Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Secret Agent #27

TITLE: Blame it on Meryl
GENRE: New Adult Fiction

I’m Laura Sanders.

I’m twenty-eight.

I’m a TV-producer.

I live in Los Angeles.

I’ve travelled the world.

I’m an only child.

I have a cat called Sartre.

I drive a Horizon Blue Mini Convertible.

I own 108 pair of shoes.

I’m a virgin.

The worst part of my pathetic sex- and relationshipless life is the constant pretending. Pretending to be normal. Fact is, everybody knows the drama of relationships, the passion, the pain. Not knowing makes you an utter and complete freak. Until some years ago I used to be honest and tell new friends that I was still a virgin and never had a boyfriend. Someday I’ll tell a stranger that I killed a person. Simply to see if that confession arouses a similar mortified look.

After the look there’s always the pity. And after the pity the good advice.

Good Advice Number One: Be dumb. Men don’t like smart women.

Good Advice Number Two: Be hard to get. Men still think like hunters.

Good Advice Number Three: Be a listener. Men need attention.

After the look and the pity and the good advice, there’s the worst part: the awkward silence. After all, everything everybody ever talks about are relationships. Who they met, who texted, called or wrote, or who didn’t, and what either implies. Who broke up with whom, who got engaged, who is pregnant, who had an affair, who is good in bed, who is hot, who looks cute … and of course one needs stories to contribute. So I make up stories.


  1. I like it! It's smart, it's well written and I already like the MC a lot. I want to know WHY she doesn't have a boyfriend and never had and I'd keep reading to find out. This already brings up all the frustration of why do women (of all ages) define themselves by their relationship status.

    Great start.

  2. lol I like how it begins, it's almost like a movie beginning. i'm so hooked to learn more about it. . .

  3. Excellent start! The cat,car, and 108 shoes hooks me! As a world traveler and a producer, she really doesn't need to make up stories...she lives them!

  4. This is great. It starts out like a list for an on-line dating service and then pulls you into her head. I would definitely want to read more about this intelligent and feeling character.

  5. This seems off to a good start--I want to know why Laura's never been in a relationship. I guess if anything, you could perhaps throw us a tiny hint, just enough suggestion to get us wondering and wanting to read more.

  6. I would read this. Heck, I've lived this. (it's more common than people think) I love that you've chosen to write about it, and the voice is great.

    Srsly: I hope an agent jumps on this, because I've been wanting to see a "late 20-something virgin" book for a while.

    My only suggestion: I don't love the title. I would want something a bit punchier, especially since you have a 28-year-old protagonist, which puts you into chick-lit space (not in a bad way! But that's where publishers put funny books about ladies in their 20s/30s. I don't think New Adult goes all the way up to late 20s). I would have virgin in the title, or a play on it, or some other pun that tells people exactly what the book is about (or gives them a clue).

  7. I don't think this is New Adult, which is more than just the age of the protag. It's about the voice and starting out in life.

    That aside, I love this. It's smart, sassy, and well written with a unique but approachable style. Good luck with this. I would love to read it someday.

  8. I love this. The looks, the advice, the silence. Funny and intriguing. I thought the laundry list at the beginning was a little long, though. Other than that, I would definitely read this to find out more about the character.

  9. I don't like that she feels like a freak, or abnormal. It feels like it's a negative. If she's a virgin it's probably by choice, and not because she's a freak. I might reconsider those lines. Make her own her choices - if it fits with the story.

    I'd read on though.

  10. I'm a little curious about why she would still be a virgin at her age if it weren't by choice... which would make all the advice unnecessary... but, I guess that's a good reason to keep reading and find out why. I just think you should make sure to have a good reason.

  11. This is feeling a bit cliched, especially by the time you get to the Good Advice list. Me, I'm left wondering why she feels the need to TELL frirends she is a virgin ... surely that's private information that only a few friends would know.

    I think this might read a bit snappier if the opening list was shorter, or some elements were combined.

    I likely wouldn't keep reading ... but maybe because I've never been around people who talk only about relationships, so I can't identify with this.

    Does not compute, as Robot used to say. (And yeah, I'm dating myself with that reference. I am old. Very old.)

  12. I like this! I can already envision what type of story this will be, and I think your set up works.

    The only issue I see is your genre: although New Adult is a rather gray area, I don't think 28 counts. That's 10 years of being an adult. I think New Adult is more limited to 19-early 20s, college years and maybe just beyond thru 24. We could debate this all day I'm sure, but from a marketing perspective, given New Adult is a rather new concept anyway, I believe your safer, more accurate genre is Women's Fiction or perhaps Romance if you have a happy ending. These are well-established genres that I think your story will work well in! Best wishes.

  13. not sure this is new adult if mc is 28. i LOVE the opening list, but thought the last paragraph could be condensed a little bit. would like to read more for sure!

  14. Is it just me--? I don't like the long list right at the beginning. Although I loved the entry overall, if the initial list had been shorter and more concise, ending with "AND I'm a virgin," then follow up with a shortened version of the next paragraph, THEN the "Good Advice" list, it would have cracked me up and not felt quite as (?)negative--but maybe humor isn't what you're going for here(?) Still, good job!

  15. I am feeling a disconnect with the character. Her age is 28 yet and she seems to have a succesful career or at least start in life. Yet, her thought process sounds like a girl of about 15. She thinks all every one talks about is relationships and who tweeted whom. (Um, in what adult universe?). Then she says that she used to tell new friends she was still a virgin. Why? I think the mortified look she describes is people responding to her TMI tendency rather than the info she is imparting. The laundry list of advice is offensive to men. Only idiot men like idiot women. So, if that's what she's going for thenshe's off to a good start in terms of what she ends up with. I think you could lose the job reference and I would believe this was a early high school girl and you could market it as YA.

  16. LOVE THIS! This is a unique idea for new adult and you have a great voice. Your writing has a dry wit. I love this line: "Someday I’ll tell a stranger that I killed a person. Simply to see if that confession arouses a similar mortified look."

    Just brilliant. I'd definitely keep reading. It reminds me of a virgin Chelsea Handler.


  17. I'd love to see more of this!