Category Archives: superhero

Rewriting the Blurb

In my alter ego world writing as AJ Tillock I published The Forbidden Bean, Book One of a series entitled GRINDING REALITY. One thing I am not good at is writing blurbs, so I enlisted the help of a professional blurb writer. Below are the various versions of: my blurb, hers, then a couple of possible refinements to hers. I would love to know what you think. Which is better? Is there anything you’d add? Change? Subtract? I’ll give away a digital copy of THE FORBIDDEN BEAN to one lucky commenter during the month of February 2016. Thanks for your help!

  1. My original blurbajtillock2013 018

The Bean is…Magical…Addictive…Forbidden 

When lifelong misfit and coffee store manager Tee Rutledge investigates a hidden bag of coffee beans, she disregards the warning label and accidentally swallows one.  Consumption of the bean temporarily transports most of her thinking, rational self into the body of an insect, but just enough of her is left behind to allow operation of her human body on auto-pilot.  Her existence becomes wildly complicated because once she is whole again she has no memory of her behavior as a human during that time. 

While Tee temporarily inhabits the body of a fly, a cockroach or a spider, she inadvertently flies under the radar of her fellow humans and unwittingly becomes privy to dangerous knowledge she otherwise would not have but which compels her unwillingly into heroic action. 

Soon she is on the trail of a ragtag group of Eastern Europeans involved in gun-running and human trafficking; her long absent father walks back into her life to warn her away from pursuing them; and a serial killer feels the sting of her unique brand of justice. 

Addicted to the magic beans but also teetering on the edge of sanity, Tee begins to embrace the power she discovers within herself as well as the undaunted courage of her superhero alter ego

2) NEW BLURB 

A forbidden bean.  One taste.  A chance to see it all. 

Lifelong misfit and cafe manager Tee Rutledge would love to be a “fly on the wall” and know all the details of things she’s just not privy to.  But when she takes a small taste of a forbidden coffee bean, she gets her wish–and then some. 

Without warning, Tee takes on the entity of small insects and finds herself battling crimes and wrongdoings that she never imagined. The once ordinary Tee now must battle extraordinary wars–wars that just might get her killed. The thrill is exhilarating and addicting as each taste of the bean gives her the undaunted courage of a superhero. But will Tee’s power trip take her too far? 

3) My adjustment to #2

A forbidden bean.  One taste.  A chance to see it all.

Lifelong misfit and cafe manager Tee Rutledge would love to be a “fly on the wall” and know all the details of things she’s just not privy to.  But when she takes a small taste of a forbidden coffee bean, she gets her wish–and then some…

Without warning, Tee takes on the entity of small insects and finds herself knowing more than she bargained for.  Returning to her human self, Tee begins fighting crimes and wrongdoings that she never imagined.  Combine gun smugglers with human-trafficking and the once ordinary Tee now must battle extraordinary wars–wars that just might get her killed.  The thrill is exhilarating and addicting as each forbidden bean gives her the undaunted courage of a superhero. But will Tee’s power trip take her too far?  

4) My Further Refinement

A forbidden bean.  One taste.  A chance to see it all.

Lifelong misfit and cafe manager Tee Rutledge would love to be a “fly on the wall” and learn all kinds of things she shouldn’t.  But when she tastes a forbidden coffee bean, she gets her wish–and then some…

Without warning, Tee temporarily takes on the entities of small insects and finds herself knowing much more than she bargained for.  Returning to her human self, Tee begins fighting crimes and battling injustice in ways she never imagined. 

Gun smugglers and human-traffickers take notice of the once insignificant Tee poking her nose in their business and it might just get her killed.  The thrill is exhilarating and addicting as each forbidden bean gives her the undaunted courage of a superhero. But will Tee’s power trip take her too far? 

 

finalGRcover

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#coffee #tobeapartner #fantasy #book #blurbs

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Avoiding Writing

ajtillock2013 018I’ll put my alter ego, AJ Tillock’s hat on for now and explain why the second book in the GRINDING REALITY series still isn’t out, three years later:

It’s because:
I’ve been sitting on the partially completed manuscript for most of that time.

Contemporary romance is so much easier to write (and sell to a publisher who does all the editing and the cover art and actually PUBLISHES the book so I don’t have to).

finalGRcoverHardly anyone has read the first book in the series, The Forbidden Bean. (Which makes me think the concept isn’t quite as brilliant as I thought it was. Or it could be due to a complete lack of marketing.)

I find switching from contemporary romance author to screwball fantasy author difficult.
I’m not even sure COOL BEANS makes sense.

CoolBeans_CVR4 like3If readers didn’t read The Forbidden Bean, will they “get it?”

I’m not convinced I know how to write:
a) Screwball fantasy
b) A series
c) A screwball fantasy series

Therefore it has been easy not to write it.

But…I have made a promise to myself and to the two fans who loved The Forbidden Bean to have Cool Beans out by the end of summer 2015. I put it on my web site. I have a fantastic cover!!! Therefore I MUST FINISH IT. Plus, writing (and selling the books) in this series is the only possibility I’ll ever have of making significant money off my career as a coffee store barista. Cuz the last twelve years of paychecks just ain’t doin’ it.

Basic premise: Coffee store assistant manager and general oddball Tee Rutledge accidentally swallows an addictive but forbidden coffee bean which then temporarily turns her into…something else. Like an insect in The Forbidden Bean. (Didn’t you ever want to be a fly on a wall? Here’s your chance.) Or a tree frog in COOL BEANS. She can go almost anywhere, overhear things she’d rather not know, become an unwilling superhero.

Oh, God. No wonder editors and agents won’t touch it.

But I’ll write it anyway. Then I’ll publish it. In three years, I will write another blog explaining why I haven’t finished Book Three in the series: KILLER BEANS.

You might also discover posts of difficult chapters this summer as I try to work through my discomfort and ask for help with my drinking—er–writing problem.

#writing #fantasy #series #publishing