Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, March 16, 2007

Vote for the Next Bestseller!

by Kerry Blair

Jeff told only half the story on Monday. After you’ve suffered for however-many months to write a book, the misery has just begun. Now somebody’s going to take it upon themselves to write a blurb for the back cover. You know, that descriptive paragraph that the publisher hopes will cause an otherwise sane shopper to clutch the book to her chest and knock the canes out from under little old ladies in her mad dash to the cash register. And then, as if having your 80,000-word work summed up in 80 vivid adjectives (and a couple of outright lies) is not enough, actual strangers will feel free to pick up your book, read it, and sometimes even review it. (Shudder.)

In a strange twist of fate, those two things have just happened to the nine unfortunate folk who were brave, kind, creative, and industrious enough to enter the contest I posted last Friday. I have not only “blurbed” each of their stories for your convenience, I’ve reviewed them.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: I did this to make fun of blurbs on books (other than mine) and reviewers (other than Jennie, Tristi, Melanie, Michele, and others I know and admire.) I swear! I didn’t do it to make fun of the entries—that was just an unfortunate (albeit fun) side effect. I truly thought each of the entries was terrific, and I encourage everyone to read them as they were originally written before opening the comment section on this blog and voting for your favorite. (I'm might not check last Friday's blog again, so vote here.) Remember, the winner gets a paperback bestseller of their choice, so help them out by voting. But don't help too much. You may vote only once, but you may choose your top three favorites. Feel free to post anonymously. I trust you. Mostly.

ENTRY 1: LITERARY FICTION
Native New Yorker Bob fulfills a childhood fantasy as he gazes upon the Grand Canyon. Alas, fantasizing about the falling out he had with Marge three days before causes him to thoughtlessly leave the lens cap on his camera. Thus begins his draconic descent into the depths of deepest despair.
CRITICAL REVIEW: This book has angst written all over it. Keep a box of tissue handy . . . if you’re easily bored to tears. One good thing: the alliteration is all on the part of the loon who penned the flyleaf. The book itself is nearly readable.

ENTRY 2: MYSTERY
Everybody’s favorite Ace Detective, Fred, dons another of his many ingenious disguises! This time he uses make-up putty—and misuses clothing from Goodwill—to turn himself into an octogenarian tourist. If he cracks his latest case (and doesn’t he always?) he’ll rake in a million big ones from the stunning wife of a sleazy politician on the rise. If he fails . . . Hey! Whatchatalkinabout? Fred never fails!
CRITICAL REVIEW: Classic gumshoe! Detective Fred fans will stand in line for this one! The rest of us will probably take in a movie.

ENTRY 3: EPIC POEM
Cedric Delmar Puttner, PI, captures “hanky-pank” in its many forms. Ridiculed for his shots of low-flying hubcaps and eighty-year-old shoplifters, the geek façade is really a careful disguise donned by this latter-day Odysseus.
CRITICAL REVIEW: If you’ve ever wondered if there’s a person on the planet who can (and will) rhyme “odd” with “façade” this is the book for you! I haven’t read anything this moving since “Lady of the Lake.” On the other hand, I read “Lady of the Lake” this morning as I was moving my bowels.

ENTRY 4: SUSPENSE
“Nothing good” stalks the unsuspecting tourists enjoying a day on the beach. Fortunately, Scott—The Agency’s top operative—is on a mission! (Not that kind of mission; you’ve been reading too many Cheri Crane novels. We’re talking secret mission.) Pretending to photograph sea foam, he instead keeps a sharp eye on a piece of human scum.
CRITICAL REVIEW: This book is as bright and vivid as its hero’s yellow shirt! (Meaning you’ll want to look away, but you might not be able to.)

ENTRY 5: MAINSTREAM FICTION
Grumpy, dumpy, and older than he can remember growing, Fred is at last at the vacation spot of his dreams: the Grand Canyon! Unfortunately, he’s there with his harpy of a wife, Frieda. Will Fred have enough film? Will they miss the donkeys and have to hoof it down the canyon on foot? Will Fred nudge Frieda and send her sailing over the rim? You’ll turn pages late into the night to find out!
CRITICAL REVIEW: Forget turning pages late into the night—just tear them out early in the day. (Unless, of course, you need a good sedative.)

ENTRY 6: HORROR
Frieda Finkleberg attends community college, poisons her husband Fred, stuffs and dresses his corpse, poses him creatively in the garden, and then goes after his dog.
CRITICAL REVIEW: This author defines plagiarism. (At least she might if she were smart enough to look it up in a dictionary.) Not only did she steal the plot from Psycho, she stole the character names from other contestants! Definitely disqualified!

ENTRY 7: SCIENCE FICTION
No one believes that Tom Myers is really an alien—as in from another galaxy, not another country. We have border patrol for that. Armed with a carefully disguised spectroanalyzer, Tom scans the DNA of every human he encounters, searching for likely candidates for abduction at his leisure. Fortunately for humanity, Mulder and Scully are on the case, despite being X-ed from the FBI and relegated to reruns years ago.
CRITICAL REVIEW: If the truth is out there, you won’t find it here. Great book to take stargazing though—assuming you can’t read in the dark.

ENTRY 8: ADVENTURE
Amateur photographer Ted answers an ad to undertake An Adventure of a Lifetime! Thousands of miles from home and thrilled by the grandeur of nature, Ted admires acacias and photographs zebras, blissfully unaware that the tour bus has left him—alone and unarmed on the African veldt.
CRITICAL REVIEW: This author needs to get out of Africa. Or maybe get Out of Africa. Or maybe just get out more in general. Where are hungry lions when you need them?

ENTRY 9: ROMANCE
A unique, groundbreaking, inimitable, matchlessly distinctive work that reads as a series of articles for the Milwaukee Senior Citizens Living Care Center Newsletter, this book chronicles the touching if turbulent story of aged supermodel Mabel Ann Jensen and the love of her life, photographer Phil Bransen. (And we defy you to read that sentence without taking a breath!)
CRITICAL REVIEW: I laughed! I cried! I cringed at the vivid description of scantily-clad old women. This is truly a story for the ages—those between the ages of 95 and dead, that is.

ENTRY 10: NONFICTION
Join gifted photographer Phil Bransen as he exposes the shocking lifestyles of the Poor & Wrinkled while embedded (or is that in-bedded?) in the Senior Citizens Living Care Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Celebrated for his majestic black-and-white nursing station landscapes and the always awe-inspiring death bed photographs, his work evokes certain surrealist depictions of everyday life for many geriatrics.
NOTE: Yes, this IS the same entry as #9. It could have gone either way and ten is such a nice, round number. Feel free to vote for either -- or both!

Ready, set, vote! Winner gets a book and a Fun Frog Pack. Everyone who enters gets a cool Frog Pen/Bookmark/Ruler thingie. (Please send your name and snailmail address to kerrylynnblair@aol.com to claim your prizes.)


9 Comments:

At 3/16/2007 1:13 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Very "moving" reviews, Kerry. ;)
Only you could be this creative. And now, back to my very busy day.

 
At 3/16/2007 1:36 PM, Anonymous kerry said...

Okay so that WAS tacky. Sorry. :-)

But come back! You forgot to vote!

 
At 3/16/2007 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CRITICAL REVIEW of CRITICAL REVIEW #6

The author should re-define plagiarism as paleography and take these "ancient writings" home to mummy! Not only is she psycho, but also a confessed thief! Send this author to the big house, not the publishing house!

 
At 3/16/2007 2:19 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Okay, here's my vote.

#1) Entry # 6 [I don't care if someone thinks it should be disqualified. This one was funny =)]

#2)Entry # 2 As Kerry said, classic gumshoe scenario.

#3)Entry # 5 The saga of Fred & Frieda

Happy voting out there.

 
At 3/16/2007 4:56 PM, Blogger Jon said...

My official vote:

#1) Cheri - because I loved the rhyming. Not that I would pick up an epic poem to read, but I thought the entry displayed real talent.

#2) G.Parker - for the wonderful dialog and because he was the first to steal my character's name.

#3) Kerry - because I read a rule saying that you could not disqualify yourself - and it's your rule! Also because I would probably read your book on this plotline.

--FHL

 
At 3/16/2007 5:03 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

first #6
second #9
third #3

 
At 3/16/2007 7:20 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

first: #6

Second: #8

Third: #7

Kerry, I love your reviews! If I ever get published you'll have to write the blurbs for my books. :P

 
At 3/17/2007 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved #3

 
At 3/23/2007 4:18 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I may not use math every day (Numb3rs) but it looks like Kerry gets 3 votes, and Cheri gets 2 votes (first place votes)

Using weighted votes (3 for first place, 2 for 2nd place, 1 for third place), Kerry still wins with 10 votes, Cheri in 2nd with 7 votes, G. Parker in 3rd with 3 votes.

Looks like Kerry gets to give herself a frog fun pack. Yay, Kerry!

--FHL

 

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