So the good folks at Hydra Publications bought SAGE as a trilogy. I’ve signed the contract, done the edits, and Book 1 is in the pipes for publication.
Now comes the hard part. Now I have to summarize it.
I managed a synopsis of 2-3 pages, but now I need to write one of those descriptions that sell a book online. As Kris Bock says, the thing that’s missing in most of those descriptions is the flavor of the book.
When Elsie, the pampered daughter of a minor official, is chosen as the ruler’s bride, her mother tells her what she’s always suspected: Elsie is a foundling. What Elsie didn’t know is that she was one of many children marked for death–marked by the man she’s been called to marry, the man suspected of murdering his first wife, who was the true ruler of Layounna. Elsie’s daring escape into the wilderness sets off a series of interlocking events that lead directly to the man who demands the throne as the illegitimate son of the dead ruler.
The land of Layounna is in disorder. Rumors are growing that the regent murdered his wife, the true ruler, with the help of his mother and sister. The young man, Kinnan, who claims to be the illegitimate true heir, has been driven into exile, but the people expect him to return. The girl the regent chooses for his second wife vanishes from the castle, and none of his mother’s arts can find her. And they say a unicorn has been sighted.
The House of Onagros ruled Layounna for generations. Then the House of Sarpa, led by the Tarkastrian adept Oliva, used marriage, murder, and fear to usurp the throne. But, when Landry of Sarpa decides to legitimate his regency by marrying and producing heirs, his chosen bride vanishes with the help of a young apprentice scribe. Bride and apprentice are separated in the northern woods, and the apprentice, in searching for her, stumbles like a spark into tinder when he tells her story to the man who just might be the true heir to the House of Onagros.
I also need a logline. Anne R. Allen (no relation) has a great post on all this stuff at her blog. My buddy Monti Sikes has a post on loglines in which she tries to sum up her stories in 25 words or fewer.
Yes, yes. Unrightful ruler. Lost heir. Runaway bride. But plots go astray when the Four Divine Animals get involved: Unicorn, Phoenix, Dragon, and … Tortoise?
Would any of that make you give the book a second’s glance? Jane, would those make you blip past it, even if it were free? Help?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Try to sum up the flavor and content of a book you know well in 25 words or fewer.