Saturday, 24 February 2018

Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, 
from a unique new voice.

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

About the author:

Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of 'proper jobs', she realised she was living someone else's life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with family.

She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Guest Post by Jenny Morton Potts:


So you know your manuscript inside out, literally and literarily. It’s your baby. The moment has come to dress it up in a lovely cover and make the readers coo at it. No-one knows your little one like you do, nor loves it so passionately, but now you must send it into the wide world. Hey, you’ve done your best, but now you need to prepare Junior for reality. It’s time to blurb your baby.

This is easier than you might think. Don’t be daunted. The pressure of attempting genius can get to a writer. Take a deep breath and try to stop being yourself for a wee while. Try instead to be Kate Someone or Joe Whoever. Close your eyes (well, only if you can have this read to you) and imagine…:

Kate is at Stansted airport, running a little late. She won’t have time for a coffee – she can grab that on the plane – but Kate’s gotta get a book.

Joe’s in Waterstone’s on Piccadilly. It’s always chocka at lunchtime in the shop and he’s got 7 minutes before he has to be back at work.

Kate sees they’ve got those self-serve checkouts. Oh God, she’s useless with those. Her knees grip tightly to the carry on case wedged between her feet. Quick, grab the best looking covers. There! These two. Read back!

Joe sees a terrific looking cover on a stand. He glances at his watch and reaches for the lovely book, flips the jacket over.Jenny Morton Potts

Ok, open your eyes and start typing your blurb in here ______________

Finished? Do you think either Kate or Joe would pick yours? Will they even have time to read it all?

Now I hear you, many people buy online or consider the trip to their gorgeous independent bookstore a joyous occasion. Coffee after, or during. Perhaps pick up a ‘dine in for two’, creating a reading space where cooking was to have been. But trust me, the leisurely browser will like your concise blurb just as much as Kate Someone and Joe Whoever. What they want, is only to feel they will like your book; really like it. They just want to taste how good it is, to know their thirst will be quenched. When they’ve twisted open the cap, when they’ve heard the fizz, they’ll screw the top back on tightly and save it for later. (And if they don’t like the sound of it, that is fine too. More of that later…)

There will now be a short cessation of metaphor and a move towards acronym.
You can begin with a line which gives the entire essence. (Don’t worry about location unless it’s a USP.) ‘E’ is for Essence, therefore.

I found an interesting example when reading about this online. Kate Atkinson’s ‘Behind The Scenes at The Museum’:

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn’t married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but he was all that was left.

This tells you something about the characters and setting but more importantly, you hear the style. You know whether you will like it. You are already taking part in the story, after two sentences. Maybe there is an encompassing line like this in your novel which does this (preferably near the beginning)?

An author and publisher should be aiming to ensure compatibility between readers and books. An excellent book, of course, will always outsell its demographic but it’s important to satisfy readers, for them to finish the book believing they made the right choice. If a reader is misled by the jacket, the consequences will haunt their review pages. Also, um, not everyone can like your book.

(One other thing about Atkinson’s blurb, just in passing, indulge me: the adverb does wonders. Don’t believe all the rubbish about deleting adverbs. ‘Grudgingly’ does some sterling work here.)

Alright, so it is a bit tricky, the blurb. Ok, ok. At least it’s easier than a synopsis. With a blurb you don’t want to give much away. It’s an enticement and matcher only. A second ‘E’ then and an ‘M’.

And most books are going to need a flourish of jeopardy. That’s ‘J’. Let the reader know what’s at stake. Feel free to end with a question mark. Eh? Thereby involving the reader, drawing them in.

There are variations of course. You’ll need some pith for humour and some dark water for crime. But mostly stick with EEMJ

Have a look at a dozen books which are as close to yours as possible (though no-one’s baby is as fabulous as yours) and analyse the blurbs.

No comments :

Post a Comment