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    1. Thank you very much! Engaging is what I was going for ;)

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  10. Sounds awesome, keep up the good work Jennie! :)

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  11. I'm hooked and want to read more! You have a very strong voice and I want to know more about this Taylor character. I hope you get signed ASAP! -LM

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  12. Oh Taylor, that valet is never going to come.
    What's going to happen to you?
    I have the setting in my mind and want to turn the page.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, she'll be waiting for a while. :) Thanks so much for commenting!

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  13. Bright, witty and engaging...I agree with so many of the other comments in saying that I want to read more!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! *tucks compliments into back pocket*

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