Have I complained lately about the difficulty of writing a blurb? (Blurb = the tantalizing summary listed on the back of a book.) A blurb and a query letter are practically the same thing (because what works for one usually works for the other one; either way, you’re selling your book to someone), and I’ve done 4 query letters over the past 2 years–plus the current blurb.
Just when I think I’ve grasped it, I look at it and realize that I don’t have it after all. It’s like trying to find the end of a rainbow. Or, like Bigfoot, it is no more than a fleeting glimpse of a large object seen from the corner of the eye.
Here is my blurb as it stands now. As discussed previously, I’m comfortable with it being four paragraphs, because I have a lot of real estate to cover on the back of my book. (Although, don’t worry: I will have a snippet from the book on the back too.)
The Yaechahre are a group of humans who give their blood and their obedience to vampires in exchange for safety and security. And for more than two thousand years, it’s been a peaceful occupation.
When Kalyn Reid comes of age and joins the ranks of the Yaechahre, she has no reason to think that things will be any different for her. In fact, her small group in rural Tennessee is unusually close—much more like an extended family than servants and masters.
But there are rumors of a strange new type of vampire: vampires who can’t tolerate the sunlight; vampires who are killing humans—and each other. When one of them defects to Kalyn’s group, he brings news that the Others are preparing for something… but he doesn’t know what.
Their plan is executed without warning, as people in Kalyn’s group are suddenly kidnapped and murdered. When Kalyn ends up orphaned, she turns to her vampire family to protect her from the Others hunting them down. But in the end, it is they who must rely on her if any of them are to survive.
I’m relatively happy with the first paragraph. The second sentence in the second paragraph is eh, okay. I’m pretty okay with the third paragraph. But I hate everything in the fourth paragraph but the last line.
I kind of look at it this way: general premise of the book, introduction of main character and establishment of calm, peaceful existence, followed by a build up of tension, and concluded with drama and suspense of an unbelievable nature. It’s the last bit I’m not feeling. I just don’t think that last paragraph conveys enough shock, horror, and fear.
I mean, Kalyn’s parents and the leader of her group (who is like a second father to her) all die within one week, and Ciaran, the defector from the Others, is kidnapped. Kalyn, Anselm, and Micah have to go on the run, lest they become the next victims. And just when they think they’ve turned the tide, and they’ve laid an ambush for the murderer, he instead ambushes them. Kidnapped and tortured, Kalyn has to offer herself up as a sacrifice to keep von Gault busy until Anselm and Micah can arrive and rescue them.
I just have to condense that into two or three sentences and use few, if any, names other than Kalyn’s (too many names in a small space confuses people–although Anselm and Micah are secondary only to Kalyn in terms of importance).
All suggestions for revisions considered.