Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #36 - Going Home Again

Going Home Again
Women's Fiction with romance elements

Alyssa Jones, a thirty-something magazine editor, thought her unrequited crush was like the big hair and fluorescent clothing from high school— a relic of the ancient past. Until an out-of-the-blue phone call brings the untouchable guy back into her life.

She’s no longer the invisible girl, but Michael Day’s no longer the dreamiest boy in school either. He’s even better. Not only is he one of the hottest pop superstars of the past few decades, he’s a doting husband and father. When Alyssa interviews Michael for her magazine, the chemistry between them ignites.

Alyssa must decide if what she feels for Michael is worth the risk of becoming “the other woman,” and testing the boundaries of her journalistic ethics. Michael has to face the music as well— he’s been going through the safe marriage motions for so long, this former shy girl he never noticed rattles his world like an earthquake.
With alternating points-of-view, my women’s fiction manuscript, GOING HOME AGAIN, is the story of what could happen if a teenage dream comes true. 

First 150 Words:
One Tuesday morning, I got a call I never expected. A call that, for the past twenty years, I may have secretly hoped for. 

A familiar voice buzzed over the loudspeaker on my phone. “Alyssa?” 

“Yes?” I replied, not looking away from my computer screen. Had Rebecca even started this piece about beach erosion? She usually procrastinated. I scribbled a note to myself to light a fire under her ass.

“There’s a Mr. Johnson on line two for you. Says he has a great story for the magazine. He’s a talent agent from New York.”

An annoyed sigh escaped my lips. “Thanks, Mary.”

There was always an agent or producer trying to get us excited about some low-budget cheese ball TV series or movie being filmed down here in Wilmington, North Carolina. Ever since Dawson’s Creek, the floodgates had been opened. Thanks, Van Der Beek.

I picked up my phone. "Alyssa Jones speaking."  


  1. Sounds terrific! Great premise, and I love the sense of humor in the writing sample.

  2. Love the premise and I think your 150 shows Alyssa's voice very well. I think readers will want to know what the phone call is all about & keep reading. Good luck!

  3. Oh, I like your premise. Having had a crush or two in the past and every now and again wondering what might have been--you have my interest.

  4. Great first 150 - sounds like a fun read!

  5. Nice job reworking the query and wish I could read beyond the 150 words! Ah, high school crushes coming to stuff. Good luck!

  6. WOW wonderful job fixing up your query!!! And I want to keep reading after your 150!! I want to know what that call was about! Best of luck!! I'm rooting for you! :)

  7. My first thought is that this sounds great. Since you're looking for a way to make it better than it already is, I'll give it a go.
    I was surprised that it wasn't listed as a romance since it sounds like it has more than just a few romantic elements in it. Not a huge deal, but it was just a thought I had.

    It might help to change this sentence so it's less of a fragment "Until an out-of-the-blue phone call brings the untouchable guy back into her life." Maybe add "That is, until..." or "This idea vanished when an out..."

    The first 150 are great. However, I'd consider changing the first line to read more like "This morning, I got..." It helps the reader feel "in the here and now" rather than it being a reflection of something that could have happened years ago. (Of course if that's what you're going for, then I'm totally wrong!)

    The last thing I'd consider changing is the line about her procrastinating. You could either ditch it entirely or change it to something like "I doubted it. I scribbled a note.." My reason for that is because you can avoid telling us outright and instead just show us.

    Your query and 150 are really really great though. If I wasn't looking for things to change, I probably would have left my comment as "Great! When can I read it?"


  8. Thank you all for all your helpful feedback... if only one of you was a judge... heehee :) But all the positivity here makes me feel really good about moving forward with this manuscript. I hope someday soon an agent will be as eager to read it as all of you are.

    And btw, Lindsey, I actually had this sentence: "Until an out-of-the-blue phone call brings the untouchable guy back into her life," with "that is," but my critique partners suggested I change it so I did. Go figure! Ha!!!


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