Max Werner, 15, can see in the dark - a secret not even his best friend Tom knows. More sly than brave, Max has used his special gift for years to roam the streets of his neighborhood committing petty crimes and various acts of harmless delinquency. He prefers hiding from danger, safe in the shadows that only his sight can penetrate, rather than confronting anything head on.
His misdeeds bring him more than a few stolen goods, however, when he runs across a band of inhuman thieves that don’t take kindly to Max invading their territory. These strange bandits kidnap Max’s little sister as punishment for his indiscretion, forcing him to put what little courage he does have to the test.
Afraid to make the rescue attempt alone, Max must first convince Tom to join the adventure. Even with his perfect night vision, the giant spiders, bottomless pits, and blood-thirsty criminals that stand between Max and his sister may mean that none of them make it out alive.
A Selective History of Max Werner is a young adult adventure for all those who have ever wondered what secrets lay in the deepest shadows, the blackest cave, or the darkest night.
Or so goes the pitch I'm submitting to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award later this month. It surprised me how difficult writing a pitch like this was. In 300 words or less I need to convince someone who knows absolutely nothing about my book that it's worth reading more of.
How do I distill everything about the book into so few words? Well, unfortunately, I leave a lot out. No mention of the tension between Jenny (the sister), Max, and Tom, or the pet bird that Max rescues, or the footnotes that litter the book with ironic faux-history, or the evil Boss that leads the band of thieves and is the real villain of the book, or numerous other things that might spoil the story. All of it, gone.
Hopefully that will be enough to get me through to the second round, where the judges read the first 5,000 words of the book and can get a better taste of everything it has to offer. Hopefully! (If you have any suggestions for how I can improve the pitch, feel free to offer them below.)
In the meantime if you are interested in reading A Selective History of Max Werner you can find it on amazon. The Kindle version will be free as often as I can make it, so keep an eye on my twitter for when those deals go live. If you don't have a Kindle eReader (or don't want to wait until the next free offer) and want to check the book out, just leave a comment below or message me on twitter.
Special thanks to Jocelyn Mathewes for the amazing cover art.