Ten years ago today, March 26, 1999, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. To mark this anniversary, someone else is cooking my dinner tonight. Which means I have more time to work on my pitch, my one sheet, and my synopsis, not to mention the on going editing.
Text of my One Sheet, which is a little like a query one can hand directly to an agent to peruse during a pitch session:
When the master’s nephew returns to Mountain Laurel, the boundaries between the big house and the slave quarter are irrevocably breached, and one slave finds her lifelong secret perilously exposed.
Erstwhile Boston cabinetmaker, sometime frontier trapper, Ian Cameron has come to North Carolina hoping to remake himself yet again—into his slave-owning planter uncle’s heir. Complicating matters is his boyhood friend, Thomas, who has followed Ian south insisting on posing as his slave. His aunt thinks Ian is a savage. His uncle thinks he’s a replacement for a long-dead son. One cousin wants to convert his soul, the other is bent on seducing him into her bed. Then there’s Seona, light-skinned, green-eyed, enslaved to his kin….
A strand of hair swept across Seona’s cheek. Rather than pause to finger it behind an ear, she nudged it away with a toss of her chin. Precisely as his sister would have done.
His body jerked, as if his flesh had absorbed the impact of revelation before his mind could grasp it. He stared at Seona’s face, at her full mouth with its shapely corners, the straight sweep of jaw that narrowed to a firm chin, dipping and tilting now as she sketched the child, a chin that bore a slight but definite cleft. A mirror of his sister’s mouth and chin. Of his father’s. Of his own.
Blood will tell, Ian had heard it said. So would bone.
When Ian uncovers more family secrets than he bargained for, he’s forced to confront the face of slavery—one disturbingly familiar—and the tearing down of yet another life half-built. This time, with more lives than his own poised to topple, finding the courage to come home to a Heavenly Father forsaken is Ian’s only true hope of redemption.
Wrenching choices are made as Ian and Seona struggle to live and love across the dividing lines of race and freedom in the decade after the Revolutionary War.