Book Jacket

 

rank 4347
word count 74439
date submitted 01.03.2010
date updated 19.04.2010
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Comedy
classification: adult
complete

" The Letterman Project."

Andrew. C. Wilson.

What do you do when the world you live in has changed beyond recognition, it's got ugly and you want out,what would you do?

 

"Tom and Karen Letterman were disillusioned with Britains ' Broken Society'.When a horrific incident happens to them, they decide to opt-out and move to a remote part of the Highlands. Here they find their little piece of ' Heaven on Earth'.
They adopt a self sufficient lifestyle and settle down into Highland life, only to find that life can deal you some unexpected cards and that darkness falls even in paradise.

 
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tags

, beginning, courage, cry, death, hope, laugh, life, love, new, think

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30 comments

 

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Vexgrave wrote 577 days ago

Your opening paragraph is very claustrophobic as it should be since the guy is held down! There are a couple of instances where you have the words "to him" that you may not necessarily need but that's entirely up to you.
I feel bad for the two main characters. I have a friend in the police and I worry about something awful happening to him.
Kevin Simmons
The Smiling Lady

J C Michael wrote 620 days ago

An enjoyable first three chapters with a good solid start plot wise. You pitch is also clever in the way that it lets us know that things will take a turn for the worse in Scotland but doesn't tell us in what sense. This leaves me intrigued and I have to admit there's a real pull to this story making me want to read on and find out if the problems are domestic (Tom turns psycho as a result of his head trauma), local yobs, or the yobs who attacked Tom in the first place (seeking revenge or maybe an unhappy coincidence that one ran away to the same village after the attack).
It's quite clear you've got me thinking anyway and that's a great plus point for a novel of this type.
Plot aside I liked the dialogue and description you have used. There were a couple of places where the tense didn't seem right but I'm no expert on that kind if thing and it's nothing an editor wouldn't fix anyway.
Overall then an enjoyable and intriguing start. Good stuff and rated accordingly.

James

Tender is the Night wrote 908 days ago

I prefer to support that book of yours, dear Andrew. I like the philosophy hidden in what I read and, somehow, despair as well...Probably also disillusion, but isolation and alienation too...

Mariela Baeva

M Mills wrote 921 days ago

I enjoyed your opening chapter -- great opening!! I will watch list as I look forward to reading more. You've opened your story with a feeling of suspense and this is very well written. Great premise all around, my kind of read! High stars here!!

Best,

Michelle
~ Willow Lake Manor ~

Hermione wrote 922 days ago

Nice idea and some excellent writing, but I think it needs a detailed edit before it makes it to a publisher. Sloppy punctuation, some confusion with tenses, unnecessarily repeated words - boring old English teacher stuff. Hang on in there, though, it's well worth it. And thanks for backing 'Who's The Fool?'

Walden Carrington wrote 985 days ago

Andrew,
I love the premise of The Letterman Project. The idea of starting a new life in a supposed paradise has appeal to me. The first chapter has a great opening scene where Tom awakens in the hospital and the reader has no idea how he got there until you describe the horrific scene which led to his hospitalization. The characters are sympathetic and I felt disgust by the violent scene which led to the trauma. I would want to start a new life somewhere else after surviving such an incident and this story takes me a place I want to go, though I have a feeling the place they land has some unexpected surprises I wouldn't want to experience.

Walden Carrington
Titanic: Rose Dawson's Story

Juliet Ann wrote 1192 days ago

THE LETTERMAN PROJECT - Your premise immediately interested me as I think it will many other middle-aged readers (who hasn’t considered running away to a self-sufficient lifestyle). You pick up on a powerful theme of our time; broken Britain. You give Tom and Karen a powerful reason to pack up their life and move to a remote part of Scotland. The reader wants to them to find the perfect place and in the way you portray the couple, many readers will identify with their relationship pattern and way of being with each other. I thought the serendipitious arrival of Colonel Barr and his reasons for selling the land so cheaply, very endearing. I think you have a great idea here, though I would like more of a sense of what was about to confront them in Scotland in the pitch.

In terms of making it better, and remember this is just my observation, I think you need to focus more on the terrible personal effects of the attack on Tom and Karen as well as their children. I felt this was glossed over too lightly, and he seemed to recover too easily. I expected the idea to come from Karen, desperate for Tom to return to normal, but he is the one to suggest it and the attack seems to get lost somehow. I would expect it to colour how they behave when away from the safety of their home – more nervy and less trusting of strangers, but you are not really showing this clearly enough (for me). I would also suggest that the 3rd chapter goes on a little too long (too much detail of the trip and locals). As colourful as Colonel Barr is, unless his backstory is relevant to the story, I would cut a lot of it out.

I would have liked the dialogue to do more than just give the reader the small talk of their relationship – the attack, would colour how they interact and what they say to each other. I wanted to hear them talk more about the important stuff, working through their loss (loss of confidence, optimism, belief in the ultimate good of people). How they appear in public and how they behave in private might reveal a lot here about how they have both come to terms with what happened. Maybe Karen sees Tom as less than a man? Maybe Tom is re-evaluating every aspect of his life (including his marriage to Karen). Their relationship is comfortable but doesn’t seem to have much passion left – calling your wife ‘old girl’ is not particularly sexy talk. I wanted more of this intimate side and how the attack has affected this.

I enjoyed the three chapters I read and I hope my notes are of some use to you. Ultimately it is your novel and only you can decide how it will turn out. Good luck with it. Juliet

Pat Black wrote 1319 days ago

Compelling tale - and it'll strike a chord with a great many people. I live in the city and there are so many incidences of people just going about their business only to get an utter clobbering by bored youths. The opening section with the wife waking Tom up was powerful - but I think we lose something in the second part, where you go over the beating with a more methodical eye. I would propose an edit where you actually expand on this - put us in the situation. Have Tom meet these youngsters; go over what they say to him, his realisation that he's been lured in there in order for them to attack him. I think this is some very solid work.

Pat Black
Snarl

CarolinaAl wrote 1366 days ago

An engaging story with fascinating characters. Excellent dialogue and narration. Backed.

tisseurdecontes wrote 1374 days ago

Three chapters in and this is a joy to read. You have really nailed the attitudes and feelings of 50 somethings. It is natural for the reader to identify and sympathize with Tom and Karen. I wish them a happily ever after, but from your pitch, if they get it, it won't be without some serious bumps in the road.

Best wishes with this. I think it will do well.

Steven Lloyd
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE AND CHANGE

speaksthetruth wrote 1413 days ago

Slick dialogue. Use of the word gallivanting always works for me

Sean Lamb wrote 1413 days ago

You get the audience feeling completely sympathetic for Tom. You tell a story but it addresses a problem at the same time. I like an author who's also a sociologist. Good luck with this story

Sean

Mike LaRiviere wrote 1413 days ago

Andrew,

I've just finished reading the Letterman Project from cover to cover, as they say. Before I proceed, let me say that I am a former police officer, retired Navy, retired FedEx, former social worker for a children's home and have a hill sanctuary of my own. We have purchased God's Little Acre, outside of Branson, Missouri on a large lake, and my wife and I are foster parents for a sexually abused girl, who is now married and the mnother of three children. So, needless to say more, once I began your work, I didn't stop till I had nothing remaining to read.

I smiled, I nodded my head in agreement, I cried, and I visualized a great deal during my literary journey through the Highlands and London. I have never been to the Highlands, but I have always had a romantic sort of image of what it would be like. You have so expertly painted beautiful word pictures of a truly beautiful respite from this maddening world, and you hosted a rewarding trip for this Yank.

Your chapters were each, and of themselves, adventures and depicted the highs and lows of life, and the whole story fleshed out the old adage that one can never know what tomorrow may bring, and that the best laid plans of mice and men...

You are to be complimented for telling such a wonderful story without the use of literary crutches such as unnecessary vulgarity, expletives, or erotic sex scenes. The way you handled the slices of life experiences was appropriate and readable by anyone, young or old.

The characters were masterfully developed; each played a specific role; none were left hanging; and your Scottish brogue was excellent (I think). What really grabbed me was your grasp of human suffering, the unfairness of life, the terrible hand that life sometimes deals a person, and then the redemption and triumph of the human spirit that transcends this life and reaches into the next.

This entire work depicted a bit of heaven, a bit of hell, a bit of this world, and especially what is right with the human heart and soul. Your vocabulary and syntax were polished to a high luster, as was your word craftsmanship. Every word picture that you penned left me with a mindset that I had been there --in the pages, in the tavern, on the lock or lake, chasing after missing girls and bad guys, or counseling with a damaged boy, or (one that I can attest to) fish that don't always bite.

The trek up the hill with a dying young woman, strapped in a stretcher, who was enjoying one of the precious and few beauties in her awful life was priceless, and It pulled me in so hard, that I found myself not wanting to leave the scene, which by the way was breathtaking. You should work for a travel agent --her death was as beautiful as was her contemplative thoughts on the hill. That's the way I want to go.

Well, from the Phoenix experience of Tom, to the goodness of heart that made such lasting contributions to humanity and the locals of this near fantasy community, your book provides one of the few perfect escapes from a mundane and plain vanilla life, even with the tragic turns of events. I will be recommending this book to a lot of people. The mystery plot surrounding the boy's staged demise was strong and carried the storyline well.

You have my backing and two thumbs up for your work. My only recommendation is that you drop the year dates. It dates your work and that isn't always what you want.

Thanks for a really nice trip from the good ole USA to the Highlands, to a log cabin, a hill, and to a Chritmas that a family and three children will never forget.

I guess that about sums it up.

PawPaw Mike LaRiviere
Eden's Door

theweed wrote 1421 days ago

THE LETTERMAN PROJECT 6/1/2010

I like the opening paragraph, but there are two occurrences of "who he was" close together. Using repetitive words and phrases in proximity is usually a flag to the agent and publisher to quit reading. The strange muffled hum is made redundant by the phrase "was alien to him." If it's strange, the reader will infer that it's alien.

The tension and suspense in the paragraph is great. It just needs some editing to remove all of the repetitions of he, and combining some sentences to remove unnecessary words, moving the story along.

Chapter 2 - There seems to be a lot of narrative that could be better presented as showing the reader what's happening. For example, the first two paragraphs can be shortened as:

--Activity outside the window went unnoticed by Tom, even though he was standing at the window, staring through it. He didn't even hear Karen slip into his room.

She watched him in the stillness, anticipating the mood swings and irrational behavior that the doctor's warning proffered. She pondered the support and understanding that he would need to emerge from the emotional shell that now held him. Only time could deliver a full recovery.--

Of course, you may have other ideas, but many unnecessary words are omitted without compromising the story line. And, the shortened prose moves the story along much faster.

Throughout the story the dialog is crisp and real, and the adventures of the couple are humorous and exciting. Having built my own house, I'm familiar with the joys and agonies of it all. With some heavy editing you will have a grand book. Don't change the story line, I love it. Just get some of the obstacles out of the way.

Good luck with this.

Marc - Where's The Ivy

BJ Alexander wrote 1438 days ago

The Letterman Project-

Kind of a "The Money Pit" theme, I'd say. Quite fun. I think with some work, you'll really have something here.

Beware of exclamation points. They're like daggers in the reader's eyes. Use them sparingly and only in dialog. There's one place in ch2 when Karen says, "Tom!" twice yet your narrative tells us she's trying not to startle him. She did!

ch3. Should be "...preying on your mind." not praying.

Also, check your ellipses. Should be 3 dots each a space apart (. . .) not commas.

While I really like the set-up here and your opening is very good, you tend to rush through the rest of it, forgoing description and narrative for dialog. The result is that we have no visual of the characters or the setting. Slow it down some, make sure every line moves the story and focus on the emotion through showing rather than telling.

Also, spend a little time with your segues. Switching from one scene to another can be tricky as can the passage of time. Make sure it works. Just saying "The next day" or "Later on" works in a synopsis but not often in a novel.

Lastly, speech tags are necessary SOMETIMES but can be a little grating when they happen too often. He replied, she stated, quizzed. pleaded, cried, asked . . . stick with said as often as you can (it tends to disappear in the reader's mind) and only use it when the identity of the speaker is in question or when it's needed for the sake of rhythm.

As I said upfront, I like this idea of this novel and I think its off to a really good start. The idea of fixing up a rundown property and starting a new life is very exciting. And I have a feeling all is not going to come up roses right of the bat!

I'll back this for you. -Barb

Andrew.C.Wilson wrote 1446 days ago
eloraine wrote 1448 days ago

Hooked right from the long pitch, and the story did not disappoint, well don and I wish you all the best with it. Backed. E.Loraine Royal Blood Chronicles book one

yasmin esack wrote 1448 days ago

Oh boy what a treat! Fine story lines and punctuated with just the right amout of suspense and detail to make this whole wonderful thing believable.

Sooo000 good
backed for sure

SusieGulick wrote 1459 days ago

Dear Andrew, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me." Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already "commented"/"backed" your book, I came to your "comment" page to help it advance more. I will also put it on my "watchlist" to hopefully help it move up (everytime someone "comments"/"backs" my book, it moves up). Could you please take a moment to "comment"/"back" my unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories," which at the end of the book tells my ill-health, now & my 6th abusive marriage I'm in. Thanks. :) I'd be ever so grateful. :) Love, Susie :)

soutexmex wrote 1459 days ago

Andrew: that short pitch needs work; it's not definitive. I had no idea what this was about until I read the long pitch. The long pitch needs more exposition. We need more of the main conflict to sell this to the casual reader which is critical to your success. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

SusieGulick wrote 1459 days ago

Dear Andrew, I love happy ending - unlike my life (memoir) - that's why I love reading books like yours - everyone is happy at the end. :) You prepared me to read your book with your excellent hook before your story. It is good because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing/commenting on your book to help it advance. Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to back/comment on my TWO books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & the unedited version, "Tell Me True Love Stories" which at the end tells my illness now/6th abusive marriage I'm in now. Thanks, Susie :)

Burgio wrote 1460 days ago

I like stories about everyday people where a single day or a single happening changes their life - and they have to adjust to that. And that's exactly what this book is about with the additional plus of a mystery. Both Karen and Tom are good characters; they're likable and sympathetic because a simple police response to a park incident shouldn't have turned out this badly. You have an engaging writing style; the way you start with Tom waking up from a coma is a good initial hook to draw a reader into this. I'm adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

klouholmes wrote 1488 days ago

Hi Andrew, Written with immediacy and then the flashback to the gang violence is incisively done. The dialogue with Karen kept me reading, reviving Tom through his recuperation. Their conversation becomes charming on their trip and especially with Toodely or Oliver. Loved his “living in a pub.” It all becomes very enjoyable! Easily shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

lisawb wrote 1494 days ago

Andrew,

I already told you this was good, now I have read Chapter 18 which is terribly sad and emotional, I feel I have to continue to read. This has caused a problem because as the beginning was good and now Chapter 18 even better, I don't want to continue at Chapter 19. I shall have to back track and read where I left off before.

This is compelling and well written, it also shows what readers can be missing when they only read the first few chapters. I think on my favourite books I shall have to try to read everything.

I liked this book before, even better now and wonder what I will say when I have finished it.

Glad I backed it before and I hope more people read this and back it.

Warmest regards,

Lisa

Famlavan wrote 1496 days ago

Even though your opening talks of violence your writing style has a great gentleness to it and to me this enhances the almost juxtaposition start –very good. I sense there is a lot of you and a lot of thought gone into this and I wish you all the luck in the world.

Famlavan wrote 1496 days ago
lizjrnm wrote 1498 days ago

Wow you are an excellent writer! And such a wonderful imagination with the ability to put it to words! BACKED with pleasure!

Liz
The Cheech Room

lisawb wrote 1500 days ago

Having visited the Highlands many times and falling in love with them, I was intrigued with this book. I have read to Chapter 4 and would have continued if I had the time. I found this to be a pleasant read, I liked the relationship between Tom and Karen and think this is an easy account to read and engage with. Many people dream of escaping into the countryside and I think this book could be popular and has potential.

Backed with pleasure.

Lisa

A Fine Line

Andrew.C.Wilson wrote 1511 days ago

See below

Andrew.C.Wilson wrote 1513 days ago

"The Letterman Project" is the first book that I've tackled as a writer as you no doubt will tell if you read it.
It's a book that I happen to be extremly proud of, not because it's well written,( I know it's not ) it's because it taught me a great deal, not so much about the art of writing ( I can tell, I hear you say) but more about myself,
as you may have read from my 'home page', I seem to have drifted through life with no particular plan, direction or goal.
The writing of "The Letterman Project" gave me a purpose, it also gave me discipline but above all it made me happy.
After completing the book my second thought was ' I'm going to re-write the bloody thing' and up until a few weeks ago that was still my intension but not now, now I'm going to leave it as it is, warts and all and the reason for this is because I had great fun creating it, I laughed a lot,I cried a bit( frustration and memories)
and that's the way it came out, I also see it as a kind of marker, to show me where I started and hopefully, someday, how far I've come.
All the characters names except the Lettermans are real names and all the characters are based on real people, all except the Lettermans, the reason for this is because there is nothing out of the ordinary about them, they could be you or me, we all know the Lettermans.
I found as I progressed through the book that although only able to type with one finger things seemed to flow a little faster and smoother, so I must be learning( I thought) and I certainly enjoyed the later parts better than the earlier ones.
The 2nd and 3rd chapters I wished I had changed or left out, I just didn't know how, we've all got to learn,
so here's "The Letterman Project ", please be gentle with me, I'm only human,
Andy.

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