Saturday, April 21, 2007

Curious George Meets Grindhouse -- Eve

UPDATE: A winner has been selected in our ARC contest. And the winning entry is...(*scroll to the bottom of this post to find out)

I once saw a Hollywood marketing expert speak at a conference, and she advised us to pitch our children's books in terms of popular movies, so that people could get an instant feel for our stories. Some examples I made up for popular teen books:
  • SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson: The Accused meets Mean Girls
  • MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers: Menace 2 Society meets Dead Man Walking
  • THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton: Rebel Without a Cause meets West Side Story (minus the dancing)
  • GO ASK ALICE by Anonymous: Requiem For a Dream meets Thirteen
  • THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by Kate DiCamillo: The Velveteen Rabbit meets The Passion of The Christ (minus the beatings and flayed flesh)
I thought about this really hard and decided that my middle grade book (still in revisions) is basically Boyz 'N The Hood meets Unbreakable meets Stand By Me meets Lord Of The Flies. (Four of my favorite movies..woo-hoo!) I know it sounds funky, but when I thought about it in those terms, it gave me a clear vision and enabled me to weave layers of symbolism into the story. This little exercise really helped me focus. The deeper into revisions I get, the more the puzzle pieces seem to fit together. It's such an exciting process!

I'm curious to hear your “Hollywood Pitches” for your own books. Especially Jay Asher's THIRTEEN REASONS WHY (I'm stumped on that one). C'mon… try it, it's pretty cool. Okay, if you can't think of one for your own book, make up a pitch for a teen book you'd like to read. And you can't say, Curious George meets Grindhouse...that's MY next masterpiece.

- Eve

*...going to be announced on Monday!


Disco Mermaids said...

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Me: Memento meets My So-Called Life.

So how would you describe your new YA, Eve?

- Jay

liz said...

Interesting idea-

GHOSTS LIKE GREENFINCHES (my WIP): What Dreams May Come meets Sprited Away.


Disco Mermaids said...

Cool concept, Evie.

My middle grade DUDE, WHERE'S MY LOCKER? is kinda like Ferris Bueller meets Malcomb in the Middle (which is a TV show, but you'll let me bend the rules, right?).

zee said...

Well, I am not planning to write a book anytime soon, but I just wanted to say that I love Lord of the Flies (the original black and white movie), Unbreakable, and Memento. And I liked your movie combinations, especially for Edward Tualne. Maybe I should include this movie idea when I review books:-)

heidi said...

i laughed out loud at the Velveteen Rabbit meets Passion of the Christ--you guys are hilarious.

Okay--my YA is a multiple mix too. How's this:

SEA by Heidi R. Kling:
Romeo & Juliet meets Good Will Hunting meets Beyond Borders

Debbie said...

This is a great exercise! I'd say that my upper-middle grade, CALLER NUMBER NINE, is
Bye Bye Birdie meets Summer of Love (documentary on PBS this week).

~ Debbie Duncan

Disco Mermaids said...

Liz, Heidi and Debbie...LOVE your book pitches! I want to read them right now. And Zee, I totally agree. I re-read LOTF several times this past year, and it's just brilliant in so many ways that I never appreciated as a kid.

And Jay, I think my new YA romance is kind of The Notebook meets Roadtrip meets Love Story...sappy, but funny, but sappy.

Thanks for the comments, guys!


LindaBudz said...

I'm going to bend the rules here too ... I always think of the MC of my middle grade mystery as three parts Nancy Drew and one part Inspector Clouseau ... a smart chick with a dizzy streak!

P.S. Eve, you must be taking lessons from Jay ... nice way to hook us for tomorrow!

heidi said...

Thanks, Eve--I thought of you mermaids this morning as I was flipping through this week's Entertainment Mag. They use that technique all the time to describe movies--we should start a movement to integrate it into our query letters! SEA is under consideration at Feiwel & Friends so fingers crossed you DO get a chance to read it someday.

Disco Mermaids said...

Good luck with SEA, Heidi. That's a great title. I really like the new Feiwel and Friends and the books they're putting out. A girlfriend of ours has her debut book with them and absolutely LOVES Liz and Jean. And they gave me a super nice rejection recently. Very sweet and encouraging. So, fingers crossed that they take you on!

I have a good feeling about your book...that 3-movie combo just sounds insanely cool.

And, sorry, LindaBudz...the almighty Jay said we had to wait till Monday!


heidi said...

Thanks, Eve--that's so sweet of you to say. Sea was my main character Sienna's nickname before her mom disappeared in a plane crash over the ocean. Sienna (aka: Sea) used to be really outgoing, loved surfing and the ocean (the beginning of the book takes place in a Nor Cal Santa Cruzy like town). While in Indonesia she meets survivors of the tsunami (sea theme again). Usually when I say my novel is called SEA, people give me a confused/blank look, so thanks! I'm sorry you got a rejection notice. Those suck. But a really sweet one is always nice. I'd love to talk to you more about this F&F stuff--my email is BTW, can't wait for the next contest!