Friday, May 2, 2014

My Writer's Voice Entry

I was one of the lucky people who got into The Writer's Voice! TWV's is a contest in which you post your query and first 250 w/the hopes of being picked for a team. Here goes! *takes deep breath* 

Query:

Boston, 1777 The British left because something worse arrived.

By day, seventeen-year-old Amity Somerset is an obedient daughter. She perfects her needlework, learns French, practices the minuet, and just like her parents, studiously ignores all that has gone wrong in their world— such as the deaths of her three siblings at the claws of gargoyles. Yet at night, in the company of the Nighters, she rallies against the bloodthirsty supernatural creatures that hunt the citizens of Boston as their favorite prey. 

Upset with her parents over the announcement of her arranged marriage, Amity breaks the Nighter's number one rule: Never go on shift alone. She nearly meets her demise by spiked gargoyle tail until an outsider named Patrick saves her life. Desirous of becoming a Nighter, he's quickly inducted into their ranks. But Patrick has his own reasons besides vengeance for joining up reasons that have the potential to change the future of the newly formed United States of America. 

Because as Amity soon discovers, not all gargoyles are mindless predators...or fully grown. 

Liberty or Death is a YA historical fantasy, complete at 97,000 words. 

250:

The coal chute is what I imagine a snake’s belly to be like— cold, cramped, and dark. I slide through the soot-tainted air and land with a dull thump upon a goose-down mattress. A gargoyle’s high-pitched scream vibrates the metal overhead, along with several loud clangs.
Scrambling up, I look quickly ‘round. My favorite knife had made the descent ahead of me, knocked from my hand as I’d dived for the chute. Before I can spy it, my partner flies out in a blur of dark clothing and pale skin— and lands with an audible hiss of pain.
I grimace at Benjamin, hoping some soft, vital part of him hadn’t found my knife in landing. My concern abates as he clambers off the mattress, his head bent over his hand. Set in the soft pad of his palm is a small hole. Though Nighters often incur injury over their nail-studded shields, the occasional puncture wound is infinitely better than being taken by a gargoyle.
Puncture wounds can heal; a caught and carried means certain death.
“Would this be yours?”
The cellar guard holding out my knife isn’t one I recognize. As word of us has grown, the Nighters have swelled in rank, drawing others with a desire to protect our city. I take the knife with murmured thanks and return it to my pistol belt.
Below the leather, my hip aches; there’s nothing comfortable about landing on pistol butts and unforgiving knife handles.
* * *

To the coaches, thanks for the opportunity! To all my fellow entrants, best of luck!

74 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh I LOVE this! I cannot wait to read it. My bf and I just watched a ton of the gargoyles cartoons on YouTube. I love them! Good luck!!

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    1. Thank you! And gargoyle cartoons...? *ears perk up* =)

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  2. You made it! I don't think I've seen your story before, but I'm glad to. Gargoyles are a different side of paranormal for sure. Great work and good luck!

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    1. I did! =) Thanks, Rochelle, and to you as well!

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  3. Intriguing story! Best of luck!

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  4. I love it! The query completely piques my interest and the excerpt is well-written and has me wanting more! I love the idea of gargoyles taking over a city and the 1777 setting sounds fun!

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    1. Thank you! I had fun w/the setting, too- when I wasn't stressing over historical details, that is. ;)

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    2. That's what would intimate me if I ever wrote in a historical setting. I can only imagine how much time it took for research.

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  5. Congrats on making it in and good luck on getting picked for a team. Historical is so hard. I have tons of admiration for you. Loved the excerpt! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lexa! I have to say that's one super nice thing about currently writing a dystopian right now- I can throw out a few 'dude!'s or 'whatever's whenever I feel like it. ;) No worrying about time period!

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  6. LOVE the historical angle and the concept of the Nighters. Great start! Good luck in the contest!

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  7. Great job! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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  8. Congratulations on being picked for this contest. I loved your query. Gargoyles. Definitely creepy and something that I haven't read about AT ALL. **wonderful for you to think of it** And the historical aspect is pretty great, too. (Do you watch the TV Show Sleepy Hollow? If not, you should watch the first season on Netflix or DVD.) I love it when a writer takes an event that everyone knows about it and then *fictionally* gives it a twist. Really love your story!!!! Good Luck:)

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    1. Thanks, Robin! And, yup, I was so super excited about Sleepy Hollow, I watched the first couple of episodes(loved the main guy and the bits of humor he displayed) but then realized...it was a bit too creepy for me to watch! Lol! I'm a big chicken...

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  9. Good luck, Leandra! I love gargoyles!

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  10. This sounds so cool, I love your excerpt - I'm totally hooked! Good luck!!

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  11. This sounds great, and I LOVE the last line of your query. Best of luck!

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    1. Oh, thanks! Lots of things have come and gone in my query, 'cept that line. =)

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  12. Oooh, this looks amazing. Good luck with your entry!

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  13. Well, looks like I'm not alone! Your query for an alternate-history Boston piqued my interest, even though I'm not so much a paranormal fan. Where you really hooked me was your first 250 though. Very smooth and compelling. I'm sure you'll ind a home with this!

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  14. This rocks!!! I really want to read on :) Awesome job, Leandra!

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  15. Good luck in the contest! What's your title/genre/intended age (YA/MG/Adult)/word count, btw? The coaches will want to know this.

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    1. Good catch, Annette! Thanks! I've got it updated now. Thanks again!

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  16. You go girl! I am uber prouds to be your CP and friend.

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  17. Really nice concept and fascinating setting. Best of luck!

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  18. GARGOYLES *_* I hope you make it into a team with this one.

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  19. This sounds soo good!!! Awesome! Good luck!

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  20. You have a way with words, that's for sure. I rec'd both a book of love poems and a gargoyle when I got married ... it is a reminder to be kind even when I don't feel like it :)

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    1. I would have loved a gargoyle when I got married, lol! I've looked at a few little statues on line, but none of them are quite right.

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  21. Woohoo! This will get snatched up for sure.

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  22. This story sounds really intriguing! Your first 250 make me want to read more for sure. Good luck!

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  23. I love this so much! Good luck in the contest!

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  24. WOOO!! Tell me if you get a success story from this one! Loved it for the Writer's Tank.

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  25. That is awesome! Love it. The blurb starts with an excellent hook, and I love paranormal stories like this. It's unique and the excerpt is well written. Good luck!

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  26. Love the historical aspect! Good luck!

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  27. Great entry! The main character sounds like a strong one, one I'd like. Good luck!

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  28. I WANT YOU! A historical with gargoyles! A kick ass heroine! And an unsuspected romance with the ”monster/enemy." Talk about a unique concept that left me gasping for more. Your opening line in the query had me hook, line, and sinker. It then continued on to concisely deliver the stakes in an easy and understandable way. I felt in very capable hands. Your opening 250 began just as strong and well written. I do think we can work together on the opening 250/first chapter to make Amity’s voice really stand out. I think it would also be great (especially for the contest) to have the last sentence in your 250 end on some sort of a hook. We really want to leave the agent (and reader) desperate for more. I have a feeling there’s plenty of exciting moments just around the corner to work with! You’re clearly a talented writer and I’d really love the chance to work with you and LIBERTY OR DEATH!

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    1. First- aaahhh! I love to be wanted(with caps, no less!) =) So thank you! Your suggestions sound great, and I always love the opportunity to make my story stronger and better. Thanks again!

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  29. Wow. CONGRATS! It sounds like such a great read. Well written, and magical. :)

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  30. Gah! I'm SO torn here!! I was on my way to post the "I want you" comment here, when I saw Kimberly's comment up there. And now Kimberly says she's all hugs and kisses... and doesn't like to fight... Aaaah!! Okay. Tell you what. What if I read your next five pages and see if I tackle Kimberly with hugs? Otherwise I really don't know what to do to decide... O.o
    My email is: moni.bwATgmailDOTcom.
    Thanks!

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    1. I'd love to send you the first five! Thanks for asking! I'll get them to you once I get home from work this afternoon. Thanks again! =)

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    2. AWESOME!! Thanks! Can't wait. *refreshes email just in case*

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  31. This looks so great! Congratulations on getting into the contest, and good luck!

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  32. Yeehaw! for getting selected. So excited.

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    1. Thanks! Today has sure been fun. =) And I'm super grateful for the the interest!

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  33. So....it looks like I might have some competition! I’m going to be super proactive and give you a quick sales pitch! Why would you want to be on my team? I’ve been helping writers find agents for the past two years by participating in contests just like this one. I’m also the creator of AgentTreat, a Halloween themed pitch contest. In fact, my Writer’s Voice co-coach, Dannie Morin, landed her agent in that contest. (Let me take a sec to brag about Dannie….she’s not only an awesome person, but she has an incredible eye for story structure and voice. That’s probably why she’s such a great editor and I’m so thankful she’s on my team.) I write both YA and NA. I’ve worked with agents and editors. My debut novel, THE APOLLO ACADEMY, is an Amazon Science Fiction Romance Bestseller and a Writer’s Digest Honorable Mention Award Recipient. But most of all, I’m totally in love with your concept and I really hope you’ll join my team!

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    1. Lol, you're awesome! =) I am so grateful that you want Liberty or Death, it makes me happy to the tips of my toes. Today has been amazing! So y'all, I am happy to report that I am honored to be a part of Kimberly P. Chase's team for The Writer's Voice!!!!! My team captain writes about SPACE and is a PILOT- it doesn't get any more epic than that! *grins* Thanks, Kimberly! =)

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    2. Ooooh! Congrats! Kimberly is lucky to have you, and it sounds like you're lucky to have her as well! I hope you do awesome in the agent round (I know you will)!

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    3. Oh, thanks, Samantha! I hope so too!

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  34. this sounds FANTASTIC...fingers crossed for you!!

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    1. Thank you! Can you cross your toes as well? ;) Lol!

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  35. Hey Leandra!
    You ready get this show on the road?! We're so thrilled to have you on the team! Will you email me your query and 1st chapter as an attachment to kpchase(at)gmail.com ?
    Thanks!
    -K

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    1. Absolutely tootly! Off to do it right now. Thanks, Kimberly!

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