Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Polish

So, today I’m posting my query and first 150 words for KISSING FOR COFFEE as part of GUTGAA’s pitch polish. I’ve been fiddling with this a little ever since I did the big revisions for ‘zee agent’ but I feel like it still needs work. Thanks to all of you for any comments, insight or feedback you can offer!

KISSING FOR COFFEE
YA ROMANTIC COMEDY
78,000 words

Query:

When the difference between maintaining her status as resident ‘Popular Party Girl’, or slinking back into the darkness of her perfect sister’s shadow resides in showing up to class with one cup of coffee, seventeen-year-old Sadie Brooks decides it’s worth kissing geeky Jake Sterling for his.

But one secret kiss becomes something much bigger when word travels through Geekland that Sadie locks lips for her morning java. She arrives at school to find her locker surrounded by a dozen candidates from the Land of Misfit Dudes- all of them holding coffee and hoping for the same payment. In order to save face, Sadie kisses Jake in front of half the student body. But she never expected her friends to follow suit.  

Without warning, ‘Kissing for Coffee’ becomes the newest sign of popularity and a clear indication of desirability. The more boys vying to hand you a cup, the more pretty and popular you must be. Sadie has unintentionally lit the match on a full-out trend and it’s spreading through surrounding high school districts like wildfire. The owner of Coffee Lovers is contacting her, thanking her for the publicity. News cameras are showing up at her school.  ‘Kissing for Coffee’ commercials are even running on TV!

But Sadie soon discovers that kissing for coffee doesn’t only have its ‘perks’. 

She becomes the focus of controversy when the student president of the Purity Waits Club begins protesting against the act of ‘prostituting your lips out for a three-dollar beverage’.  And then there’s Jake Sterling, whose deceptively talented mega mouth has Sadie craving his kisses at odd non-coffee hours.  Sadie needs to find a way to put a stop to the trend she set in motion before she ends up losing her popularity, her geek, and her coffee for good.

First 150 words:

   In Tokyo, high school kids don’t have to be there for attendance until 8:30 a.m. And by then, it’s daylight. And they ride in on the tram or the subway. How do I know this? Well, Canterbury’s only Japanese foreign exchange student, Nanako Ivana Saki, just told me. And yes, that is her real name.

            I stifle a yawn and struggle to stay focused on the road but Nanako keeps mumbling nervously, the whites of her almond-shaped eyes visible in the car’s shadowy interior.

“It’s so dark outside,” she says, for the third time.

“Yup,” I nod. “The sun comes up a little later here in winter.”

She sinks back into the front passenger’s seat, her child-like body almost disappearing completely from my peripheral vision. “The roads are so…isolated,” she says, her delicate white fingers digging into my car’s leather interior.

My headlights create bouncing shadows down yet another winding route.

19 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doesn't only have its perks - I like that line!

TC Avey said...

Interesting concept. I'm intrigued.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I love the query letter. Very catching and intriguing. My only issue is whether the first 150 words (which are a good opening, btw - just not right for this) are undercutting what you presented as the main story. You start off talking about what I assume is a non-crucial character and laying scene through her eyes. What does Tokyo have to do with the story? I think you're losing some of the query's pizzazz by starting out with the focus away from Sadie.

Along These Lines ..... said...

GUTGAA? Darn, I thought this was a piece about nucleic acid sequencing.

mshatch said...

My only thought is that the first paragraph of your query is one very long sentence - 46 words. If you could make this two sentences I think you'd have a perfect query. I would definitely want to read the book!

Laura Pauling said...

Awesome, Katie! I know one day you're going to sign with an agent or publish in some way to great success!

Connie Keller said...

What a fun story! I would definitely be interested in reading the book.

Tamara said...

What a fun story! I want to read more!!

Carolyn V said...

Sounds so great Katie! I want to read more too. Good luck!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Hi! I love the premise of your story, and the query is so lively and fun. I can't really think of anything to change! Good luck with GUTGAA!

Matthew MacNish said...

In the first paragraph, did you mean resides, or results?

Otherwise, I like this!

Laurie Dennison said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I think you have a really cool premise here. I was a little confused by the first line of the query. I think using shorter sentences might help. Maybe something like, "When seventeen-year-old party girl Sadie Brooks needs one cup of coffee to (the reason why she needs it), she decides it's worth kissing geeky Jake Sterling for his. I really like the voice throughout the query; sounds like a fun YA contemp!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I love this story. Kissing for Coffee becomes a controversy about purity> Fabulous!!

Old Kitty said...

What a story!!! And the first 150 words are just lovely - I was wanting to read more!! Good luck lovely Katie! take care
x

Ru said...

I think it sounds like a great project! I agree with Laurie above, I'd rather have a shorter first sentence (ideally one that explains a little more about why she needs the coffee). Is this like a "we wear pink on Fridays" Mean Girls thing? ;)

Natalie Aguirre said...

This is great but I agree with the others about two shorter sentences. I had to read it twice to get it.

Heather M Bryant said...

I love your whole concept. It's fun, it's light, and your query SHOWS us how enjoyable the whole book would be to read.
I really like.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, your pitch is so cute! I love the premise which I'd not quite grasped from anything I had seen earlier...

Good luck with the query process!

JenfromtheBlock said...

Sounds like this story has great potential. Love all the funny terms for the non-traditional, socially awkward male students we all know and love. I'm going out on a limb here in assuming that Jake is probably more geeky-chic than hardcore geek. I agree that you should change the word "reside". It threw me as well, and then I noticed that you used a variation of the same word just above. The best of luck in GUTGAA and in querying.

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