Ever since I finished my novel, a few weeks ago, I have been mulling over what I should do next. The task of finding an agent willing to represent me (never mind actually landing a book deal!) is rather daunting. There are times when my book seems very puny and vulnerable. Luckily, the dream of fame and glory is there to spur one on! In the meantime, some of the readers of this blog have kindly expressed an interest in my novel and suggested I post a book blurb.
Possibly one of the hardest things for a writer to do is talk about his own work. In the past, whenever people have asked about my book, I have always found it extremely difficult to gauge the exact level of their interest and respond accordingly: are they just being polite? or do they really want all the gory details? And then, how do you sum up thousands of words, and years of work, in a few pithy sentences? Sometimes you end up rambling in a rather embarrassing fashion. It’s a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Eventually – hopefully – you learn to do a little better.
Here then, without further ado, is my first attempt at pitching my novel. I would love to know what you think!
THE SUMMER I MET MRS RADCLIFFE
Twenty-three-year-old Lucy Vent has never thought her life was perfect – far from it – but she did at least think she had everything strictly under control. Suddenly, however, her life seems to be unravelling : her father is dead, her beloved brother Robin is refusing to talk to her, she’s suffering from a bad case of writer’s block and, to cap it all, she’s getting unsolicited advice from a woman who claims to be the ghost of the eighteenth-century Gothic writer, Ann Radcliffe. Following her mother’s advice for the first time since she can remember, Lucy decides to take a break and spend the summer in Rome.
There, she meets Luke, an attractive, scholarly Anglo-Italian with a penchant for Shakespeare and playing the saxophone, who takes it upon himself to show her about the city and introduce her to a colourful cast of characters – including his large, and very eccentric, family. Over the summer, their friendship blossoms into something more.
But Lucy needs to lay her ghosts to rest before she can think of the future. Will the combined efforts of Luke and Mrs Radcliffe suffice to show her where she went wrong and set her on the right path towards a new, and more fulfilling, life ?
© Florence Berlioz 2015