I mentioned last week that I am coming up on my Must Have Shrike Edited So Querying May Occur Deadline, and it’s actually coming along fairly well. I’ve completed my first two passes and am onto the next, which is the texturing/deepening/oh-my-gods-why-did-I-do-this-to-myself/layering/analysing phase. Which is…happening.
I actually feel fairly good about this one, gentle viewers, but I need to make sure I’m not completely delusional. *Cough*
Which is to say, I need an outside opinion. A beta reader, if you will.
However, for this particular endeavor, I need a very particular kind of beta, and a rather specific list of task (sic) from said beta. While that sounds ominous, I promise I’m not asking for anything as strenuous as what I’ve asked from betas in the past (or what has been asked of me, for that matter). I’m NOT asking for pages of notes and in-depth analyses of each character or for you to fix typos (hopefully between spellcheck and SmartEdit, the latter will get fixed anyway).
-Read Shrike in its entirety and respond within one week with…
– Big general impressions. Did you laugh? Cry? Snooze? Set it aflame?
And that’s pretty much it.
I will ask you a series of no more than five follow-up questions, but as I’m not looking for a line edit here, I don’t want to stick lenses on your reading glasses and tell you what those are in advance. Basically, I just want to know what you think. The follow-ups will be things anyone who has read a book can answer about said book without having to reference exact page numbers.
As a reward, you get my undying gratitude and I will mention you in my book’s acknowledgments
if erm, when it gets published. (Confidence, Emmie, confidence.)
The book is going to be between 250-275 pages in Word (around 80,000 words, which is a pretty standard mass market paperback size) once I finish the current draft. Just so you have an inkling of what you’d be getting into, here is the log line and short jacket copy-esque blurb.
A mid-level accountant accidentally drinks an experimental serum created to cure her boss’s daughter of terminal cancer.
Edinburgh accountant Gwenllian Maule wants her work recognized without incurring the wrath of her boss. Annamaria de Fournay rules their office like the psychotic Queen of Hearts, reeking of rosewater and threatening people’s heads. But when Gwen accidentally drinks a serum intended to cure de Fournay’s terminally ill daughter of pancreatic cancer, Gwen becomes the Queen’s primary target for a new reason — the serum meant to battle cancer has given Gwen superpowers.
With Scotland in turmoil and the referendum for independence creeping closer by the day, Gwen needs answers. And when one of de Fournay’s associates kidnaps the head of the Scottish National Party, Gwen is drawn into the political fray. With the storm spreading even to her parents’ Highland croft, the roiling battle between radical unionists and Scotland’s nationalists pulls Gwen into the center of a debate she’s long avoided.
Superpowers don’t make a superhero. Can Gwen figure out what does?
If it does indeed sound like the above picture in all its peachiness, do leave a comment and I will email you to arrange your Very Helpful Person status.
You do NOT have to be another writer to do this. You can be someone who likes superheroes. Or Scotland. Or me. Or you can be all of those things. Just be you, read my book, and tell me what you thought. The one thing I ask is that you do read it and get back to me within a week.
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