Sunday, April 03, 2011

Tweaking the Synopsis - Midnight Eyes

I'm in what I find to be an awkward phase. It's time to write the jacket copy for Midnight Eyes, a thriller I just turned in to Crossroad Press for copy editing. Summing up 100,000 words in a few paragraphs that capture the relevant points isn't as challenging as, I don't know, math, but it's not just dashing off a few lines either.

I thought I'd toss out the first pass here.

A little background
The first version of Midnight Eyes was written several years ago, around a time when I seemed to have agents lining up to flame out for me, so the manuscript wound up going into the trunk for a while. I moved on to write other things.

As we recently began rolling out my horror novels as e-books, it seemed time to re-visit ME, and it seemed I had the juice to do it, if you will.

It's a non-supernatural tale set more or less in the universe of my previous books. It was written not long after I'd stopped being a reporter. I wondered how the police in a smaller city might cope when a persistent and hard-to-understand serial killer arrived. It started out, in one early draft, from the perspective of journalists, and one remains. But it eventually developed into a different story.

I think of the tale as more than a serial killer novel with several plot strands that weave together, but it all revolves around investigation and attempts to end a spree.

I've spent the last few months revising and updating it, changing the main character's job a bit and modifying situations to reflect the world we live in today. I gave some people cell phones, that is. Cells have definitely changed a few thriller tropes over the last few years, though based on the coverage I get with my iPhones, they've also created new and realistic challenges.

The summary of the story so far
Men are being lured to agonizing deaths in the small Louisiana city of Aimsley. Brutalized bodies are displayed on the riverbank and in little-travelled bayou country, and a mysterious dark-eyed beauty may be connected. It’s a case with tremendous human suffering and a challenging political labyrinth for Sheriff Ty Hood. It means calling on the last person he wants to for help—his son.

Former FBI agent Wayland Hood is a brilliant criminologist and writer. He’s immersed in a project to unravel the mysteries inside the minds of four of America’s most heinous serial killers. Only unresolved issues with his father can draw him into the dark quest for buried secrets that fuel modern bloodshed in his hometown. As father and son clash with each other and with canny reporter Jemy Reardon, who has her own goals and theories, the body count increases. Only a terrifying excursion into the darkest heart of midnight can hope to bring the nightmare to an end. 

Call for feedback
If you have any thoughts or reactions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I'm told a couple of synopsis variations for different seller sites might be in order, so tweaking will occur.


Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds interesting. I will definitly pick up a copy. As for a synopsis. oh geeze, ask me something easy, like differential equations. :)

Sidney said...

Heh, heh, yeah. It's an interesting game of trying to convey the essence in the best way.

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