Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pitch for Pitchapalooza 2012

Why not us?

Back in 2004, pitcher Curt Schilling asked this question during the Red Sox's historic, curse-breaking quest to become World Series champs. Now, my wife and I-- pitchers of a completely different groove-- are going to borrow this question for our campaign to win Pitchapalooza.

"Say whaaa?" asks ye who happened to stumble on this page accidentally, while Googling a recipe for dates-wrapped-in-bacon. (Delicious, by the way.) To the uninitiated: Pitchapalooza is an online contest for aspiring writers. Think "American Idol" for wanna-be novelists: twenty-five "pitches" for novels are posted, and the masses vote on which "pitch" has the most potential. The winner gets a one-hour meeting with the "Book Doctors," Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, who will advise you on how to get your book published.

Some necessary back-tracking: about a year-and-a-half ago now, my wife Sheri and I finished writing a young adult novel. That, we realize, was the easy part. Now we have to convince someone to get behind the darn thing.

As part of our seemingly endless task of generating interest, we entered the Pitchapalooza contest. They picked us at random, and now as of right now--

We're in first place! Woo-Hoo!

To everyone who has voted, thank you, thank you, thank you. We appreciate your support more than you know.

But it's not over yet. The Book Doctors won't name a victor until March 15. So we will not rest. We're going to keep campaigning, trying to put as much distance as possible between us and our competition. So if you're interested in doing us a solid, do the following:

Now, if you want to see what our novel is about before voting (and good on you for being such a smart shopper), read our pitch, reprinted from the contest page:

Mythology High

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom’s scumbag suitors—all one hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who pulls pranks, blows off work, and alienates everyone at school.

But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) takes his misanthropy to new lows. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he’s truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out.

And so begins Mythology High, a high school drama that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago. Gloriously anachronistic, the story recounts Mac’s three-month odyssey as he encounters fantastic beasts, seeks legendary artifacts, and does the two things he never thought possible: meet a girl and make friends.

More than simply a companion piece to Homer’s epic, Mythology High is a novel about friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, with all the adventure, romance, suspense, and heart that both high school teachers and their students can enjoy.

Still not convinced? Then consider these Six Reasons Why You Should Vote For Sheri and Mark's Novel:

  1. We're a husband-and-wife writing duo. Come on: how adorable is that?

  2. In our very first chapter, our hero trains a flock of birds to defecate all over the administrators on the first day of school. You hear that? Defecating birds! Is that a hook, or what?

  3. If we our book is eventually published, we will try to get the surviving members of the Monkees to write a song for the eventual musical.

  4. If we win Pitchapalooza, it will be like one of those great Sylvester Stallone movies, in which the hero comes from nothing and defies all odds to come out on top. (And I'm talking, of course, about Stallone's 1987 arm-wrestling drama Over the Top.)

  5. Our book includes a Minotaur, which may conjure up happy memories of Minotaurs you had when you were children.

  6. Did we mention the defecating birds?

And if you're stll not convinced... let me just say this: look, we believe in this book and think it's a jolly fun ride. We have oracles and suitors, bandits and blind prophets, underground labyrinths and magical two-headed flutes. We have Homer himself. Yep: Homer's a character, as a geeky teenager, with a limp and a crazy obsession for heroes.

But, most of all, if you strip away all the adventure and ancient mythological trappings, we have regular old teens, facing regular old teen problems. The five teens at the core of our story seek approval from their parents, make friends, fall in love. Only our teens are wearing tunics.

So, one more time (in case you don't want to scroll up), here's how you vote for Mythology High:

Thanks for your help. And remember that three-word Pitchapalooza mantra: Yes we can.

Uh... I mean.. why not us?