Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 2020 Pass or Pages Entry #5

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agents Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary and Tia Rose Mele of Talcott Notch Literary Services for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 5: Gemini Divided


Jen is a mild-mannered fanfiction writer and obsessive fan of the TV show Gemini Divided who happens to moonlight as an assassin in order to pay for her mother’s chemotherapy. When Will Bryant, the star of Gemini Divided, becomes her next target, her cover job as his personal assistant subjects her directly to his charm. Her resolve to kill him crumbles from the first minute, and she is desperate to know how someone who seems so genuine could have ended up on a hit-list.

When Jen stumbles onto crates full of real guns, not props, and armor piercing bullets while snooping around on the TV studio lot late one night, she knows something is not right. The next day, Will mentions that he saw a closet full of unfamiliar crates the week before. He had thought nothing of it, but Jen makes the connection: Instead of being a monster, like her typical target, Will ended up on her list because someone thinks he knows too much.

Never one to question her orders in the past, Jen must now make an impossible choice. Either she saves herself and her mother by killing Will, an innocent man, or saves Will and puts herself in danger and her mother’s future in jeopardy. A note pushed under her hotel room door informs her that she has two days to kill him. Now she must decide who she is and what choices she can live with.

Told primarily through Jen’s perspective, GEMINI DIVIDED is a 95,000-word suspenseful romcom. It is a cross between Summer Heacock’s CRASHING THE A-LIST and the TV series Blindspot.

GEMINI DIVIDED is my first novel, inspired by my own experience with TV fandoms – which did not involve plans to kill any celebrities[RP1][TRM1].
Rebecca's comments:
[RP1] I don’t think this query missteps, necessarily, but there is a LOT of information packed into a short space. The fanfiction writing, the chemo, the assassin side job, the tv show—it’s a lot to explain in a few paragraphs. I feel like the first paragraph alone could’ve been expanded into the query letter. It also seems more like a Romantic Thriller than a Suspenseful Romcom, genre-wise, so I’m leaving the query a little uncertain of where this fits in the market, and wary of reading on.

Tia's comments:
[TRM1] Query is well written and gives the reader all the necessary information.

First 250 Words

Jen adjusted the scope and peered through the long-range lens, letting her gaze move once more over the crowd. A handsome man in a dark suit leaned in close to a brunette in a skin-tight emerald dress that was so short, it surely would have been impossible to sit down without exposing herself. As he did, a woman with disheveled red hair and smudged eye makeup jabbed him in the shoulder from behind. When he turned, she flung the contents of her drink in his face, then disappeared into the sea of people as he stood, shocked and dripping wet. Jen tilted her head a few degrees, studying him and frowning as if she expected an explanation. The brunette now tore into the man, and Jen’s attention wandered[TRM2].

Across the room, her eyes were drawn to the back of a woman’s black cocktail dress, which was pressed up against the window. From her angle, she could just barely see the woman’s profile. A man several inches taller tilted his face close to hers, his fingers tangled in her shoulder-length chestnut hair. They were close together, but not quite close enough to be kissing. The plunging back of the dress, which dipped low enough that Jen wondered if the woman could wear any undergarments with it at all, distracted her from analyzing their interaction. When the man’s hand came into view, blatantly groping at the woman’s bottom, Jen rolled her eyes and scanned onward.
Rebecca's comments:

Tia's comments:
[TRM2] The play by play here is a bit telling rather than showing which makes it hard to engage with the story and stay present in the narrative, so I'd stop reading here.

Rebecca - Pass
Tia - Pass

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