Weekend Writing Warriors: Pigeons (Descendants)

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Thanks to everyone who read over the premise and snippet from Pigeons last week, especially those of you who were kind enough to leave positive comments!

I have a week and a half to get my query and pitch ready for the Midwest Writing Workshop.  I’ve managed to wrestle several versions of query into one—okay, two, but I’m working on it—and wrangle a pitch that one of my dear friends told me should probably be edited to include a moment or two to breathe.  Good advice.

This week’s Pigeons  snippet features Judith, the female MC (described here, though the eyes of another character).  She’s been tracing the crimes of the known aliases of reformed conman extraordinaire James Blaine, in the hopes that they will eventually lead back to his family.  Here, she’s describing a scam that she believes he pulled back in the day, under the name of Arzell Roman.

English: The signature of Thomas Jefferson, 3r...

“Roman ran a long con on Hodges about twenty years ago—an estate investment scam based on Thomas Jefferson’s alleged descendants through Sally Heming. She was one of his slaves,” she added, before Cassie could ask.

“There’s DNA evidence now,” Saul rumbled. “It proves one of her sons was a Jefferson.”

Judith nodded. “Yeah, they ran the tests in ninety-eight. Before that, it was all just historical rumor and suggestive circumstantial evidence. But Roman talked Hodges and a lot of other people into financing a legal battle to get the last Heming descendant acknowledged as a legal heir of Jefferson, in exchange for a share of her “rightful inheritance” once everything was settled.”

Estate investment scams are real, by the way, and used to be astoundingly lucrative for the enterprising con artist . . . though I’m not sure if anyone ever used Sally Heming in one.