Paws for Consideration by Amy Butcher
Like Tales of the City but with more dogs, Amy Butcher’s murder mystery Paws for Consideration takes you on an intimate tour of gay San Francisco. Follow the exploits of citizen-detective Daisy: frumpy, wheelchair-bound, self-appointed mayor of her San Francisco neighborhood—Daisy likes dogs a little bit more than people. But when she discovers Skittles, a terrified Boston Terrier, still leashed to his very dead owner’s arm, she has no choice but to roll into action. Careening through the Castro and the Mission, past upscale restaurants and low-down dungeons, Daisy and Skittles brave gentrification, gay-bashing, and homelessness to paw and sniff their way deep into that most dangerous of all relationships: neighbor.
Richly illustrated by the author and including a built-in flipbook for added entertainment, this debut novel from San Francisco-based erotic writer Amy Butcher (Best Lesbian Erotica 2012) is a sensory immersion. It offers the reader a sneak peek under the drag skirts of San Francisco, letting them see the familiar city in surprising new ways. Be you a lover of dogs, gays, BDSM, or simply San Francisco (as if the city isn’t all of these–and more–all rolled into one!) you’ll find something to satisfy your guilty pleasure reading needs!
Arielle & David: Again, a really fun title. We’ve been talking a lot about comparable titles, and you really nailed it right off the bat with Tales of the City but with more dogs. Everyone should see how you set up exactly what your book is right from the get go. Great details which lead us into the plot, the terrified Boston Terrier with the leash still attached to the dead owner’s arm. Love the built-in flipbook! There’s such a strange and interesting amalgamation of dogs, gays, BDSM. And who doesn’t love San Francisco as a location for a book? Also some really nice use of language: “drag skirts of San Francisco”. What can be improved? We’d like to know more about the actual plot. It seems like a great set up, and some fun details, but we need to know more about the twists and turns, because this seems to be a mystery. And when you write a mystery, you have certain obligations, like having plots with twists and turns in them. And you can’t just tell us that you have twists and turns, you have to show them. We could also do with understanding Daisy a little more, what she desperately wants in life and doesn’t have, more about her relationship with this dog, and how they change each other. Lastly, unless you are approaching an unconventional independent publisher, having illustrations is going to hurt your chances of publication, not help. You might want to not offer these up in the pitch, but show them to people once you have an agent or editor on board.