Monday, July 23, 2012

Dead Air Pitch

Here’s the pitch I used for Dead Air at the 2012 PNWA Conference. I only pitched 1 agent and 2 editors because I used most of my time to pitch Girl | Alien. One of the editors requested a full manuscript. I’m probably going to send it out to more agents and editors at some point.

We had 3 minutes to pitch our stories, so that gave us about 60 seconds to give the pitch. (Note this is not a query letter and should not be read as such). Here it is:

Hi, I’m Andrew (or some such greeting). I’ve written a Contemporary Mystery called Dead Air. It’s complete at 75,000 words.

Archie is the sole caretaker of his mother who, after horrible accident that also killed Archie’s father, has been left bedridden and her brain is a little scrambled. But she’s a former lead homicide detective.

Archie comes across a dead body and the only witness is a blind teenager who claims the room was filled with “dead air”, although forensics doesn’t find a thing. He enlists the help of his mother in hopes that an investigation will bring her back to life.

During the investigation Archie’s car is sabotaged with “dead air” and goes out of control into the bay, Archie barely escapes with his life. When he returns to his mom, she suddenly remembers that the wreck that killed his father was very similar—and also may have involved “dead air”. They find that a string of murders going back ten years may be linked to this substance. They must find the killer before he strikes again.

I’m not super happy with it, and the agents/editors had some questions. Basically my issue is that there are really 2 stories—the mystery, and Archie’s relationship with his mother and how that evolves. I was able to explain it better when they started asking questions, that the story is really about a family trying to piece things together after tragedy strikes, and to try to find justice for Archie’s father’s death.

And now here’s the calling card for Dead Air: (phone # redacted when I dumped to JPG, not a typo).

dead air biz card


dead air biz card2


  1. I'm definitely intrigued by the term "dead air."  You're using it in a way quite different from my understanding of it, and that hooked me right away.  I want to know more about Archie's story.  

  2. I'll probably be putting a query letter up in the next few weeks.
    Archie lost his father in the wreck that incapacitated his mom. All he wants to do is break free of her care, until he realizes that there's something more important at stake--bringing his father's killer to justice.
    Hmm...may need to use that in the query letter.

  3. So, I'm trying to catch up on this blogging thing, and I probably haven't read anything in the last year. I really like what I saw of the pitch, and I'd like to see the query letter, and since this was posted in July I'd like to know where it's gone from there. 

    And Steam Palace, I'm too lazy to dig through the old posts, and I was just wondering what happened with that. If you had any luck with it?

  4. Yeah, I've been off blogging for a while.
    I submitted it but I haven't heard anything. I probably need to send a query to see what the status is.
    Steam Palace is a long story. Most of the agents/editors I talked to wanted it shorter, but after I did that, I didn't like the piece that much anymore. It's on hold for now. I have a different ms I'm getting ready to send out after a few more revisions.

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