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Stark Silvercoin

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first registered 10.08.10

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Old Number Seven was entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year. It made it to the quarterfinals. Although it did not advance into the final round, it was reviewed by Publisher's Weekly. That review follows:

Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Publishers Weekly Review

Set just before and after Hurricane Katrina, this manuscript may remind many readers of Dave Eggar’s "Zeitoun," in which good people try to deal with the severity of a terrible natural disaster, and its effects on one’s humanity.

In Old Number Seven, the story starts with a dedication to the unsung heroes of Katrina, and it focuses smartly on two such heroes. John has put in 50 years working at Pump Station 7, now mothballed and being turned into a museum, where he is slated to be a tour guide. But he sees Katrina coming and wangles the delivery of a full load of coal; he gets his dutiful son, William, to help sandbag the building and bring supplies from home to help ride out the storm. William complies, though he knows his father is dying of cancer and kidney failure.

As it turns out, Pump Number 7 is the only pump to work during and immediately after the storm, as all the new-fangled computer-run pumps were abandoned during the evacuation. Early on during the storm, William rescues a woman from drowning -- the granddaughter of a friend of John’s -- and a convincing romance ensues.

The story pushes breathlessly forward, holding readers until the very end with a death, terrible violence, and some gut-wrenching decision-making. This is a terrific manuscript with great novelistic insight and feeling. It will have no trouble finding its audience.


On the Authonomy review: Yes, the folks at HarperCollins did review Old Number Seven, and I thank them for their time. I have made that review public for anyone who wants to read it. I was of course disappointed that they did not wish to publish the novel. I do think the suggestions made about the narrative re-focusing (jumping around in time more, adding Rosalie as a character before the storm with a parallel narrative) might be something to consider.

I appreciate everyone here who helped me work with the book to make it so much better than when I began this process. We will see Old Number Seven published one day as a tribute to the heroes of New Orleans. I have no doubt.

Although I am removing all but the first few chapters of the book from Authonomy, I continue my search for a great agent who would love to become my partner in this endeavor, and for a publisher that would enjoy a solid work of literary fiction for their catalog. Interested parties can contact me though email: johnbreeden (at) Comcast.net

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Old Number Seven

John Breeden II

When Hurricane Katrina smashes New Orleans, the hopes of the Ninth Ward fall on an old man, his dog and an antiquated steam-powered pumping station.


John Bailey is an old southern man dying of cancer. He’s never taken any risks in life, and even worked the same job for the New Orleans water department for over fifty years. When he hears about Hurricane Katrina, he suspects it might be bad, possibly overloading the intricate protections the city has built over the years.

But nobody wants to listen.

So he hatches a scheme to secretly transform Old Number Seven, a coal-fired pumping station built along the Industrial Canal in 1925, from a museum back into a fully working facility. Sitting in the middle of the city’s neglected Lower Ninth Ward, Old Number Seven could become the only protection people living there will have during the storm.

The novel is complete but only the first few chapters have been left on the site. Interested people can contact me to see more, especially agents or publishers. johnbreeden (at) Comcast.net

 

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Kaychristina wrote 3 days ago

Ahh, bless! Thanks, John. And that sounds good for your *paragraph* w....

Kaychristina wrote 5 days ago

John, good to hear from you! And I am so impressed with everything yo....

Writing Gal wrote 15 days ago

I'm back on this site and have re-worked my novel. Please read and l....

tone099 wrote 23 days ago

My name is Peter Reich, special investigator to the Pope and former c....

Kaychristina wrote 23 days ago

Hello, John! Sorry... been Awol for a couple of days, so just saw you....

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I wrote 333 days ago

As an update to fans or editors from HarperCollins who may be considering working with Old Number Seven, it was entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year. It made it to the quarterfinals. Although it did not advance into the final round, it was reviewed by Publisher's Weekly. That... view book

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