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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015
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    Re: Addiction memoir query

    My transformation from an award-winning CNN producer to a clumsily contained pain pill addict was a solitary experience, but finding my sobriety would prove to be a collective one, led by the most beloved of them all: my father. For if anyone knew what to do with a body gone mad, it was a former alcoholic who broke out in handcuffs every time he drank. So begins THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH, a 100,000 word-count memoir chronicling how my father faced his past addiction in order to help me overcome mine.

    All there was to inherit from my father, I had. He was there for me when I underwent two liver transplants before I turned 30. And I faithfully and continually rescued him when I found him jailed or drunk in the ER, handcuffed to whatever object was sturdiest. So, it was fitting that this once broken soul who—despite his lone parental admonishment that I do as he said and not as he did—inadvertently taught me how to master the culture of addiction, to live day-to-day with unmet expectations.

    Allow me to digress. Following a routine medical procedure, I became addicted to painkillers. Besieged by despair, I put my already tenuous health at further risk by doctor shopping, buying thousands of pills from the Internet, and even pilfering painkillers from my arthritic dog. When a fateful accident forced my past and present to intersect during the summer of 2010, I reluctantly entered rehab. Fraught with insecurities, I discredited its ethos, from the 12-step program to labeling myself an addict. Eventually, I successfully detoxed amid a cast of colorful alcoholics and addicts—each providing enlightenment and levity—as I faced a classic tragedy: the one tool you use to save yourself (pills) becomes the one thing that ultimately destroys you. In time, I coped with the shame of having chased one disease (addiction) while running from another (liver failure), all while examining the variances of how race and class both hinder and nurture one’s treatment.

    Following rehab, and hoping to mine internal conflicts and the impact my addiction had on my family, fiancé, and most importantly my father, I traveled home to Colorado. Soon I accepted the dynamics behind a family who competes to be the most victimized, a family who tried in their own way to foster my recovery, yet curiously hindered my father’s sobriety years earlier. From my spoiled mother, the haunting absence of my younger sister, to my emotionally distant older half sister—ties made worse by my devotion to my father—I recount the grueling process of learning to discover a healthy sense of self after years of self-inflicted damage.

    A former Peabody and DuPont award-winning journalist at CNN, I am currently a freelance writer for The Huffington Post. A recent essay went viral garnering over 60,000 likes in two days. Later, it was included in a writing course at Morehouse College. Additional essays can be found in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post’s ROOT Magazine, The Atlantan, Jezebel, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and sundry others. Further, I have extensive media ties that will help me market an addiction memoir that is unlike those already in print.

    May I send a sample chapter?

    Best,
    xxxxx

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    My transformation from an award-winning CNN producer to a clumsily contained pain pill addict was a solitary experience, but finding my sobriety would prove to be a collective one, led by the most beloved of them all: my father. For if anyone knew what to do with a body gone mad, it was a former alcoholic who broke out in handcuffs every time he drank. So begins THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH, a 100,000 word-count memoir chronicling how my father faced his past addiction in order to help me overcome mine.
    This is all awkwardly phrased and could be streamlined to read a lot more smoothly. The gist of what you're saying is that After you went from an award-winning CNN producer (which I advise you to keep in there because agents and publishers love someone with "a platform" ie notoriety) to a pill addict, your father used his experiences as an alcoholic to help you recover. I'm sure John Oberon can streamline more than that.

    Allow me to digress.
    The query is not where you want to digress. This is a business proposal. Let's say a reporter is pitching a story to you: do you want them to digress or just get down to business? So really just get down to the basic points and don't overload your sentences with bloated wording.

    May I send a sample chapter?
    Typically you want to ask to send the whole manuscript. Some agents or editors may allow you to send a sample with your query.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015
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    Thank you for taking the time to give me some much needed feedback.I will streamline the areas that are too wordy.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2015
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    Here’s an edited version.


    In the summer of 2010, I was an award-winning CNN producer who was addicted to painkillers. And while it was a solitary existence, my recovery proved to be a collective one, led by my beloved father, a former alcoholic who knew what to do with a body gone mad. So begins THE OTHER SIDE OF COMING THROUGH, a 100,000 word-count memoir in which my father faces his past addiction in order to help me overcome mine.

    All there was to inherit from my father, I had. He was there for me when I underwent two liver transplants before I turned 30. And I stood sentry when I found him jailed or drunk in the ER. So, it was only fitting that this once broken soul who—despite his lone parental admonishment that I do as he said and not as he did—inadvertently taught me how to master the culture of addiction, to live day-to-day with unmet expectations.

    Following a routine medical procedure, I became addicted to painkillers. Once doctors stopped refilling my prescription, I put my already tenuous health at risk and bought thousands of pills from the Internet, even pilfering painkillers from my arthritic dog. When a fateful accident forced my past and present to intersect during that fateful summer, I reluctantly entered rehab. Eventually, I detoxed amid a cast of colorful alcoholics and addicts—each providing enlightenment and levity—as I faced a classic tragedy: the one tool you use to save yourself (pills) becomes the one thing that ultimately destroys you. In time, I coped with the shame of having chased one disease (addiction) while running from another (liver failure), all while examining the variances of how black and white women deal with depression.

    After rehab, and hoping to mine internal conflicts and the impact my addiction had on my family, fiancé, and most importantly my father, I traveled home to Colorado. Soon I accepted the dynamics behind a family who competes to be the most victimized, a family who tried in their own way to foster my recovery, yet curiously hindered my father’s sobriety decades earlier. From my spoiled mother, and my two emotionally distant sisters—ties made worse by my devotion to my father—I recount the grueling process of learning to discover a healthy sense of self after years of self-inflicted damage.

    A former Peabody and DuPont award-winning journalist at CNN, I am currently a freelance writer for The Huffington Post. A recent essay went viral garnering over 60,000 likes in two days. Later, it was included in a writing course at Morehouse College. Additional essays can be found in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post’s ROOT Magazine, The Atlantan, Jezebel, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and sundry others. Further, I have extensive media ties that will help me market an addiction memoir that is unlike those already in print.

    May I send the manuscript?

    Best,
    xxxxx

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
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    It's better but there's still too much detail. The query is just to make them interested enough to want to read the whole book; you don't need a synopsis of the whole book.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Got it. Cut out more. I am a very detailed writer in general so this should be a challenge but I’m up for it. Thanks so very much for helping me!

  7. #7
    Junior Member StanPopovich(Author)'s Avatar
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    Could you give me some more details about your background. Maybe we could work together. I am a mental health writer looking to get my articles published at various news sites. I also write articles about rehab and addiction. I can send you some samples.

    Stan

  8. #8
    Junior Member StanPopovich(Author)'s Avatar
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    Could you give me some more details about your background. Maybe we could work together. I am a mental health writer looking to get my articles published at various news sites. I also write articles about rehab and addiction. I can send you some samples.

    Stan

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by StanPopovich(Author) View Post
    Could you give me some more details about your background. Maybe we could work together. I am a mental health writer looking to get my articles published at various news sites. I also write articles about rehab and addiction. I can send you some samples.

    Stan
    The poster hasn't been on the site since 11/9/15. There's no need to keep pestering someone who isn't here.

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