Thursday, May 2, 2013

Writer's Voice Contest Entry

Hello, Everyone!

I have entered the Writer’s Voice Contest, put together by these lovely ladies: Cupid, Brenda Drake, Monica B.W., Krista Van Dozler, and Kimberly Chase. (They all have wonderful writing blogs, so check them out!)

This is my query and first 250 words for Trapped In Birch Stew, my upper MG fantasy. 

Main character, Eric Ortega.
(Photo credit to Moodboardphotography)
Query:
Eric Ortega was rescued by the people of Birch Stew. At least that’s what he was told.

Eric doesn’t remember anything about being possessed by a demon, but, then again, there’s a lot Eric doesn’t remember. Like anything about his mother. Now he’s stuck in a town full of unfriendly immortals while desperately trying to regain his memories. All he gets for his efforts is this itchy feeling in the back of his brain that his mom needs him.

He’s told that he’s trapped in Birch Stew “for his own good,” but thirteen-year-olds don’t take kindly to that sort of reasoning. Eric sets out to recapture his missing memories and find his mother. He befriends a winged teenager and convinces her to help him escape. The thing is, Eric’s rescuers should have mentioned the one important reason for him to stay in Birch Stew. The demon is still alive and well. And it wants Eric back.

Complete at 62,000 words, TRAPPED IN BIRCH STEW is an upper middle grade fantasy with series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.


250 Word Excerpt:
Eric tried not to watch the things Thanos did. Staying sane was hard enough as it was.
            “Don’t bother,” Thanos said through Eric’s mouth.
But when Thanos spoke to his mom or sister, Eric watched every second, cringing at every word that gave Thanos away. Eric tensed behind the mental walls holding him in, ready to do anything he could, even though he couldn’t do anything at all.
 “Are you sure you don’t need help studying for your test?” Alyssa asked. And of course she couldn’t keep the concern out of her eyes.
“Please. Just let it go,” Eric begged even though his sister couldn’t hear him.
Thank God his mom was working her usual double shifts. Eric hadn’t seen her in days. But Alyssa was starting to get suspicious. The only thing that had saved his sister so far was her new boyfriend. She spent so much time with Gareth, and she was so freaking happy that she barely noticed anything around her. Eric just hoped it would last until he could figure out some way to keep her safe.
            “I thought you were worried about this one,” Alyssa said.
            “Certainly not,” said Thanos in that old fashioned way of his.
Of course Alyssa was getting suspicious. This thing that had a hold of his body and his mind couldn’t talk like a normal person. Imprisoned inside a tiny piece of his own brain, Eric shuddered. Thanos wasn’t anything like a normal person, no matter what he used to be.

This is a sketch I'd done of Salme (Eric's winged friend) and Eric a while ago.
The sketch has been living on my fridge.

21 comments:

  1. Ooh, what a great premise! And Eric sounds like a very adventurous MC! Good luck with this :)

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    1. You are amazing. Every post I look at, you've already commented on. And thank you so much for your comments. We all love people like you!

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  2. Great first page! So creepy! I would definitely keep reading.

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    1. Well, I'm fairly certain you two will be making it to the next round. Cooking up dragon AND a mob boss? Awesome.

      And creepy was definitely my intention. Gotta show what it is Eric needs to escape from even if he doesn't remember. Thanks!

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  3. A story for MG boys? This is awesome! Fingers crossed, Sarah!

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    1. Thank you so much. I will definitely keep them crossed!

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  4. LOVE the name Birch Stew. As a middle grade teacher, I'm always jazzed to find something I know my kiddos will dig. They'd crack up big time at Thanos controlling Eric's words.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I brainstormed for a while just could not get Birch Stew out of my head. And so here it is.

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  5. So the demon is inside him from the beginning? Creepy! Great entry!

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    1. Thank you! This is a new beginning, revised to up the creepy factor.

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  6. Creepy and intriguing. First page serves as a great hook. Best of luck to you. :)

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  7. This is really strong. I love a premise that works in a literal, straightforward fashion (holy carp, he's possessed by a demon!), but also has potential as a metaphor.

    Leslie's comment intrigued me. If I'd read this as a kid, I would have found the concept of this kind of possession absolutely terrifying. I would have kept reading for that very reason -- I'd need to see the MC safely out of this situation. But I was a timid kid.

    Sincere best wishes, because I really want to read this now.

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    1. Thank you so much. And, yeah, I'm not big on being possessed by demons either. But it was definitely an interesting perspective.

      I really liked your humor and characters (and demon!) - wouldn't it be nice if we both made it?

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  8. Hi Sarah - first of all I love that you have a picture of your MC on your blog! That's awesome. It looks like an intriguing story. Your pitch is very good. Best of luck to you.

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  9. No playing around here. You go straight for the throat with that 250. And I see this overarching metaphor in the query: protection and the consequences of a kid's rebellion against it. Well done.

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  10. Best of luck to you and Eric. The stakes and his feeling of helplessness while under Thanos' control sound like a good read. :)

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  11. Go go MG!! Loved your pitch and your first 250, definitely sounds like an awesome read!

    I love the search for the memories premise - def something I want to dig into.

    Great job, good luck!

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    1. Thank you! Yours was an amazing MG pitch too. It made me jealous b/c my book doesn't have a single robot in it.

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  12. Eric sounds like a great MC and you've certainly set up the stakes well! Good luck!

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  13. This sounds AWESOME. Best of luck to you!

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