With my first two posts out of the way, Introductions First and College – Copy and Paste, it’s now time to dive into the lettered, paged abyss that I call my first completed fictional novel – A Story About Her.
In my query letter that I have toted around like a fifty pound backpack for the past fourteen years, I begin by asking a couple of questions. To draw parallels between fiction and reality, I wanted to show the reader how similar our lives can be. In A Story About Her, the characters connect the dots through their non stagnant development and leave the reader wanting more. The journey is long and trying, but isn’t life like that at times too?
What is it that connects certain people? Is it love? Is it death? Is it destiny? Or is it a paranormal rift in time that uses those entities to bring about a desired result? If that type of rift opens, its next priority is to close itself, no matter what the consequences turn out to be. This may sound unusual or hard to believe, but it happens more often than one might think.
A Story About Her involves Elvis Sexton and Vincent Wayward, two strangers separated by time and distance. As their lives alternate chapters throughout the book, the reader dives headfirst into the life of Elvis, a guy who questions his place in life as he struggles through his teenage years. Elvis constantly thinks about going over the edge and puts his faith, hope, and love in something that is most sacred to him, a beautiful yet fragile girl named Angel. Coincidentally, Angel lives down the street from Elvis and shares the same birthday as him. Their mere existence was a real-life fairy tale involving two people who were destined to be together forever.
Meanwhile, Vincent has just found out that he has a brain tumor. With another dead end in sight, he slits his wrist while sitting in his townhouse bathtub. Vincent waits for his life to come to an end, and an irrational impulse begins to turn into a plan. He quickly bandages the bleeding and imagines one final road trip. Vincent invites his best friend Curtis to join him, buys different kinds of drugs to enjoy along the way, and grows excited about visiting specific national parks across the United States. With this much disarray in his life, Vincent knows there is only one path left for him.
So how do the lives of Elvis and Vincent connect if time and space are working against them? It comes in the form of a seductive female by the name of Anna Garland. Anna was one of Elvis’s high school friends who grew distant as the years passed by. The only thing that remained constant was the bitter envy she had over Elvis’s infatuation with Angel. Anna goes off the deep end in college, commits a heinous crime, and innocently escapes to live her own life. On Valentines Day 2007, Elvis writes a special letter from his jail cell and reveals something that will tug at the reader’s heart even after the book has long been shelved.
Coincidentally, Anna is Vincent’s target on his road trip because her dad was the doctor that mailed him his brain scan results on Valentine’s Day 2007. Vince methodically conducts his road trip research and sets off in hopes of taking out his pain on the doctor’s precious daughter. Anna currently lives a fast-paced life of drugs and partying and shows off her exotic body at high-end strip clubs around the United States. Little does anyone know, Vince has planned to attend one of her performances at the end of his road trip. He does this for a reason.
Elvis and Vince’s rift in time opened on Valentine’s Day 2007 and was going to close as soon as all the loopholes had been exploited. One person’s life had to end so another person’s life could begin. Death had connected them in more ways than one. Love had left the both of them. Destiny was being fulfilled. Elvis and Vince’s parallel define A Story About Her.
End of Query.
Goosebumps still find a way of tickling the hairs on my arms and legs no matter how many times I read the query letter combined with the last few pages of my novel. Some would think that is crazy considering I finished the book fourteen years ago. As a writer, I use that sensation as a way of keeping me grounded because I can only hope that the reader has a similar feeling when they finish A Story About Her.
In my next post, I’m going to talk about the regrets I created when I rushed to independently publish my book just so I could finally cradle my completed novel in my hands. I’m also going to briefly describe how it affected me when the rejection letters flooded my mailbox and how I questioned if this was the true path for me. The struggle was there for a reason, and it took some time for me to acknowledge that. The best person, besides my editor slash favorite Yankee, to show me the light at the end of the tunnel was my inner self that needed time to develop into what he was destined to be.
A writer who would one day be an author.
If there is one thing worth waiting for, it’s validation.