Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Man With the Golden Mind - Tom Vater's 2-Minute Book Pitch

1.    All right, I'm a very busy man. You have two minutes to convince me to sink millions into your book. So, don't dilly-dally!

Why did you pick this title?

I picked The Man with the Golden Mind as an allusion to The Man with the GoldenArm, a quintessentially post war 50s novel and The Man with the Golden Gun, a 60s Bond novel made into a movie with Roger Moore in the 70s.  My detective protagonist is flawed like both of the men in those books.  The Man with the Golden Mind is the second Detective Maier Mystery. The first was The Cambodian Book of the Dead, a title that obviously has its own literary allusions.

2.      What’s the logline?

German Detective Maier travels to Laos and tracks down the alleged killer of a 25 year old murder, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century.

3.     What’s the Teaser Pitch?

You’d have to cast a strong male lead, a bit world-weary like Clive Owen. The book is aimed at fans of intelligent action stories, both male and female, anything from Philip Kerr’s Gunther novels to Bond movies. It would look like Apocalypse Now meets the The Quiet American and will be shot in the tropics.

Who is your Hero and how does he change in the book?

     The Maier books are set in 2001 and 2002. Detective Maier, 46 years old, born in Leipzig, living in Hamburg, former war correspondent, is very good at his job, a real pro, but he is also lost between East and West. He has never met his father, can’t engage in long term relationships and drinks too much Vodka.

Julia Rendel asks Maier to investigate the twenty-five year old murder of her father, an East German cultural attaché who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. But before the detective can set off, his client is kidnapped right out of his arms
Maier follows Julia’s trail to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, where he learns different parties, including his missing client, are searching for a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets. But the real prize is the file’s author, a man codenamed Weltmeister, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century.

     In The Man with the Golden Mind, Maier goes through a fundamental change – his encounter with Weltmeister throws everything he has ever thought or known about himself into question, and besides solving his case, he also needs to find out who he is.  

How did you come up with the idea?

Between 2003 and 2007, I was working on a screenplay for a documentary called The Most Secret Place on Earth, directed and co-written by Marc Eberle. The film documents the 1960s and 70s covert war by the CIA in Laos and centers around a secret US air base that was the world’s busiest airport for a while. In 2001, Detective Maier travel to Laos and becomes embroiled in the last spasms of this little known conflict. 

 Why should I, the insanely important and wealthy movie studio boss, buy this book?

The Man with the Golden Mind is a fast paced, tense, violent, sexy and unsettling post cold war thriller shining a light on covert warfare and taking off somewhere between the Hard Boiled tradition and Apocalypse Now. Oh, and Kissinger makes an appearance.
That's IT! This is obviously the next Big Thing! You're IN with the In Crowd! Have some cocaine?

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