Thursday, February 7, 2013


The Logo Illustrates an ancient Zulu Folktale
of how a Woman's  Heart is made.

When I finished my novel I had to write a synopsis. 

How do you get the gist of a 138,000 word novel into a "jacket cover" description?  Here was my first try:

In Post-Apartheid South Africa, four mothers and daughters from different tribes tell the story of surviving poverty, abuse, and life in the township of Diepsloot.  Their daughters, all becoming women themselves, add their voices to paint a picture of how, in one generation, so much has changed in South Africa.  With ancestral beliefs challenged, the ways of the traditional healers being traded for modern medicine, and the threat of Apartheid over, are the girls’ lives so much different from their mothers? 

Hope, joy and celebration, despite poverty and injustice,  Treasures In Diepsloot delivers a story, woven by eight women who see the very same things, but from different eyes and life experiences.  In the end, the triumph of the human spirit prevails, and the reader is delivered into a satisfying world where mother-daughter relationships are still a refuge in the midst of change and adversity.  

Before you think I did good, here’s some things a well-trained editor would tell you:

1.    My synopsis doesn't synopsize my book;
2.    My summary leaves men not wanting to read it;
3.    I used too many words;
4.    There are too many clichés.

So, here’s the one that was edited down to a real synopsis:

When Annah, an abused wife and mother, loses her shack to a mysterious fire her neighbors in the township of Diepsloot are not surprised.  Mbali, her Pastor's wife and a small circle of friends seek to intervene to help Annah recover.  As they begin, the women uncover dangerous secrets that tell a darker story: one that reminds them of their own lives, filled with similar demons.

Treasures in Diepsloot is told by eight women in sixteen interlocking chapters. 

Through the perspectives of the four mothers (each from a different South African Tribe) and their four modern daughters the reader is transported into another world.  What one generation has overcome the next has nearly forgotten in order to face new challenges in a new world.

All of them endeavor to protect the greatest treasures that they have: their hearts.

The second synopsis took months to polish and still is not 100% finished.  Meaning, it still needs work.

When someone asks what my book is about, I give them the second synopsis – also known as “a pitch”. 

So that’s what my book is about....

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