Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #11

Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Nora Greene knows the value of personal space all thanks to her ability to see people’s thoughts just by touching them. And being thrust into the overactive imaginations of her often horny and horror-movie-obsessed classmates gets old fast. As if seeing other's sick fantasies isn't bad enough, she has to deal with the massive headaches and occasional blackouts that seem to be a part of the gig. That's why she's been keeping to herself since kindergarten.

That changes when she’s forced to take part in a group play in class, and Adrian Lockhart leans his knee against hers. She sees a vision of a school shooting in his head and has to know if this is an errant thought, or a plan. To find out, she volunteers to play his character’s love interest, but after spending time together practicing she falls for his laidback attitude and killer smile. Just when she starts to question her involvement with Adrian, he makes a confession that changes everything. Nora's relieved to know that she's got him all wrong, but now they've got to find the true identity of the potential gunman before it’s too late--and people get hurt.

THINK OF ME is a YA paranormal, complete at 52,000 words. It will appeal to fans of WAKE and EVERMORE. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
H.C.


THINK OF ME

As soon as the final bell rings, I spring out of my desk and head straight for the hall, dark flyaway hairs tickling my face. I smooth the strands out of my eyes to scrutinize my classmates. They shuffle toward Emerson High’s main exit, two heavy doors with initials and crude pictures etched into them. I fall into the crowd next to Mark and hesitate for a moment. Then, with a slightly shaking hand, I brush my fingers against his knuckles.

Katie Westmore is so hot. What I wouldn’t do for the chance to--

I jerk my arm away, wrinkling my nose. He’s staring at Katie, eyes narrowed, as if trying to conjure up x-ray vision. I wonder what he’d do if he knew that, with a simple touch, I can hear his thoughts. Blush? Run away? Call me a freak?

Tapping into his mind wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I even don’t have a headache, yet. My heartbeat’s racing, but I don’t think it’s a side effect, just excitement. I hang back from the throng of juniors and lean against the royal blue lockers that line the hall.

6 comments:

The Agent said...

The problem with having a psychic character is that it's overused. You do have a good twist that might be able to survive the stigma. This is a query that doesn't shout at me, either good or bad. You walk us through too many plot points and I'm not getting a great sense of who your characters are. The word count worries me, it might be too short (or this could be preference).

Sample Page: I get no sense of who your character is. Why would she chance a headache just to see inside someone's head? Why would she want to? I don't understand her motivations. As I said above, telepathy is overused, which means your first page needs to be amazing.

Sharon Bayliss said...

Your query did grab me. I think the idea of having to stop a school shooting based on a vision is interesting and I would have kept reading after the first page. I do admit, I did think about how the main character's affliction sounds a lot like Sookie Stackhouse. I think you can get past this, but I suggest doing as much as you can to highlight how your story is different from other telepathy stories in the query.

Good luck!

Ru said...

This is probably needlessly nitpicky, but:

"And being thrust into the overactive imaginations of her often horny and horror-movie-obsessed classmates gets old fast. As if seeing other's sick fantasies isn't bad enough, she has to deal with the massive headaches and occasional blackouts that seem to be a part of the gig. That's why she's been keeping to herself since kindergarten."

I assume the reason she's been keeping to herself since kindergarten is the blackouts and headaches, not the "sick fantasies" (as I can't imagine too many horny or horror movie obsessed six-year-olds) but by putting the two images together, I can't help but wondering what kind of elementary school this kid went to.

Marquita Hockaday said...

I love your query--at first I was like, this seems like a lot of books I've read before, but then you hit me with the insight into the head of a possible school shooter and I am hooked! I think your first 250 words are intriguing. I would read on :)

Emily said...

I think the query is perfect. It has interesting details, a good voice, and takes us through the story.

I also like the sample page a lot although the first paragraph isn't interesting. The first line should grab the reader more. I also don't get why she touches the guy's hand. Either give us a reason or make it an accident.

Melinda said...

I zoned out during the query, but then the school shooter part grabbed me and I stayed.

I agree the first paragragh could be more interesting. Good job!