Letters to Kennedy

E.K. Thompson

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA FAMILY ROMANCE FUNNY

    Core Theme

    DEEPENING OF FAMILY BONDS AND A FATHER'S ATTEMPT TO ATONE FOR HIS WORK ABSENCES DURING HER CHILDHOOD.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary,20th Century (multiple decades)

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ONCE AROUND; A WEDDING

    CHARACTER LIST

    KENNEDY, 35, BLONDE.

    ERIC, 30S/60S, KENNEDY'S FATHER, A WORKAHOLIC.

    BRANDY, LATE 20S/LATE 50S, KENNEDY'S MOTHER, SUFFERS A CHRONIC ILLNES

    DAN, LATE 20S/LATE 50S, ERIC'S BUSINESS PARTNER, HANDSOME AND CHARMING.

    ELIOT, 35, KENNEDY'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND FIANCE.

    LILY, MID 30S, KENNEDY'S FRIEND, HAIRDRESSER AND MAKE-UP ARTIST.

    UNCLE JACOB, 60S, ERIC'S DRUNKEN UNCLE.

    Logline

    The morning of the wedding, Kennedy Thompson finds herself holding a mysterious package, delivered to her dressing room. The collection of letters inside would change everything she thought she knew about her Father. Letters to Kennedy explores the events in the Thompson family’s life that led them

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Female Leaning

    Setting

    Florida, California, Europe

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Kindle Direct Publishing

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    The morning of the wedding, Kennedy Thompson finds herself holding a mysterious package, delivered to her dressing room. The collection of letters inside would change everything she thought she knew about her Father.

    Ending Description

    Surprise ending, with several positive twists. SPOIILER ALERT - the wedding is not for Kennedy, but a vow renewal for her parents, her mother is alive, the wedding venue is the castle her father bought for her.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Kennedy Thompson

    Age: 30-35 (In present day storyline)

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Decisive,Engaging,Gracious,Educated,Leader,Selfless,Outspoken,Funny,Romantic,Sarcastic,Sophisticated,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Eric Thompson

    Age: 60 (In present day storyline)

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Flexible,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Modest,Blunt,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Brandy Thompson

    Age: 60 (In present day storyline)

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Charming,Desperate,Empathetic,Gracious,Insecure,Underdog,Selfless,Romantic,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Elliot

    Age: 30-35 (In present day storyline)

    Gender: Male

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Masculine,Modest,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Strong Moral Code

    Development Pitch

    In the present day storyline, Kennedy Thompson receives a book of letters written to her by her Father throughout her life. A series of themes run through the letters as she reads them, including apprehensions in fatherhood, the love story between father and mother, the love story developing between Kennedy and her husband, Elliot, the fight of the father to find success and stability for his family, the physical/medical struggles of the mother, and the development of Kennedy as a woman through the forces in her world, as documented in the letters.

    Genre

    DRAMA

    Brief

    At a wedding venue, a young woman receives a bound book of letters her father has written to her since she was born. As she learns about his life and the struggles he and her mother have overcome, we realize it’s not her wedding day, but her father renewing his vows to his wife on their twenty-fifth anniversary.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: FAIR

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it's pretty accurate. The logline could be changed to reflect that the letters help Kennedy understand her father better and lessen her suppressed resentment that he spent so much of her childhood working and away on business trips.

    Draw of Story

    Pretty wedding venue setting, the idea of a father telling his daughter about his life, Eric and his wife's relationship and health struggles.

    Possible Drawbacks

    There's far too much description of the wedding venue, details of the house, setting, food, floral arrangements, and this detail continues through the back story of Eric's letters. It makes the book overly long and the time could have been better spent with deeper emotional scenes between the protagonists.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    A daughter learning more about her parents in a way that most of us wish we knew. It has universal values that many viewers can relate to.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could do well as a feature with its scenic setting and bond between father and daughter as she learns about her parents' struggles.

    Awards Potential

    Not really. Aside from Brandy's health issues, there aren't really any other high stakes that make the family's struggles stand out from other movies in this genre.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    A WEDDING; ONCE AROUND

    What’s New About the Story

    Lovely scenic setting, the family moving to Montenegro for a short time. The narrative definitely needs more conflict for the leads as their lives, aside from Brandy's health issues, are all a bit too perfect.

    Lead Characters

    Father Eric tries hard to open up about his life and dreams, aware that he spent too much time working and away from his family. Kennedy is a lovely young woman who is surprised and grateful at her father's gift of her parents' life story.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Not really. The story would need a key conflict or two to make it stand out from the pack. Kennedy and Brandy's resentment of Eric being away on business too much could be played up more.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Indie

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    The theme of a father opening up to his daughter and making up for lost time is a universal one that many viewers could relate to. The wedding setting is classic and the twist works as a touching device.

    Brief

    A charming story of family understanding and bonding as a father gives his daughter a bound book of personal letters he's written to her since she was a baby.

    What We Liked

    Universal values in family relationships between parents and children, bonding and a deepening of acceptance and understanding. A beautiful scenic backdrop creates an atmospheric and nostalgic setting.

    Film: Ditto. The lovely setting, a wedding and the detailed relationships between father, mother and daughter are all examined in a way that viewers will find enlightening and touching.

    TV: It could be a TV movie. The lovely setting, a wedding and the detailed relationships between father, mother and daughter are all examined in a way that viewers will find enlightening and touching.

    Key points: Beautiful scenic setting, lush wedding set up, attractive people in pretty clothes, a touching and poignant back story, the feel good relationships between parents and daughter.

    Synopsis

    France, present day. At a gorgeous rural mansion wedding venue, KENNEDY THOMPSON (35, blonde) arrives to get into hair and make-up done by her friend Lily. She receives a hand-delivered package, a beautifully bound book of personal letters written by her father, Eric, since she was a baby, a testament to his life and love for her and his wife, Brandy, and the struggles they have overcome.

    35 years before, ERIC (27) and his business partner DAN (27) were rising corporate stars. Eric was taken aback when his wife Brandy found herself pregnant. He’d never really wanted children, or not so soon. He’s very anxious it might take valuable time away from the business which he’s so worked so hard to succeed. Eric had moved to Florida to be with Brandy and they set off to the OB-GYN for an ultrasound. Brandy is deeply hurt when he reminds her they haven’t discussed the option of abortion. She is ready to throw him out and be a single mom. They met a few months before, both coming out of bad relationships. For Eric, a brief first marriage, for Brandy, having dumped her cheating fiancé. Using an online dating app, they matched, met and fell in love. He asks her to move in with him after two days! She is temporarily living with her mother whom she doesn’t get on with.

    Baby Kennedy is born and they relocate from NYC to suburban Miami where they have a modest house and pool. Brandy is struck by severe post-partum depression and Eric steps back at work, letting Dan take over, in order to care for his wife. They meet their new neighbors, Natalie and her husband, Pedro, and their adorable son, ELLIOT (4) – Kennedy’s future boyfriend! Brandy’s health doesn’t get better and after several tests, she is diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and a thyroid problem, which requires surgery.

    Even though they’ve just bought a new house, Eric’s business expands and he’s offered a post in Montenegro, moving into a seaside house. In the book Kennedy now reads, there are photographs of her traveling all over Europe with her parents. Even though they’ve moved abroad, Eric still had to fly back to the States for business meetings and both Brandy and Kennedy chafe at his frequent absences. After a couple of years, they move back to the States where Kennedy starts middle school and reunites with Elliot.

    As they grow up, her friends tease her that he’s her boyfriend but Kennedy says they are just friends. Kennedy graduates and goes off to college; Elliot attends a different one. Kennedy is thrilled when her father rents her a beautiful loft apartment, instead of sleeping in cramped dorms, and also gives her a Range Rover.

    Kennedy is an A-student and tries to live a quiet life but one weekend her friends persuade her to go to a frat party where her drink is drugged and she is almost sexually assaulted. She calls her father in a panic, begging him to come get her. He races there from seventy miles away as her mother stays on the phone for moral support. However, when Eric takes shaken Kennedy home for the weekend, they find the house empty and a neighbor tells them Brandy has been rushed to hospital! She has suffered a ‘thyroid storm’ in which blood and heart rates reach dangerously elevated levels. She codes on the surgeon’s table and is brought back to life. More years pass and Kennedy graduates, going on to gain an MBA. Her father buys her loft apartment for her as a gift. By now, Kennedy and Eliot, who have stayed in touch, have begun dating. Eric doesn’t want Kennedy going into the family business – unless she wants to later. He thinks it’s important for her to make her own mark, which she does very well.

    Coming up to her 30th birthday, Kennedy is called home by a panicked call from her father: Brandy has collapsed again with another thyroid storm and again, she almost dies. Surgery is very risky given her weak heart but they must remove her thyroid. We’re back to the beginning where Kennedy is relieved when her father finally shows up. He’s been missing all day! He admits he had to quickly fly to Paris to collect a gift. Kennedy finishes dressing and joins the bridesmaids. We realize it’s not her wedding but her parents renewing their vows on their 25th anniversary! Brandy, in a gorgeous wedding dress, is brought out in a wheelchair but bravely rises to walk down the aisle. Eric gives her a key – to the beautiful Paris apartment they once stayed in on vacation, with a view of the Eiffel tower. He’s purchased it for her. Kennedy also surprises them by revealing she’s pregnant! A few weeks later, Elliot tells her he’s been offered a job in France and would like to relocate. Kennedy thinks it’s a great idea, since her soon-to-be-retired father and her mother will be spending more time in Paris.

    Months later, Kennedy gives birth to a little girl and Eric surprises them by buying them a beautiful French chateau to live in. The story ends with Kennedy’s letter to her daughter, continuing on Eric’s tradition.

    About The Author

    This debut novel, based on the author's life, demonstrates a flair for descriptive writing and emotionally engaging characters. Themes of parent-child relationships, problems and solutions, as well as a mother with a chronic illness, are all themes that a broad audience can relate to.