Rover by Shane Mohler
My best friend died today. His name was Rover K. Datona and he loved Frisbee, spare ribs, and belly rubs. He died chasing a hover car along Haight Street in the wee hours of dawn.
Rover was a Collie-Labrador mix born in 2142 near Santa Nella, California. When he died, he was 167 years old. He worked as a tax accountant, and volunteered at the Masonic Children’s Hospital. In his professional life, he took pride in solving people’s problems. Never was this truer than when he spent time with the kids. Hours of joy on a sick child’s face was the best gift he could give. He owned one human, me.
He led me on a quest for knowledge and amazing journies. This is the story of his life, from an unremarkable puppyhood through brilliant adventures. These are my memories of our times together.
David and Arielle: We love the misdirection of this pitch. The first line is so great, and it sets up a whole series of expectations. Rather than you just telling us Rover is a dog, you let us find out on our own, it’s a great example for everyone of showing and not telling. Love that he worked as a tax accountant and a volunteer in a Children’s Hospital. And there always seems to be room in the world for another great dog story. People really love their dogs. What can be improved? The pitch is a bit skimpy right now. Since you are making the narrator part of this story, we want to find out who the narrator is, and how he is changed by the dog. We want to understand more of the plot, what’s actually going to happen. We want to see an arc: a beginning, a middle, and right up to the very end where it seems like everything is falling apart and there’s no way our main characters will succeed, then we want you to leave us hanging by our fingertips off the edge of the cliff. And a couple of comparable titles, again, would be great. Is this an actual memoir, or is it a piece of fiction? These are things that a reader, an agent and editor are going to want to know.