You can run, blurb, but you can’t hide

Yesterday I posted a first draft of my blurb for my historical novel The Girl From Oto. Naturally, it was pretty shitty, but that’s what first drafts are all about. Today I’ve tightened it up a bit and added some much better verbs. It’s getting there. Still needs work, especially the first paragraph. Also, I added a one-line story description. This is important because every book needs to have a carefully crafted one-liner that conveys your message. For more on this, check out Yen Ooi’s talk, “What’s Your Message?” posted yesterday at the the IndieReCon event hosted by the Alliance for Independent Authors.

My book in one sentence: The Girl From Oto tells the story of a secret kept for 500 years.

(I’m imagining that line spoken by the Hollywood guy who does the movie trailer voiceovers. Super deep, super smooth, super commanding. I’m considering taking on his persona when I say it.)

Here’s today’s draft of the blurb:

In The Girl From Oto, American art historian Zari Durrell stumbles across a rare example of a portrait by a medieval woman artist in an Oxford University hallway. When experts question the artist’s real identity, Zari and an eccentric band of academics dive down a rabbit hole of research, trying to piece together the truth about the painting. As tantalizing clues emerge from high-tech analysis of the portrait, Zari finds herself tracing the steps of a young artist named Mira de Oto whose life played out in the Pyrenees mountains 500 years ago. Along the way, Zari meets an intriguing Dutch man, Wil Bandstra, who joins her for a journey of discovery on the pilgrim’s route of Santiago de Compostella. On the rugged trails of the Pyrenees, Zari and Wil find themselves falling in love as they struggle to unveil the life of this unknown artist and ensure she finds her rightful place in history.

Mira de Oto’s story forms the mesmerizing backdrop to Zari’s quest. Born into a world wracked by war, plague, and shifting political boundaries, Mira grows up in a convent in the small principality of Béarn believing she is an orphan. Under the protection of three women—an Aragonese baroness, an abbess, and a healer—Mira develops the discipline of convent life, the resilience of the mountain folk, and the skills of an artist. A friendship blooms between Mira and Arnaud, a boy whose influential shepherding family helps the convent exploit the lucrative trade in merino wool. But when her peaceful existence is shattered, Mira enters the wider world and must confront the harsh truth about her identity and her uncertain future.

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Amy Maroney

I'm a writer living in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and daughters. It took 4 years to write and publish my first novel, The Girl from Oto. Before that I was a writer and editor of nonfiction. This blog charts my progress as an independent author navigating the fog-shrouded switchbacks of "authorpreneurship." Come along for the ride...I hope what I've learned along the way can help you, too!

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