September 26, 2005

Things to Think About, Look At, and Consider

Think about this: A week from TODAY, we begin the October edition of Blogging for Books. If you are a Johnny-or-Janey come lately, it's a writing contest invented by The Zero Boss, and a click here will getcha to the original rules.

October's special guest blogger will be Kira of KiWords. She will narrow the entries down to seven.

October's special guest author will be Jennifer O'Connell.

The winner gets an autographed copy of Jennifer's new book, Off the Record. It's the story of Jane Marlow, a true-blue good girl: plain, predictable, and perfectly responsible. But when her brother catches an episode of Music One's "Off the Record," he discovers that former pop sensation Teddy Rock is actually their childhood neighbor Theodore Brockford, and that his one-hit wonder twelve years earlier wasn't just a catchy tune that took the charts by storm-it was a song about Jane. What would happen if the world discovered you inspired a legendary rock song? Jane Marlow is about to find out...

Kirkus says, “It's decadent fun... O'Connell makes this sweet treat go down smoothly thanks to snappy dialogue and evocative scenes of Chicago in the summer.” And Kirkus would know. BIG HINTY NOTE FOR ASPIRING SMARTY-PANTSES LOOKING FOR A LEG UP IN THE CONTEST: The essay topic is often thematically linked to the prize book.

Here ends the thinking, so now, Look at this:


I'm getting one for Christmas.

My brother is sculpting a fox right now, and he was googling around for images of foxes, and...this came up. We cannot come up for any possible uses for this that aren't too perverted to look at at head on. They are the sort of thing one reluctantly peeps at sideways and then you shudder and run. This inherently deviant. That is all.

Here ends the looking, so now, consider this: So I've written this book, right, and it is a HARD BOOK TO SUMMARIZE. gods in Alabama has a structure that allows me to say three sentences about it and you have an immediate idea of what you might be getting into and whether or not it's your sort of thing. Between,'s not possible. By which I mean, I haven't found a way to do it yet. I had a one paragraph jacket copy kinda thing on the Between page, but it didn't, catch the essence of what the book is ACTUALLY about. So I have rewritten it without limiting myself to four sentences, and just tried to ACTUALLY SAY what the book is about. It took me four paragraphs.

Here's the new Summary for BETWEEN, GEORGIA.

After you read it, you will have a pretty good idea of what the book is about. SO! If you THEN have any thoughts about how to CATCH what the book is about in a 30 second sound bite, or even an opinion about WHAT elements would be most ear catching in a thirty second sound bite, then, please...share. Because I learned with gods that when someone asks, "SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT," I have about half a minute to get them interested enough to maybe go pick it up and read the jacket copy and see if it's the book for them.

Jennifer's book, above, has a great summary. You read that, and you can say, "Oh I want to check into that. I like snappy 'what if' books." Or you may say, "Hmm that sounds like it needs more spies and some gunplay..." I need a thirty second summary that can help the right readers for this book find it. And summarizing THIS book THAT fast looks to me to be the three minute mile----completely impossible without the aid of pharmecueticals. Whoopsie, no, I actually mean, completely impossible right up until someone does it.

Posted by joshilyn at September 26, 2005 6:47 AM

Oh, I can do a summary for one of your books in only ONE sentence, and the BEAUTY is that it applies to ANY BOOK YOU WRITE! Ready?

"[insert book title here] is another book from author Joshilyn Jackson. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll probably pee your pants a little."

You should totally fire your publicist and hire me, instead.

Posted by: Mir at September 26, 2005 8:24 AM

Okay, that was TWO sentences. I need more coffee.

Posted by: Mir at September 26, 2005 8:24 AM

Ok. I like the line about the Crabtrees renting space in jail cells from the Fretts, and I like the theme of Nonny being between a rock and a hard place.....hmmm. Let me ruminate a bit and I'll get back to you.

That hat, my friend, is not good. That's a bad hat, Harry. A perfect fashion accessory for WOW, tho...:)

Posted by: Amy-GO at September 26, 2005 9:18 AM

"Nonny was a stolen child. Born a Crabtree and raised a Frett, she knows the meaning of being between a rock and a hard place better than most. After all, the Fretts practically own the tiny town of Between, Georgia, while the Crabtrees only rent space in its jail cells. The feud is escalating, and a random act of violence will set the torch to a thirty year old stash of highly flammable secrets..."

Meh - first try, I think it summarises, but you could probably do better.

Posted by: Karry at September 26, 2005 9:55 AM

I think you could take the last paragraph and mix in a sentence about Nonny being of two families and you will have it. At least, I would buy your book:)

Posted by: chris at September 26, 2005 10:47 AM

BTW, I have a sheiba inu that looks just like a fox and that hat scares me. Danny would make a very pretty blonde version of it. If only he didn't shed so much...

PS- I would NEVER make my dog into a hat
PPS- I would NEVER make anything so HEINOUS

Posted by: chris at September 26, 2005 10:50 AM

Let's all start a website called, shall we? I'd say we have a great start with that prehistoric-looking thing.
J, the summary is perfect and I cannot wait. I mean I CANNOT WAIT, so ship me a computer chip with the book on it immediately. Also, does your brother want a real fox? Because there's one living under my deck.

Posted by: Jilly at September 26, 2005 11:17 AM


In Between, Georgia, the feud between the ? and ? families that started ? years ago is escalating, and a random act of violence will set the torch to a thirty-year old stash of highly flammable secrets. This might be just what the town needs, if only Nonny wasn't sitting in the middle of it...

Sorry, I'm runnning out to girlfriends' lunch, so I can't fill in the blanks. But Joshilyn, what you've got is sooooo close. Can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at September 26, 2005 11:17 AM

Ok, it's 4...


There's always been bad blood between the Fretts and the Crabtrees.

Nonny Frett is a successful interpreter living in Athens, Georgia. She has two families; The Fretts, who stole her and raised her right, and the Crabtrees, who lost her and can't forget that they've been done wrong.

In Between, Georgia, population 90, the feud that began before Nonny was born is escalating, and a random act of violence will set the torch to a thirty-year old stash of highly flammable secrets.


You get the essence of a woman caught between 2 families, a hint of why she's caught, a whiff of violence and scandal, and a setting in the South with an interesting place name.

You don't need the back story or the fleshing out of plot in a 30 second sound byte - no matter how interesting I find it. ;>

Posted by: Christina Biles at September 26, 2005 11:24 AM

2006 - I want to read it NOW. Hook, line, and sinker. I don't fish, could someone come up with an eating analogy please.

There's always been bad blood between the Fretts and the Crabtrees. The Fretts practically own tiny Between, Georgia, while the Crabtrees only rent space in its jail cells. Stacia Frett was a successful Deaf artist; fifteen year old Hazel Crabtree was nine months pregnant. Thirty years later, successful Nonny Frett understands the meanings of "rock" and "hard place." She's got two mothers, "one Deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two men; Her husband is easing out the back door and her best friend is laying siege to her heart in her front yard. And she has two families; The Fretts, who stole her and raised her right, and the Crabtrees, who lost her and can't forget that they've been done wrong.

If someone gave me their copy points this is the 30 second commercial I would write, minus the ....Between, Georgia. Joshiln Jackson's latest Best Seller from Warner Books.

Posted by: Cele at September 26, 2005 11:42 AM

oh mi gosh, I thought I proofed it. Argh and shame.


argh, beat me. make me do penance. Oh! I know send me a copy of Between and make me read. that will make me properly sanctioned.

(okay, I am the one who will benefit from that sanction - can't blame a girl for trying._

Posted by: Cele at September 26, 2005 11:47 AM

Oooh however you summarize it, it sounds great!

Started gods yesterday--shhh, don't tell, I was reading it between church services LOL. You made me snort with laughter ;) Loving it!!

Posted by: Angel at September 26, 2005 12:06 PM

Between, Georgia, population 90. In this small town, two families, two mothers and too many secrets are the tinder for an explosion that could be just what the town needs. If only Nonny Fret wasn't caught in the middle ...

Posted by: Jensgalore at September 26, 2005 1:23 PM

A. Our library doesn't have Jennifer's book, so I MUST WIN!

B. I am not as cool as Kira. How do I ever get to do the B4B stint?

C. I CAN'T WAIT FOR BETWEEN! You must sign at OUR Borders. You MUST! So I can walk around saying, I KNOW her and we can "do lunch" and other employees can drool. *snicker*

Posted by: Heather at September 26, 2005 1:27 PM

Hey, can I win B4B? And get the cool book? No? Maaaaan. I knew there were loopholes.

ps Heather is actually cooler than me. Don't tell her, I like to artificially inflate my ego like this.

Posted by: Kira at September 27, 2005 12:50 AM

Nonny lives a life Between the Georgia idea of a Secret Garden and God's Little Acre.

Posted by: Holly at September 27, 2005 9:08 AM

For a minute there I thought it said judged by Jennifer CONNELLY.

I about sprained something I was writing so fast.

Then, my computer crashed. Then, the ice weasels came.

Posted by: ben at September 27, 2005 3:40 PM