Monday, January 25, 2010
I did it
Last night, I stayed up until midnight and entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition. Probably a thousand people had the same idea, because the server was bogged down and it took an hour to do what should have taken 10 minutes.
I am both thrilled that I did this and unbelievably paranoid.
The contest is free to enter. The prize is a $15,000 advance and contract with Penquin. (Keep in mind, I made $10,000 at my job this year.) They accept the first 5,000 entries in YA and another 5,000 in adult. Contest closes Feb. 7 or when they receive the number of entries they want.
The sponsors are Amazon.com's self-publishing division and Penguin. That's part of what makes me uncomfortable. The other part is their demand that you provide a .doc, .docx, or .rtf of your entire manuscript. I would have preferred to provide a .pdf with password-protected copy function.
But that was not an option.
The only friends who have offered an opinion on this have said to do it. And technically I did copyright a previous book with these characters with the Library of Congress about seven years ago. With my blog, my facebook page(s) and my friend who's archived ever draft of every chapter I have written in the last six years... This story is mine.
But it makes me uncomfortable.
On the other hand, uploading my materials like my description, pitch and author photo looked really cool. I used one of Tracy Chafin's photos of me (and made sure her watermark was visible so all the world could see if there's ever reason to use it).
This is my book description I entered:
Manhattan, August 2002. H. Galen Sorbach has manipulated magick for four hundred years. Until Adelaide. The supermodel exudes mystical feminine healing powers that Galen wants, but he can’t touch the all-American girl who sacrificed her adolescent to launch ready-to-wear for French designer Étienne d’Amille. Adelaide stayed in fashion for the easy money, glamorous clothes, celebrity and, mostly, her undying adoration of Étienne, the only man who does not treat her like sex object. A senior citizen on the runway, Adelaide struggles to survive as a fashion executive in Étienne’s company. Étienne considers himself a humble tailor but his ambitious wife, Basilie, propelled him onto the world stage and divorced him when she could not breathe in his shadow. Yet, she never left. Now, at nearly 45, Basilie conceives a child, a feat the doctors claimed impossible. Meanwhile, Étienne hopes Adelaide might lose herself in a romance with Galen. Instead, fist fights and magickal brawls ensue leaving Adelaide bruised and desperate to master her own powers to end Galen’s perilous manipulations of the universe before she inadvertently hurts the one she truly loves—or worse, in her jealousy, would Adelaide harm his wife?
But the first round is judged solely on pitch. They get rid of 4,000 entries in each category, just on the pitch. So I wrote this:
Adelaide Pitney, fashion executive and supermodel, cannot escape her attraction to “aspiring photographer” and elemental witch H. Galen Sorbach, launching her into a destructive spiral. Four hundred-year-old Galen exploits Adelaide’s untapped healing powers to temper his lack of feminine power. Adelaide wants her magick gone, before it irreparably alters the life of her best friend, designer Etienne d’Amille. Adelaide must master her power to end Galen’s perilous manipulations of the universe before she destroys the relationship most dear to her. Fashion meets paranormal forces, as if Stephen King rewrote The Devil Wears Prada. There’s more at stake than the right outfit, the story challenges our definition of normal relationships and how people love. A supermodel with self-esteem issues has more power than she realizes, if she'd stop giving herself away and assert her magick. She must defeat blood-sucking witches and their violent rituals, but first she has to stop fighting herself.
Wish me luck.