First -- THANK YOU EVERYONE who commented on the cover quiz. Left to my own devices, I probably would have gone for the one on the right, and that clearly is not the best choice in this case. You guys rock, and I'm glad I have you.
Second -- Since you've all listened to me ramble about Ye Aggravating Novel on so many occassions, I thought you might like to hear the elevator pitch we pounded out at the Villa Diodati workshop. (An elevator pitch, for those who may not know, is a brief, tantalizing description of one's book. There's an excellent Writing Excuses podcast that describes pitching in more detail.)
So here's the informal answer to "What's your book about?":
It's about a girl on a planet where night is deadly. And it’s also got giant lizards.
And the more formal description (kudos to Stephen Gaskell for this one):
What if you lived where night never fell? And if it did you would die. That's the situation for Mikaena, a young girl in an nomadic caravan that is always on the move to escape the deadly, encroaching night. The conflict begins when Mikaena rescues an injured foreigner even though clan law forbids it.
The book is reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels in that it combines advanced technology with a regressive society in a highly inhospitable environment.
Now, these may not be perfect, but they're WORLDS better than what I had before. And I've been trying for about two years. My conclusion is that elevator pitches are a group brainstorm type of project. I mean, if you come up with something awesome all by yourself, that's great. But if not, my recommendation is to corral a group of your friends, bribe them with good food, and refuse to let them out of the room until you have a working pitch premise.