New Life Incognita

Gracie C. McKeever

Book Cover

GENRE

SUSPENSE/THRILLER ROMANCE DRAMA

    Core Theme

    REINCARNATION

    TIME PERIOD

    20th Century (multiple decades),Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    DROP DEAD DIVA, CLOUD ATLAS

    CHARACTER LIST

    KELLY BUTLER: (20S). DECEASED MALE DRUG DEALER WHO IS REINCARNATED AS THE BEAUTIFUL DAGNY DIAZ.

    TYLER DIAZ: (LATE 20S-30S). DAGNY'S HUSBAND, NYPD NARCOTICS OFFICER.

    EDGE RUSSELL: (20S). DAGNY'S FORMER LOVER. ANTAGONIST.

    JORDAN RAMSEY: (20S). DAGNY'S BEST FRIEND.

    AMIRE REYNOLDS: (20S): KELLY'S EX GIRLFRIEND.

    CAMILLA DIAZ: (50S). TYLER'S MOTHER. FAMOUS WICCAN.

    Logline

    A young black man is shot down in the streets in a drive-by. But a mistake has been made. Kelly shouldn't have died. So he's returned to Earth in the body of a young comatose white woman married to a hot looking Latino narc cop. Can Kelly resolve the questions surrounding his death?

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    New York

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Gracie C. McKeever

    Year Published: 1998

    Starting Description

    Kelly, a powerful young black Wiccan, the seventh son of a seventh son, is killed in a drive-by shooting, goes to the Summerland and is sent back to earth in the body of a young married white woman in the name of redemption.

    Ending Description

    Kelly resolves his marriage to another man, Tyler Diaz, now that he's a woman named Dagny, and falls in love with Dagny's husband along the way. Kelly also returns to his former love, Amire, to warn and protect her from the man responsible for his death.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Nudity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other,Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Kelly Butler

    Age: Mid-20's

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Masculine,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Heroic,Blunt,Skillful,Funny,Sarcastic,Romantic,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Tyler Diaz

    Age: Mid-Late 20's

    Gender: Male

    Role: Skeptic

    Key Traits: Masculine,Sexy,Badass,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Heartthrob,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Seductive,Romantic,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Edge Russell

    Age: Late 20's-Early 30's

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Uneducated,Charming,Blunt,Criminal,Desperate,Greedy,Insecure,Lone Wolf,Sarcastic,Power Hungry

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Amire Reynolds

    Age: Mid-Late 20's

    Gender: Female

    Role: emotional

    Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Honorable,Seductive,Romantic

    Development Pitch

    Kelly Butler is a native New Yorker from a large close-knit family. The seventh son of a seventh son he is, at a tender but hardened twenty-four, a gifted, reluctant natural psychic and a streetwise homeboy imbue with a false sense of his own immortality as he skirts the fast lane in the hood. Only after he is cut down in a seemingly random act of violence and is reincarnated in the body of a married woman, does Kelly come to appreciate and respect his abilities and understand the real purpose of his talents. Tyler Diaz is a dedicated and driven NYPD narcotics detective still reeling from his teenage brother's death to an overdose. Haunted by the notion that his mother's unorthodox Wiccan beliefs were the cause of Gabriel's descent into the drug culture, Tyler's been on a personal mission ever since – one that alienates his wife more than the immense social gap between them ever could. When Dagny Diaz emerges from a two-week long coma – an apparent amnesia victim emotionally and philosophically unrecognizable as the frivolous and decadent young woman to whom Tyler has been married for the last five years and against whom he has recently filed for divorce – Tyler's past comes full circle and he is forced to face the unresolved feelings of blame he has long harbored toward his mother as he comes to the glaring realization that he is still in love with his wife.

    Genre

    THRILLER, SUSPENSE, ROMANCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Kelly Butler's consciousness is transferred to a petite white woman in a coma after his body was murdered. Kelly struggles to adjust to his new life while also trying to figure out what happened to the woman he is inhabiting, Dagny. Kelly, a former wiccan, gets help from his mother in law and his old psychic abilities to save the love of his former life and Dagny's marriage.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes for the most part the book profile stays true to the narrative. The short summary's second section's wording is a bit confusing and could be separated into multiple sentences for clarification.

    Draw of Story

    The concept that a black male wiccan in an urban setting is already compelling, but to then have the character die and be reincarnated in a comatose white woman's body is a wholly unique premise.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The perspective of Kelly as Dagny is so intriguing that showing other characters observations of the new Dagny sometimes takes away from Dagny's development. Indeed there is added tension of them not knowing Kelly is inside, but Kelly solving the mystery of his murder and Dagny's past too compelling to pause at times The characters could easily show their reactions and ideas without changing the omniscient thoughts of Kelly.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that a six foot tall black man is reincarnated as a short white woman and it is not a campy comedy but a heartfelt mystery and romance.

    Fanbase Potential

    Yes this could have a large fan base but varying in audiences depending on if the romance angle or the mystery angle is the focus.

    Awards Potential

    This is unlikely to have awards potential given the genres and supernatural psychic elements but could have potential in popular awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    TRU CALLING, PRACTICAL MAGIC, 13 GOING ON 30, ALL OF ME

    What’s New About the Story

    The hook is that a six foot tall black man is reincarnated as a short white woman and it is not a campy comedy but a heartfelt mystery and romance.

    Lead Characters

    Kelly is quick on his feet and adaptable like no other. He is genuinely caring and not afraid to sacrifice himself for the ones he loves. Tyler is a skeptical but upstanding guy ridden by guilt over his brother, however his surprise faith in his wife pays off.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is a rare gem of a concept of a drama about body switching that is both heartfelt and complex without being turned into a comedy. Making sure to retain Kelly's perspective as an imposter rather than fully integrated will keep the tension consistent.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    Although the perspective of the protagonist can get a bit confusing, the premise of a young black wiccan man being reincarnated as a comatose and drug addicted white woman with a collapsing marriage with the purpose of saving it is ambitious. The narrative actually delivers on its expectations and this is wholly entertaining with a lot of suspense when Kelly's old life starts to infiltrate his new life as Dagny just as Kelly is starting to fall in love with her new life.

    Brief

    After a young Black man is gunned down in the streets, he is reincarnated as a beautiful white woman married to an NYPD Narcotics officer. As the man struggles to adapt to this new life, suspicions about his death arise and he must use a lifelong Wiccan gift to protect those he once loved, and those he has come to love.

    What We Liked

    NEW LIFE INCOGNITA explores reincarnation, and its effect on purpose. At its core, it asks a simple question: does the end of one's life mark the end of their journey? It then goes on to deliver the answer in an engaging, albeit somewhat convoluted way. In addition to reincarnation, the story explores the Wiccan practice which serves as a backdrop for the both the character arcs and a unifying plot line. It also explores gender, and generally does a great job of keeping things non-binary without being too heavy handed. Finally, a diverse cast makes the story feel inclusive, real and well-rounded. It's a high-tension, high-stakes story, with just a touch of comedic relief along the way.

    Theme is utilized well, and there's a great setup with a balance of high-tension/stakes and occasional comedic relief.

    NEW LIFE INCOGNITA could suit the television format quite nicely. The story doesn't have a distinct beginning or end point, leaving it open for series potential. There are also boundless subplots to explore, none of which feel quite complete yet. And it could blend the supernatural/sci-fi genre with suspense and drama, which in turn could appeal to a wide target market.

    Key points: Interesting exploration of gender.
    Diverse cast.
    Slight supernatural element.
    High-tension.
    Series potential.

    Synopsis

    KELLY (20s) looks down and sees his dead body, riddled with bullets. His girlfriend, AMIRE (20s) wails as Kelly’s body is loaded onto a stretcher and taken away. BEN (20s) tries to comfort her. Kelly wakes up in DAGNY DIAZ’S (20s) body, to Dagny’s husband, TYLER (20s-30s), and parents fighting about what’s best for her. When she wakes up again, EDGE RUSSELL (20s) stands over her bed. Kelly flashes back to their romantic trysts, as Tyler has Russell escorted from the hospital.

    Dagny asks Tyler to remind her how they met. We learn that Dagny was arrested for shoplifting and gave Tyler her phone number before he let her off with a warning. Almost a year later, Tyler busted Dagny in a drug sting at a friend’s party. As they retreat from the hospital, Kelly notices the leers from men. He vows to use Dagny’s feminism to make his way in this new life.

    Kelly is surprised at her expansive townhouse. As Tyler deposits the bags upstairs, Kelly looks at photos. He’s surprised to find that he doesn’t feel any emotion from the wedding photos, but trembles when he sees a photo of young Tyler wrestling with this brother. We learn that GABRIEL was only fifteen when he died of a drug overdose.

    Dagny awakens in the guest room, to Edge standing over her. He tries to kiss her, but Dagny pushes him away, suddenly certain that he was sent back to save Dagny's marriage. Tyler knocks on the door after hearing voices, and Edge refuses to leave until Dagny promises to see him again. With no other choice, Dagny agrees. Edge disappears from the window and Tyler enters, sure that Dagny is up to her old tricks again.

    When Tyler leaves for work, Edge pulls up. Kelly hesitates, but gets into his car and they go to the grocery store. Much to Kelly’s dismay, Edge pins her down and rapes her. Dagny tells him to never contact her again, but Edge promises that if she doesn’t agree to see him, he’ll kill both her and Tyler. Kelly asks Tyler to install a security system, despite her wishes pre-aneurysm. He visits Amire telepathically, knowing that she is in danger. He watches as Ben gets closer to her and tries to call out to warn her.

    Tyler hears Dagny scream and finds her arms bound with a scarf, on the bedroom floor. She asks him to stay with her, and he agrees. The next morning, Kelly puts on Dagny’s wedding ring and meets Tyler in the kitchen. He seems dismayed that she’s wearing it again, so when Tyler leaves for work Kelly finds a box of their wedding videos hoping to find clues about what went wrong in the marriage. At the bottom of the box he finds divorce papers and is catapulted into one of Dagny’s memories, where Tyler served her with divorce papers right before she had the aneurysm.

    JORDAN RAMSEY (20s) arrives and rolls a blunt for Dagny. Tyler arrives home and escorts Jordan from the house. Kelly denies smoking weed and they argue. She grabs a windbreaker and leaves Tyler angry, but grateful that he found his wife alive.

    Dagny returns hours later with a kitten, and a bag full of Wiccan paraphernalia. Tyler suggests they visit his mother, also a Wiccan, and Kelly agrees. He learns that Tyler’s mother is MADAM CAMIL.LA (50s), an occult practitioner that Kelly has admired for his entire life. Camilla immediately recognizes that Kelly is inhabiting Dagny’s body. She tells him that he must keep up the ruse. Kelly spends the next week struggling to avoid Tyler’s romantic gestures, afraid of what making love to him will mean. Finally, she gives in and enjoys it.

    Camilla tells Kelly that he must tend to Amire. She also tells him that he has made an enemy. Tyler struggles with returning to the city, worried that Dagny will quickly surround herself with bad influences again. Dagny urges Tyler to begin healing from losing Gabriel, and to stop blaming himself for the loss.

    Kelly and Tyler arrive back home, where Jordan informs Kelly that Edge has been looking for her. Tyler makes plans for Kelly’s birthday, and Kelly makes plans to visit a spa with Jordan. The salon is owned by LORRAINE REYNOLDS, Amire’s mother. Amire is at a loss for words when she sees Kelly, though she doesn’t know why. Kelly picks out a short cut, and Amire gets to work. Amire gives Kelly a course book for her college, and hopes to see Kelly in some of her metaphysical classes.

    Kelly calls the salon and invites Amire to meet her and Jordan for her birthday dinner. Lorraine insists that Amire go. Jordan drives Kelly home, and Kelly immediately senses that something is awry. She gets a phone call from Edge telling her to turn on the news, where she sees that two detectives have been shot. One was killed, and the other was saved by his vest. Hours later, a drugged-up Tyler arrives home with his partner, JACKSON.

    Tyler enjoys Kelly’s doting on him and gets jealous when she makes plans to study with Amire. Amire keeps trying to introduce her to Ben, but their paths don’t cross from some time. Once they do finally meet after a study session, Amire senses a power struggle between them.

    While Dagny is on her way home, Tyler finds Amire’s phone number on a business card. Ben answers the phone and Tyler assumes the worst. Dagny asks Tyler to trust her. Camilla calls for Dagny, and Tyler begs to know what transpired between them. Camilla makes plans to see her son and tell him the truth.

    Kelly has nightmares and, in the morning,, rushes to see Amire. He tells her that Ben is dangerous and finally convinces her of the truth. Meanwhile, Camilla convinces Tyler and he rushes back to the city. Amire confronts Ben and he admits that he set up Kelly to scare him. Kelly was killed in a hit gone wrong. Amire and Kelly escort Ben to turn himself in, when Edge arrives. Ben tries to intervene and Edge shoots him dead. Kelly agrees to go with Edge, just as Tyler pulls up. Chaos ensues and Kelly is able to grab the wheel. Kelly hovers over Dagny’s unconscious body, as Tyler and Amire try to revive her. Kelly awakens again, to learn that Edge died when his car exploded. Camilla marries Tyler and Kelly in a neo-Pagan ceremony, where they promise to be soul mates in this life and the next.

    About The Author

    A native New Yorker, Gracie C. McKeever has been writing since the age of seven. She has since gone on to author several novels, novellas and series, most with Siren Publishing.