Sunday, December 2, 2012
Author: Josh Handrich
Genre: Political Thriller
How long it's been on sale: Dec. 2011
Current price: $1.29
Marketing: Blog updated every 2-3 weeks, Facebook, Twitter, business cards, union website (over 2,000 pilots), Goodreads, was reviewed by Eric Swett at mywriterscramp.com (the other three reviewers never responded to inquiries), I redid the blurb and cover.
Total sold so far: Approx. 50
Link to book on Amazon: Raw Vengeance (The Rich Fordham Series)
A reporter bent on making a name for himself...
A plot to kill a candidate running for President...
A teenage boy betrayed by his own mother and bullied by thugs...
Is it all worth the sacrifice?
Rookie Chicago television reporter, Rich Fordham, is determined to become a war correspondent. To do so, he must prove himself. When his coverage of a school shooting has racial and political implications, his decision to get involved could cost him his career and his life.
Set in 2001, the events of 9/11 have a profound impact on Rich. He wants to make a name for himself and needs to be distinguishable from fierce competition. The only person that stands in his way is veteran reporter, Wayne Vale.
Chicago mayor Shantell Cogan is planning to run for President on the republican ticket. Her problem child, Tyler, is entering high school. He is confronted the first day of class because he is different--and later for being gay.
The story takes a provocative look at bullying, racism, homosexuality, and the media.
A Political Thriller. A Novella
First 300 Words:
Sweltering, sticky, Guam-like heat and humidity—just another September heat wave in Chicago—made it impossible to get comfortable. During the bitter cold winter months of snow, ice, and wind, people tended to behave and tough it out. People helped each other. But when the heat rose, so did their tempers. During the summer of 2001, the violent crime rate had grown exponentially in the south side and showed no signs of abating. To Patrol Officer Wes Kines, that meant nothing good ever happened.
In the Chicago Police Department’s Sixty-Fourth Precinct, it wasn’t even Monday at noon, but the drab four-level building had filled with its usual offenders: A bleached-blond woman in her forties, dressed in a pink tube top and fish net stockings, put up a fuss over being charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest. A twenty-something white male sporting a Bulls jersey and an assortment of religious tattoos was led off in cuffs for beating his girlfriend unconscious. Most were repeat offenders.
A mix of detective and patrol officers tended to arrest warrants and jail bookings. Two officers were in a heated discussion about rumors circulating over the mayor’s proposed budget cuts.
Wes kept himself busy by filling out paperwork on a DUI arrest of a heavy-set sixty-year-old blonde with coffee-stained teeth and nappy hair who kept making coffee and donut jokes thinking they were clever and original. It was difficult to focus on work when his mind was preoccupied with the rumors.
After eighteen years on the force, Wes doubted the long-term sustainability of his career. His annual pay had already been slashed twenty-five percent. His 401K was almost worthless. His alimony and child support drained what little he had left after drinking. Every week he had to pull doubles and work weekends with no days off, and he was still unable to make ends meet.
Comments: The cover looks good to me, but it does not say political thriller. To me, it says it's a regular thriller. I'd look at some other political thrillers to get an idea of some symbols you can have on here that would indicate it's a political thriller. The White House, a flag, red white and blue, those kinds of things will tell the reader right away this is a political thriller. This is a must, if you are to draw in the right audience.
The description seems disjointed to me. A plot to kill a candidate running for President...yes, that says "Political Thriller" to me. A reporter that knows, and must stop it? Yes, political thriller. A teen that goes on a shooting spree in school? Wait, what? What does that have to do with the political thriller? And we've got 9/11, racism, bullying and gay bashing thrown in there too. This seems like quite the melting pots of storylines. And then we find out it's a novella. Really? Novellas are not just short novels. They have fewer characters, fewer plot lines, less intricate stories. This does not sound like a novella to me. It sounds like a mess. Sorry, but the description isn't working at all for me. And it makes me wonder if the whole novella needs to be revamped.
The beginning of the book only further confuses me, because we are now introduced to yet another character, one that isn't even in the description. I would assume the main character would be in the description, so this officer must not be a main character. Again, I'm confused as to how he fits in with the story of a political thriller, and how it all works into a novella length book.
My advice would be first to figure out if this story is a political thriller. It's looking like maybe that's not what this is. I would next find a cover that fits the story. Then I would rewrite the description, focusing on the main character and his or her struggles. If the story has major structure issues, I would go back to the drawing board and work through those before trying to sell it. Maybe join a critique group to see if the story itself needs to be reworked. As it looks to me, just with what has been presented here, it looks like the story itself needs a lot of work. But I would definitely get the opinion of a critique group that knows story structure and how to fix issues like this.
What do you guys think?