Monday, June 4, 2012

The Pitch (Take Three)

If it's not there yet, it's almost there. With any luck I'll have sent "Strange Arrangements" and this pitch to a very good publishing lead by tomorrow night.

Here's version three. Nick and Alina from my writer's group really helped me cut it down to the essentials. And John was "cruel to be kind" as always. (Love that in an editor.) Despite some critique of the title, I think I want to give "Strange Arrangements" a chance to sell itself.


A young man’s awakening requires a Molotov cocktail. An anger-management patient confronts the unwritten rules of hetero manhood. A  C.I.A. agent controls the ultimate weapon in the war against Islam – a pheromone bomb that causes gay arousal. These are the stories of men in strange arrangements.

STRANGE ARRANGEMENTS is a 45,000-word short story collection, my debut. Thank you for your time and consideration.

-James Russell 

I'm hoping brevity leads to interest and it sweeps my prospective publisher right into the work.

I also thought I'd make use of a refined version of the original pitch to lead readers into each story. For the e-version, hyperlinks will allow readers to cherry-pick which story they want to read without even the minor tedium of scrolling downward. Click-and-read might lead them to give a second story a chance if the first one they pick amuses them, provokes thought, or gives them a minor orgasm. (Like bad pizza, it's still pretty good. What? No one else remembers "Threesome"?)

Here's the text for that.

A graduation speech becomes uncomfortably honest. (Graduation)

Two old queens learn the hardest truth a gay bar can offer. (Last Gay Bar)

A young man’s awakening requires a Molotov cocktail. (Friends and Pyromaniacs)

A professor regrets a lost moment of faith from his high school religion class. (Period Three Damnation)

An anger management patient confronts the rules of hetero manhood. (Compliment)

Compromise leads to disaster for two miserable cat-owners. (The Cat is Sick)

An expose reporter goes undercover at a religious conversion camp for gay teens. (Divine Hand)

A haunted writer tries to bury his lost childhood friend once and for all. (Kevin’s Elm)

In 2029, a Corporate-national school inspector documents the test run of fascism's latest classroom tool. (Equality Chair)

A boy learns about sex and karate, friendship and denial. (Hear No Evil)

Seeking a mid-life "reboot", a teacher reacts belatedly to a student's revelation – the reaction involves meatloaf. (The Meatloaf Reclamation)

Kevin Woods sees the collision of his birth and first sex, as he commits suicide. (Echoes of Kevin Woods)

A C.I.A. agent controls the ultimate weapon in the war against Islam – a pheromone bomb that causes gay arousal. (The Gay Bomb)

As always, your thoughts are welcome.