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Tell Me Three Things (About Your Book)
Contributor
Written by
Kamy Wicoff
January 2019
Brainstorming
Contributor
Written by
Kamy Wicoff
January 2019
Brainstorming

In the first post I wrote for my author website blog, I decided to tell readers three things about three of the main themes in my book; first a quote from the book itself, then two more things on the same subject that are more general, link-tastic fun. (If you want to check out the format I used for potentially writing about your own book on your author site, you can read the post here.) My inspiration came from a dinner time ritual I have with my boys, where we go around the table and each tell one another three things from our day.

This led to me wonder: if I could only tell people three things about my book, using just a few sentences for each, what would they be? I found this exercise very helpful in the process of perfecting the famous--or infamous--elevator pitch. With the elevator pitch also in mind, I carefully ordered my three things as well. What would I tell someone if I only could tell them one thing about my book? Two things? Three? 

Here's what I came up with:

Thing One: What is it about?

A divorced mother of two gets a time travel app on her phone that lets her be in more than one place at the same time.

Thing Two: What was your inspiration? 

I was reading the Harry Potter books with my older son, devouring them with delight, when I thought, "I wish there were a book like this for moms!" And then I thought, if I could give myself, in my modern life, one power, what would it be? Presto: the idea for Wishful Thinking was born.

Things Three: Who is your ideal audience? 

(Hint: Don't say "everyone!") Thoughtful moms, busy parents, smartphone addicts.

Are you ready to take the Three Things challenge for your book or other writing project? Answer these in as many words as I did, OR FEWER. I was most self-indulgent on the topic of inspiration (55 words), most economical when it came to audience. But my "What is it about?" answer is tweetable, and in an ideal world all three of your answers will be too. In order to impose some discipline here, and really get the MOST out of this exercise, hear this! If you answer any of the three questions in more than 60 words, I WILL DELETE YOUR COMMENT! That's my version of tough love. Embrace it, it's good for you.

I also just found that #threethings is available on Twitter. So ideally, get your answer to each of these questions into a tweet that can include that hashtag, and She Writes will retweet and share all day today on Twitter. I've already posted mine so follow me and you can see how I did it. 

Finally, I'd be falling down in my writerly duties if I didn't remind everyone that there's ONE DAY LEFT to subscribe to my author newsletter if you want your name thrown into the hat for getting one of the last two galleys I have for Wishful Thinking. So consider yourself reminded. I'd love to inscribe one of them to you!

 

* This post was originally published in April 2015.

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Comments
  • Lloyd Lofthouse

    What is it about?

    He's lonely and wants someone to love, but Merlin, hiding on an Earth threatened by climate change, has the powers of a god, and he can’t use them because he’s being hunted by an AI killing machine.

    What was your inspiration?

    I have always been fascinated with the myth of King Arthur and the sorcerer Merlin, an immortal shapeshifter, but no one knows where he came from and who he really was.

    Who is your ideal audience?

    Readers and fans of science fiction, fantasy, magic, the paranormal, vampires, dragons, demons, and the danger of climate change.

  • What is it about?

    A girl and her guitar, a boy and his crew, a trickster spider, the truth about ‘Melanin’, family secrets, lots of music; and what happens when all this comes together over the course of an Antiguan summer.

    What was your inspiration?

    Music...and these persistent teen performers who wouldn’t let me sleep until I’d told their story. Also, once I got started, I decided to push through and try for the deadline for the Burt Award for teen/YA Caribbean literature. The deadline was tight but it didn't require much of a push because the story was there with such urgency but it was a challenge to myself to consciously write in this genre. The manuscript placed second for the prize and is now a published book. Yay, Musical Youth!

    Who is the ideal audience? Caribbean teens, first; teens worldwide, second.

    Oh, the name, in case you missed it is Musical Youth. Adults seem to be liking it, too.

  • Sharon Allgood

    It was a great exercise Kami. Thanks.

  • Debby Carroll

    Three things about my book "Tales From the Family Crypt: When Aging Parents Die, Sibling Rivalry Lives."

    1. Every word is true, even the ones that detail events stranger than truth.

    2. I've been writing it for about five years.

    3. It has a happy ending. Some readers think that's debatable but I think I know best!

    Fun exercise. Thanks!

  • Great job everyone -- I loved reading these, and I hope it was a good exercise for all of you!

  • Sharon Allgood

    Hi this is fantastic. Here are my 60 words.

    1. What's my book about?
    A girl's desire to belong, causes her to join a pseudo-government organization, who's creator needs her because she's the cure to save his life, but at the cost of hers.

    2. What was my inspiration?
    A photo from a National Geographic Magazine.

    3. Who is your ideal audience?
    Young adult girls, who haven't realized their worth in the world or the power and strength they can bring to it.

  • Jeanne Nicholas

    Drayton's Discoveries: Book 1 of the Atax Trilogy.

    1.  Science Fiction/Fantasy where Honor Harrington meets Avatar.

    2.  Pay attention Steven Spielberg

    3.  A new planet resource D-shale has been discovered on Atax by the genius scientist Herman Drayton.  Recognizing his dream of changing the universe, he and his Alteric wife Jor, with her color shifting skin, and their best friend Spirito, the Canid warrior a human size male wolf, leave the restricted service of the Trabid Captain, Brugg and his vessel Icarus.  Although making an lifetime enemy is not the best way to start his new beginning, he manages to found a city on Atax, while fighting off spacecraft attack and sabotage.  How does Drayton build his new world when starting from scratch?  Meet the many species of human, Alteric, Gekk, Cinthu, Foki, and more, that help.  And, you wont ever guess who they discover on the planet itself.  Don't miss it.

  • My Book: Why Zarmina Sings: Tools from the Classroom to Overcome Anxiety and Transform Your Life

    What's it about: The book is a collection of stories about how I overcame anxiety and how I helped my students do the same to accelerate learning and creative expression. I share tools like movement, breath work, drama and imagination in each chapter and the research to support my own findings.

    Inspiration: The inspiration for my book came from my own high anxiety in my life and career; I wanted to be more creative in my job. Once I began to get creative in the classroom, the inspiration came from my students.

    Audience: Teachers, students who want inspiration, AND people who want to be more creative and expressive in their lives.

  • No never too late! This post will always be on my page on She Writes, which people can find from the main page...and besides it's a good exercise whenever you do it. :)

  • Sunny Mera

    I think these "Comment" threads live on forever...  I don't think it is ever too late to post. :)

    -Sunny

  • Rita Gardner

    Is it too late to submit to this today? 

  • These are  so fun to read! Thank you for sharing them with me and with all of us. 

  • Shary

    Insatiable: A Memoir of Love Addiction

    http://sharyhauer.com

    1. What’s it about:  An executive is confident, independent and successful in her career,  but when it comes to her love life she morphs into a clingy, desperate woman addicted to love.

    2. Inspiration: To help relieve the suffering of those stuck in some form of love hell by illuminating the path from self-hatred to self-love.  Increase the awareness of one of the least understood and talked about addictions.

    3. Audience:  Women who are successful in everything except love

     

     

  • Joanne S Frye

    Kamy,

    Too consumed by the challenge, I neglected to say thanks for issuing it to us. It's certainly not an easy task, but it's worth making the attempt.

    Thanks again--for the post and for your own nicely succinct example.

  • Tonya Rice

    Three things about What Your Friend Means to Me: A Novelette (Magnolia Bay Publishing, 2014)

    1. What is it about? Shelby's boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her and she soon meets handsome doctor with whom she discovers she's got more in common than she thought she had with the boyfriend.

    2. What was your inspiration? A breakup and events that followed with a twist.

    3. Who is your ideal audience? Readers who enjoy stories about families and/or strong friendships that offer a twist and some life-affirming changes.

  • Michelle Cox

    My upcoming book is A Girl Like You and is a historical mystery!

    1. What is it about?  

    Young Henrietta takes a job as a taxi dancer in 1935 Chicago.  When the floor matron is murdered, the aloof Inspector Howard turns up and convinces Henrietta to go undercover for him in a burlesque theater.  She agrees, hoping to clear her friend of suspicion, but finds herself drawn to the inspector in most unsuitable ways. 

    2.  What was your inspiration?

    One of my past lives was working in a nursing home where I heard the most amazing stories of the past.  Henrietta is very loosely based on a woman I met there.  I took some aspects of her story and created a whole world for her and, of course, a mystery!

    3.  Who is your ideal audience?

    Women who are not locked into a genre, but who enjoy a good story.  This book is as much about the characters as it is the mystery.  It is for women who like a series (this is the first!) in which the characters continue to develop over time.

    Thanks, Kamy!

  • Sunny Mera

    All in Her Head: A Novel

    http://sunnymera.com 

    @merasunny

    1. A woman's shocking experience of orgasmic labor gives way to a delusional condition where she struggles to know the real from the unreal.

    2. Fiction based on a true story.

    3. Written for those interested in a precise description of delusional states or who wish to empathize with the experience. 

  • Joanne S Frye

    Biting the Moon: A Memoir of Feminism and Motherhood

    http://joannefrye.com

    1. A woman leaves a domineering husband, raises two daughters on her own, and finds a way to write her own story.
    2. Inspiration: The lived knowledge that feminism and motherhood are not at war; instead, they reinforce each other in nourishing a woman’s spirit.
    3. Audience: Anyone who wants to think hard about the struggles of parenting in a sexist society.
  • Melanie Bishop

    Can't find where SheWrites is retweeting these...

  • Sande Boritz Berger

    #ThreeThings

    What is my book about:

    Set during WWll, The Sweetness is the parallel tale of two Jewish girls, cousins, living on separate continents, whose strikingly different lives promise to one day converge.

    What was my inspiration:

    About a decade ago, while helping my elderly aunt sift through important papers, I discovered the photo of a young girl. While I had many questions, it was obvious my aunt did not want to talk about that time in history. I did learn the girl was my second cousin. She became the girl on the cover of The Sweetness.

    Who is my ideal audience?

    Lovers of historical fiction with special interests in the Jewish immigrant experience before and after WWll.

  • Pamela Olson

    The Bracelet: A Novel of Freedom

    1. The career of a writer in her early 30s has been a complete failure in her eyes. On the verge of giving up, she finds a gift that allows her dizzying freedom to travel the world and reexamine her life outside of concepts like success, fame, money, and the roles we believe we’re supposed to perform.

     

    2. My original inspiration was being a kid and wishing for magical powers. I thought, what would an adult do with virtually infinite freedom? It’s not as simple as when you’re a kid. But potentially much more deeply rewarding if you do it right—and much more dangerous if you do it wrong!

     

    3. People who deeply ponder what it means to live a good life, and what it means to be free in a magnificent world. (We are so much more free than we realize!) Also people who like humor, the fabulous juxtaposed with the painfully real, travel to gorgeous, fascinating places, and star-crossed romances and steamy scenes mixed in.

    I'm halfway through writing it, and Chapter One is posted here: https://fasttimesinpalestine.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/bracelet-chapter-one

  • Rose Anderson

    Cute idea, Kamy. Thanks. Three things about Enchanted Skye--

    1) A young woman unwittingly adds seven tears to the salt of the sea and traps a transformed Selkie in an ancient and deadly charm.

    2) I was researching shape-shifter mythology around the world and stumbled upon an old Scottish wives' tale. Shortly after I came upon a real family in the UK whose family oral traditions say they are Selkie. That's a story that just had to be written. :)

    3) Enchanted Skye is an adult romance. I'm a romance reader too and especially love when facts are blended into the fiction. The reader who likes plausible realism in their fantasy would enjoy this story.

  • Melanie Bishop

    Just tweeted it! #threethings

    Thanks for the idea.

  • Carson Gleberman

    Blog (now) and book (coming): Umm, About That... How to Have Those Awkward Conversations with Teens About Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and More

    What It's About: How straight parents can, and why they should, have great awkward conversations with their kids about LGBTQ issues and people. 

    My Inspiration: In a teen sexuality workshop I found myself stumbling in role play exercises related to queer life. I realized that if even a liberal parent like me was avoiding these topics, our kids were missing a key element of parent involvement. Good digital information for kids exists, but I am creating the blog and book I wished existed for parents.

    Who is my ideal audience? Straight parents who have a suspicion that same-sex marriage hasn't fixed everything yet, and who want their kids, whatever their orientation and gender, to navigate their own development and social lives with courage and wisdom.

  • Melanie Bishop

    Three things, for My So-Called Ruined Life (Torrey House Press, 2014)

    1. Teenage protagonist Tate McCoy navigates the normal highs and lows of adolescence against the backdrop of true tragedy--her mother's murder and her father's arrest as prime suspect.

    2. This book was inspired by an actual murder in the small town I was living in, and my imagining of such events through the point-of-view of a daughter.

    3. Target audience is teenagers, young adults, "new" adults, and parents of teens.