The Writer’s Voice Entry: Lost Summers in Paris

Blogger, and author Brenda Drake is running a Voice-like contest, where potential authors attempt to win representation from literary agents. I have entered the contest and made round two by being randomly selected by a computer. (I have begun preparing a speech.) Round two includes posting your query and first 250 words to your blog. The judges will drop by and read the entries and select the ones they like best.

So if you are a regular reader of my blog and are wondering if someone sane has hacked into my account and has taken control the answer is, “No.”




When WWI American ambulance driver Jake is gravely wounded on an Italian hillside, he believes his life has ended. His unlikely survival takes him away from the muddy hillsides of the Italian Alps and lands him in a hospital bed in Milan next to a young Ernest Hemingway. As the two men recover from their traumatic wounds they discover a common love of sports and a mysterious healing power unleashed during their daily games of catch.

Jake returns to his family farm in Iowa and attempts to put his shattered life back together, but the war has changed him. A letter from Hemingway inviting Jake to come to Paris to “have a catch” is just the opportunity he needs to escape.

Jake is tossed into the swirling world of Paris in the 1920s. This 1920s is a world where a Dada inspired game of catch in the Louvre prompts the writers and artists living there to “play ball.” Jake tries to balance loyalty and opportunity as he is trapped between rival teams captained by Picasso and Hemingway, that is, until he discovers Hemingway is about to release a novel in which Jake’s very intimate injury is disclosed to the world. Jake is forced to choose between Hemingway’s overbearing personality and his personal struggle to make sense of a world that continues to betray him.

LOST SUMMERS IN PARIS is an accurate portrayal of the Lost Generation, but it is also a world where James Joyce can throw an unhittable curveball, Man Ray films the first Surrealist baseball movie, and Jake owns a magical painted baseball. LOST SUMMERS IN PARIS is a completed 100,000 word Adult Historical novel that will interest lovers of Hemingway, baseball, Paris and Art.

Lost Summers in Paris

(The First 250 Words)

Iowa: 1961

The letter triggered the dreams.Jake had not thought of the war or of Paris for years, but as spring approached his dreams returned him there each night. Memories buried deep and forgotten bubbled up forcing him to remember things he wished to forget. Most nights he woke wrapped in perspiration, fighting for breath.

It took Jake an hour to determine where the letter had come from. The cursive that at one time had been so recognizable was now distorted and unsteady. After Jake read the short note inside, he placed it on the kitchen table, with the rest of the bills, and tried to forget it, but like all debts in a man’s mind, the bills totaled themselves up and balanced themselves against his income. Jake weighed those debts each day and carried the total wherever he went. He could push those debts out of his mind during the day, but in the evening when life slowed and distractions ebbed, the weight of his debts sunk into him like a hot stone burrowing into the places in his mind he no longer wished to go.

The one persistent dream contained no magic. Jake sat in a wicker chair on the terrace of a Parisian café as the day transitioned to night. The late summer sun had set, a glow still held in the sky, and the heat of the day turned from irritation to contentment. Around the small, café table sat Jake, Ernie, James, Robert, and Tristan.

25 thoughts on “The Writer’s Voice Entry: Lost Summers in Paris

  1. Can you give some context here, Jon? I’m assuming this is a (new?) novel. What is the Writer’s Voice competition? Probably something I should have known about, but then I miss a lot with all those ABNA stars in my eyes. Anyway, best of luck to you.


  2. Wow, this is really different. I love the setting. I did get a bit confused by this line: “prompts the writers and artists living there to “play ball.” I wasn’t sure if “play ball” was literal or some kind of code phrase. The description in the query also seemed to hint at magical realism. I am really intrigued by the relationships here. Good luck!


  3. Ahh, this one sounds so beautiful. I really hope you’re in the running after the coaches have picked their teams. I love the young Hemingway and the Paris and the history oh my goodness


  4. I just like the helpful information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test once more here frequently. I’m moderately certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next! kdfgfacekdde


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