Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #22 - The Knock-Offs


Mainstream Fiction


When music talent scout Chandra Galliard gets assigned to a reality show described as “American Idol for preschoolers,” she thinks her only worry will be keeping a straight face when adults dress like Skittles and sing about bunny rabbits. But the VP in charge wants to turn the winning band into a billion-dollar entertainment juggernaut, even if it means making shady side deals and firing anyone who gets in her way.

Chandra soon finds herself managing the band that wins the contest, which includes a bassist who can’t dance, a drummer who may be a sex addict, and the handsome lead singer, who has a gift for creating havoc with his ad-libbed songs. On the band's first tour she uses skills she never knew she had, like blackmailing celebrities and doling out black eyes for photo ops. But when the VP pushes too hard and the band fights back, Chandra must decide whether to sacrifice the band to save her career—or to try and make the VP face the music.

First 150 Words:

Chandra stood waiting for the concert, trying to ignore all the red flags. First, every alt-weekly in Los Angeles wanted to have the band’s children, a sure sign they were over-hyped. Second, the club was full of drunken kids from Greek Row. The Pabst drinkers of music, she thought. Third, when the lead singer shambled on stage, he looked doped on cough syrup. 

Still, there was hope. Maybe the band could only express their genius through music. Maybe their music would transport her to a better place, one that didn’t smell like the crowd (too much melon body spray, not enough deodorant). This was why she scouted bands, to find the few rough-cut gems. But as the band’s first notes thundered through the room, her hope succumbed to an assault of power chords, a noise so punishing her cell phone went off like a car alarm in her pants.


  1. This sounds like a great read. Your query is tight, your first 150 packed with voice and details that bring us into a music scout's world. It shows you know your stuff (or can fake it effectively.)

    You have my vote!

  2. Great first 150 (love the parentheses line!) - and the Revisionist loved you! HOorah!

  3. Okay, I read this and loved everything about it. Your query rocked as hard as your first 150.

    Now you have two votes :-)

  4. And here's your third! You've got my vote!

  5. I love your line "too much melon body spray, not enough deodorant" Best of luck! But by the looks of things you don't need luck, congrats on your votes :)

  6. I REALLY liked this one. Like really really. I want to read it. :>

  7. Hello from one band author to another! I would definitely keep reading this, esp. after that line about her cellphone. Also, I like the premise and the stakes, because they do seem hard to pick between. Good luck!


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