Tosay

Book Cover

ACTION ADVENTURE HISTORICAL FICTION

19th Century,Earlier 20th Century,2000s

J.D. Simmons

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Logline

A Cavalry officer is tasked with subduing and returning to the San Carlos Apache hostiles raiding in the territory. He enlists the use of Apache Scouts to aid in his mission. Two of the scouts are brother and sister and have a grudge to settle with two of the leaders of the hostile Apaches.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Historical Fiction

Short Summary

Mexican soldiers cross into Arizona and attack an Apache village. The daughter of one of the Apache families follows the Mexicans back into Mexico and captures and tortures to death the officer commanding the Mexican troops.


Matilde, the step sister of the Apache scout leader Tosay, marries the Colonel of the Cavalry regiment she and her brother scouted for. She lives into the 1950's beginning a family that works for and helps a rancher fighting for his land against a Mexican drug cartel.

Setting

Southeastern region of the Arizona territory.

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Other

Plot - Other Elements

Other

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Matilde

Age: Teen's - Twenties

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Sexy,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Romantic,Charming,Modest

Additional Character Details

Name: Colonel Devins

Age: 30's

Gender: Male

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Patriotic,Outspoken,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Selfless,Decisive

Additional Character Details

Name: Tosay

Age: 20's

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Masculine,Religious,Blunt,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Hostile Apache brothers, Bimisi and Tortuga, are off the reservation and raiding in southeastern Arizona. Chiricahua Apache Tosay and his Spanish step sister Matilde have a long family personal grudge against the brothers. They sign on to serve as Apache scouts for Colonel Devins, the new commanding officer of the cavalry regiment operating in the area. Devins is tasked with subduing the brothers and their followers and returning them to the San Carlos reservation. Tosay and Matilde want the brothers dead.

About The Author

An Army veteran, college graduate, rescue team medic and tracker, an adjunct weapons instructor, and English riding instructor, Mr. Simmons is a resident of Tucson, Arizona and is familiar with the deserts of the southeastern part of the state. He has two other published books, 'Spartan Eagle' and 'Michala.'

Target Audiences

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

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Amazon KDP

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

9781727098112

Genre

ACTION

Brief

Matilde is adopted into an Apache family as a baby despite being Spanish. She is raised with her older brother Tosay. After their tribe is attacked they forge a new path as scouts for the American army. Their professional and personal lives soon collide as they are tasked with tracking their sworn enemies.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The logline reflects Devins as the main character, but Matilde is more of the protagonist given that the story of her family and legacy is told in the epilogue. By adjusting the description to be more Matilde-centric, the book profile will more accurately reflect the narrative's focus.

Draw of Story

The idea of a Native American woman as the main character of a Western is intriguing as it is not seen often. Setting the story in the rich dense politics of the west involving Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans and Apaches in which Native Americans work with rather than against Westerners is also rare.

Possible Drawbacks

Making Matilde live between three cultures and having her marry a Western man could be seen as feeding into the noble savage trope as well as the white savior trope. There is also heavy physical description of Matilde as a woman throughout the book to which the men are not given as characters or valued in such a way in their interactions. By having Matilde valued for virtues such as her learning ability, the character and her friendships would be more layered. This would prevent other characters appearing to just be interested in her for her looks or otherness.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that the plot centers around a Native American woman seeking revenge in the Wild West. It is rare to have a Native American as the protagonist, especially a woman in a historical Western and even rarer that the conflict is not between natives and Westerners.

Fanbase Potential

This could interests people who enjoy Westerns or historical dramas. This also might appeal to feminists due the empowerment of Matilde within the story. Although feminists can prove to be a large audience, because of the historically driven mindset depicted in the narrative they also might be off-put so it is a toss-up.

Awards Potential

The academy does favor historical dramas so this could win in design aspect for its unique cultural mixture and historical setting or for acting. The main characters have a lot of traumatic events from the scalping of their parents to killing their enemy and falling in love so the actors have a lot to work with in order to get awards notice for their range through these characters.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

REVENGE (2017 FRENCH FILM), INTO THE WEST, WIND RIVER, GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND, LITTLE BIG MAN, WOMAN WALKS AHEAD

What’s New About the Story

The story is original in that it features Apaches as the main characters and the conflict isn't strictly between natives and colonial powers. What could make it more unique is to not make Matilde live between three cultures so as not to play into the noble savage or mixed ancestry tropes. Making Matilde just Apache would allow her to represent Native women in a truer sense and not be valued for being exotic, but for her cultural heritage and learning abilities.

Lead Characters

Matilde stands out in her ability to be self-sufficient. This self-sufficiency and resourcefulness is shown in her Apache survival skills, elaborate Mexican cooking while living out of an army tent and ability to socialize within multiple cultures.

Uniqueness of Story

This story has very strong characters with a lot of potential, but the main woman is given value not through her accomplishments, but for her beauty and exotic presence. Her story ends not with her and her brother's successful revenge, but in her inevitable marriage to a white soldier. A side plot of romance is fine, but giving Matilde magnetism aside from her beauty as a white woman would help add layers to her relationship. Tosay and Matilde's relationship is very strong and making their brother sister dynamic the focus of the plot rather than Matilde finding a suitable husband would help make the story more unique. Functional siblings as the center of a drama and a drama about native families is very rare.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Shifting the focus from Matilde and Devins to more of a focus of Matilde and Tosay's story, even if Matilde remains an adopted white woman in the Apache world, is an extremely interesting dynamic to consider. They have lost most of their tribe and seen their parents scalped remains and that is never really addressed which is a lot of trauma that could be analyzed in their character development. Having to navigate the political sphere of the colonizers in order to survive is another element that is just accepted but would likely be a source of inner conflict for the pair. Devin's interest in Matilde as a side plot could work out, but he would need to be a stronger deeper character in his own right. The pair may also need to have a more founded connection before they initiate a romance in order for their attachment to be logical. However at present their interactions can appear surface level as he seems to like her for her beauty and her cooking and she likes him because of his status and interest in her.