I think I have a better rough draft of the pitch. It’s still a little clunky, but at least it makes it sound like Sue is central to the book. The working title is still Remind Me of the Dreaming Dead.
At the end of the 19th century, the most coveted invitation in town was to 125 South Spruce Street for one of Sue Allen’s twice-weekly seances. Nashville’s most-well-to-do all wanted to see and be seen holding hands around her stately dining room table while Sue Allen reached into the spirit world and brought back messages from the dead.
Sue Allen came from a long line of strange people. One of her great-grandmothers trapped the Devil under the family Bible. Her mother could smell a lie on your breath. Her dead brother liked to take an evening cigarette on the front porch. Her sister, Sarah, could read omens. And Sue was, and perhaps still is, the most powerful medium Nashville has ever seen.
But Sue has a secret–only she knows why her mentor, Lee Overton, disappeared. Only she knows where he went. And, when he returns, only she sees the true horror in what he’s figured out how to do. Sue must stop her old friend from recreating Confederate Nashville, even though she, too, would like someone to wait on her hand and foot. Can Sue Allen learn the importance of getting her own damn tea before it’s too late?
Edited to add: Spoiler alert: no.
I’d suggest deleting the second paragraph — much tighter.
Oh, I really like that. I’m glad you left the last line there – might be one sentence that tells the moral of the story :)
Is there any way to make this sentence “Only she knows where he went.” more boldly hint that he didn’t just leave to another place but to another time? Maybe that’s clear in “recreating Confederate Nashville” but since that comes after the sentence about his return it doesn’t quite signal time travel as strongly to the reader who knows nothing about the book.
And might I be picky about the title (yes, I see how funny this is for me to do to you now)? is that an “about” ? or “reminds” but what or who is doing the reminding is a mystery because “me” is the direct object?
It still needs quite a bit of work, but at least I’m headed in a direction. As for the title, it’s an imperative (You) Remind Me of the Dreaming Dead. I stole it from this song:
I’m with TOS on just the two graphs… The “most powerful medium Nashville has ever seen” part can be stapled into graph one or three after Sue’s name..