“That which does not kill me leaves me scarred” is the underlying premise of my narrative non-fiction, It Looked Good on Paper. In 45,000 words, I detail my rollercoaster life – from childhood klutz – to Silicon Valley startup CEO – to homeless shelter trash – to medical experiment survivor. I candidly relate the trials of coping with 15+ diagnosed chronic conditions and diseases, more than 20 major operations, uncounted hospitalizations, and, perhaps most tragically to some, an unfortunate allergy to alcohol that has deprived me of the blessed effects of gin.
Although the issues are deadly serious, their treatment is anything but! Humorous anecdotes illustrate survival skills I developed as alternatives to despair and suicide. Because these sketches are true, I modified most names and backgrounds. (Although my sister has begged, I still haven’t figured out how to disguise the family relationship.) Thus, I regretfully, but honestly, expose my shame, frustration, and anger as I recount the challenges of managing – and losing – careers, marriages, friends, money, and even such basics as a roof over my child’s head.
With a BA in BS and a Juris Doctor, I am uniquely qualified to analyze and explain the difficulties of the downwardly mobile. My manuscript details real-life experiences with medical professionals (“When it says magna cum perfect on the diploma, I’ll stop asking questions.”) and the situations that brought me their attention. I use laughter to provoke a willing suspension of disbelief that so much misfortune, tragedy and disaster can befall one person.
This isn't a hook, it's a query letter.
You're telling me it's funny without showing me much (other than the gin comment which of course is only funny here).
This kind of "my life" narrative, particulary at 45,000 words is an almost impossible sell.