The seven Pre-event Assignments for The Price, thriller, 84,000 words
1. Story Statement: The Protagonist, Logan Tanner, must thwart a misguided plan to “save the country.”
2. The Antagonist: Cassandra Moon is a self-made, and proud of it, entrepreneur who built her tech company from nothing and now enjoys several military contracts for her devices and services, and complementary to that, a number of military and political contacts, as well as close ties to an extremist group. She has already convinced the US Army to buy and use her highly advanced UAVs. But her goals are much larger – to force the government to use her company’s software and hardware to help solve the gaping holes in the nation’s cyber and infrastructure security, a project she genuinely believes in. With her, her company, and her friends “justifiably” reaping the profits and accolades, of course. But Moon accepts, even enjoys, that fact that her methods will also result in unfathomable levels of human rights abuses, even murders, and will shove the country further along the road to autocracy. She also believes this is the best path to preserve America, its people, and ideals.
3. Titles: a) The Price b) Trojan Horse c) Bullet in the Machine
4. Comps: Similar plot and theme to Simon Gervais’ The Last Protector; similar writing style to recent David Baldacci and Lee Child novels, although the characters and themes are different.
5. Logline: When a former US Marine special forces operator, forced out of his beloved Corps for doing the right thing in the wrong way, witnesses a drone strike on a group of innocent hikers, his attempt to find those responsible pits him against a woman who is driven to protect the United States, her way, at any cost.
6. Inner Conflict: Deprived of being a Marine with a team, a family, and a purpose that matters, Logan must find not only a way to accept his new life, but to again find a purpose, worthwhile goals, and people to care about.
Secondary Conflict: While digging deep to fight their enemies, Logan falls in love with Dianne, a forest ranger who is helping him track down murderers. He also comes to question the loyalty of his best and only friend and former Marine sister, Aly.
7. The Price takes place in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, along the Pacific Crest Trail in rugged terrain; at a cabin set on the eastern flanks of the Cascades; in a southern suburb of Seattle; and in Seattle itself, including the climax among the springtime crowds in Pike Place Market.