Thursday, September 9, 2010

9 Pitch entry: # 22 Stina Lindenblatt

Title: Lost in a Heartbeat
Genre: YA romantic suspense

When a terrifying secret puts her BFF’s life at risk, seventeen-year-old Calleigh has to live a lie to protect her.


  1. I like knowing in this pitch that someone's life it's at risk. I also think that you could raise the stakes a bit here, I mean if we didn't know about your longer pitch then you could say: so, Calleigh lies, and BFF lives. Problem solved...

    So I'd like to know a bit more of the stakes. Like what would happen if she lies ;)
    Hope this helps! and good luck! :D

  2. Okay, Stina and I go way back, so I can say this. I'm not a fan of the "has to." I'd cut that and replace it with a "must." I'd also add in a couple of words. An "in order."

    Check it out: "When a terrifying secret puts her BFF's life at risk, seventeen-year-old Calleigh must live a live in order to protect her."

    I also want to know what the terrifying secret is. I know you don't have to tell me everything, but us there a way to be more specific on that? Like, food is food, but deep fried bacon is more specific, you know?

    Just a thought.

  3. I have a huge question: My query novel is YA romantic suspense, but the one line pitch is more like a thriller. I tried adding the guy part (Aaron), but then it read like those one- liner in books that leave you gasping for air.

    So should I label my book a thriller, or do you think it's fine not including the guy part even though I called it a romantic suspense?

  4. I like what Elana did with your log line (Elana is awesome!)

    I think you would be okay to call it romantic suspense. If you want to work in Aaron, it could be a simple fix of

    Also to expand on what Elana said about giving more detail, you could add a hint of what actually happened to your MC. I know you probably don't want to throw "rape" up in the log line, but maybe something like

    After a terrifying assault puts seventeen-year-old Calleigh's BFF in danger, she must live a lie in order to protect those she cares about, including the boy who she just may be falling for.

    The addition of aaron I added is kind of cliche, but hopefully it will give you something to work with.

    Good luck. I think your novel sounds good. I'd love to see it on the book shelves!

  5. Hmm, Stina, I don't know. Obviously the logline doesn't have to include everything. My book is heavy on the romance, and it's not mentioned at all in my PM line.

    (And obviously that second "live" should be "lie." Doh!)

    I like what Jennifer said here, that you could include the boy somehow, but it seems like the first sentence should encapsulate the entire book. Like when you're shopping and someone says, "oh, you wrote a book?" Their eyes get all sparkly because they just know they're looking at the next Stephenie Meyer. Then they go, "What's it about?"

    You seriously have 10 seconds before they're bored. Trust me. So you have to be able to get it out, quick. And this is just a log line. I don't think you need to get tangled up in the genre right here. It does sort of scream thriller--but I DON'T think that's a bad thing.

  6. Thrillers can have romance! That's me, but you may want to think about who you want your audience to be...Romance would be one thing certainly, think of the cover.
    Now, I wonder if living the lie protects her BFF only or if it also protects Calleigh in anyway. Essentially I read this as:

    Seventeen-year old Calleigh must live a lie to protect her BFF's life from (X) - is it the gov't, a stalker ex-boyfriend, a werewolf j/k...but just a thought : )

  7. When a terrifying secret [INSTEAD OF "TERRIFYING SECRET" I'D WRITE WHAT THAT SECRET IS] puts her BFF’s life at risk, seventeen-year-old Calleigh has to live a lie [WHAT SPECIFICALLY DOES "LIVE A LIE" MEAN? WHAT DOES SHE HAVE TO DO?] to protect her.

    I know it has to be short and to the point, but knowing the secret would be more compelling than describing it as "terrifying." Does that make sense? Also I wondered if Calleigh jeopardizes her relationship with Aaron by doing whatever she does to protect her friend? If so, you can tuck Aaron into the pitch with a quick stroke of the pen.

  8. I guess the thing that would set the tone a little more for me is knowing what lie she is living here. I know it's just one sentence, and it's so hard to get everything in, but live a lie could be so many things, from big to small. How big is this sacrifice she's making for her friend?

    I like this sentence, and that's the one thing that was poking at me. But it's good that I want more information about your story, right? :-)

  9. The sentence was compelling -- but perhaps a little too generic. Living a lie, life in danger could apply to a lot of things. Is she a vampire, for example? A master criminal? A tax cheat?

    The longer pitch had some good intrigue about the stalker and the boyfriend's secret (I can't get back to the page right now to see it). That's the meat of the story, I think.

    Without reviewing the original pitch, maybe something like: To protect her best friend's life, 17-year-old Calliegh can't reveal the identity of the man who attacked her, not even to her boyfriend, Aaron, who harbors a dark secret of his own.

    When a terrifying secret puts her BFF’s life at risk, seventeen-year-old Calleigh has to live a lie to protect her.


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