My homework assignment

I attended a Bryan Cohen webinar last night, on the topic of how to write book descriptions, wherein I was told that the blurb should consist of three parts, to paraphrase …

  • A telling of the protagonist’s emotional journey before the inciting event.
  • A description of bad things that could happen.
  • A closing sentence that lures prospective customers into pushing the ‘buy’ button.

In less than 150 words.

It was worth the hour-and-a-half, and not to steal from good ‘ol Bryan, but he also said one should make sure that cover, title and description are consistent with genre, so the audience can tell at a glance if the book fits with their reading habits.

So, as I consider Silken Thread in this context …

  • It’s published, so I’m pretty much stuck with the title.
  • Everybody raves over the cover, but who knows – it might still be an issue.
  • The story might have a problem fitting neatly into a particular genre.

Here’s what I did with the book description ... comments invited.


“Action, adventure, love story and travelogue — set in a place and time now gone forever.”

Forbes Park, Metro Manila, 1966 — an enclave from which sixteen-year-old expat David Aarens is developing a long-range career plan under the patronage of a Taiwanese businessman. On the other side of town, CIA trainee Barb Schneider is focused on earning an assignment that takes her anywhere except Vietnam.

The last thing she needs is to get distracted by a well-bred high schooler in her Chinese language class — but the station chief soon has a forbidden romance to break up and, through young David, the future prospect of sending eyes and ears into the region’s industrial sector.

A Hokkien fable tells of a silken thread that binds true lovers however far they roam. Divided by circumstance, it’s now up to David and Barbara to make that story about them.

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