I’m trying to get ready to submit Alien Blue to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Submissions are from February 2-8, which means I’m probably not going to have time to have people read the whole thing before I submit, because I’m still working on it. (I think I’m through the worst of it, although I’m sure I’ll run into other problems.) I started worrying about what I needed besides a finished manuscript this morning, so I did some research: I’m going to have to do a bio and a pitch.
I hate bios.
DeAnna grew up on a farm in the poorest county in the U.S. and didn’t realize that a lack of indoor bathrooms and running water at school was in any way unusual. Fortunately, she landed in the hands of subversive librarians and read a lot of Theodore Sturgeon, Piers Anthony, and Robert Heinlein as a child. Ever since then, she’s lived in a surreal world of stoplights, cars not held together with wire and baling twine, rows of identical houses where you can’t open the garage for more than ten minutes, and places where you can’t see the Milky Way or feel the earth rotating underneath you at night. You probably live there, too.
Here’s the pitch (300 words or fewer):
So a few years ago, Kurt Vonnegut and Spider Robinson got together over a beer and decided to write a book about aliens.* They got into an argument over the ending–Spider wanted the hero to save the town by the skin of his teeth; Kurt wanted the hero to blow up the planet (accidentally).
Fortunately for me, I was tending bar that night and got to hear the whole story, with both endings. I laughed so hard my gut ached; I cried so bad the town drunk asked me if my dog died.
By closing time, they still hadn’t agreed on an ending and decided not to write the book, which I thought was a damned shame. “You figure out how to end it, then,” they said, and left arm in arm, singing a song about a beautiful woman with green skin and six breasts.
It’s taken me a while, but I think it got it down like I remember it. To tell the truth, I didn’t care for either ending, so I made up my own. The book’s about 85,000 words of science fiction, mostly fiction and not so much science. I’m just a bartender, you know? But I’d be real happy if you took a look at the book. It’d be a pity if I was the only one to ever hear the story.
*Not really. I wrote the story all by myself. But I missed reading books like theirs, full of humor and the human condition. The story’s about an ornery bar owner who, against his better judgment, hides an fugitive in his small New Mexico town. It’s a race between the invading aliens and finding a way to fight them–and a fight to stay human, as aliens, undetectable, replace their loved ones with strangers.