Friday, May 2, 2014

The Writer's Voice Entry - ONE OF THOSE TIMES



Query:

Dear Writer's Voice Coaches,

Twelve-year-old Sam Heans is about to have the most amazing, and awful, year of his life. Until now, Sam has been about as edgy as a marshmallow. Case in point: the wildest thing he’s ever done is the sixth grade limbo contest. But a small book is about to change all of that in a big way.

When Sam finds a worn datebook on the sidewalk, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that it’s everything but ordinary. The book contains hints of things that will happen to him, like swinging off of Dead Man’s Jump into the river. Only it’s not predicting, it’s instructing. The book has a message for him, but he has to follow all of its clues to find answers, even if that means taking a risk or two along the way. By the time he’s finished, Sam will find that sometimes the best things in life come in unexpected packages.

ONE OF THOSE TIMES is a Middle Grade Magical Realism novel finished at 27,000 words, that should appeal to fans of Rebecca Stead.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,  
Sean Steinle

First 250: 

Sometimes people do stupid things for no reason. This wasn’t one of those times. Not that what I was about to do wasn’t stupid, because it most definitely was. It’s that I had a perfectly good reason—it was written in the datebook.

Apr 14 – Soar

And if experience had taught me anything, it was that no matter how crazy, or even life-threatening it seemed, the datebook’s advice was always right. Either that or it was trying to kill me. To be honest I was still a bit fuzzy on that part. It didn’t matter though; I was in way too deep to turn back now.

So that’s how I found myself squeezing the brake on my bike, my eyes slammed shut, sitting on the edge of the ridiculously steep hill behind my house. I forced one of my eyelids halfway up, and my stomach turned. A tiny speck at the bottom marked the flimsy ramp that my best friend and I had just thrown together using some scraps of wood from my garage.

“What if you die?” Rye asked. 

He looked anxious, like it was him on the bike. I faked a laugh. 

“You have the lens cap off, right?”

“Check.”

I let off the brake and started down the hill, mashing the pedals on my BMX to pick up speed. I’d need it if I wanted to clear the creek bed. I hit the ramp and flew. I mean I really flew. Only my bike wasn’t with me.

13 comments:

  1. I want the datebook right now! I want to read it along side my 11YO son. He already told me I have to sweet talk you into sending this to us!

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    1. Aw thanks, that's awesome to hear!! I think we could work something out, an ARC for an ARC? At your rate you'll have one out in no time! :)

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    2. Sean - Thank you so much! I think it's a GREAT idea.

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  2. This hits the MG sweet spot for me. Love the voice and the set up. Good luck in the contest!

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  3. That was an AMAZING opening page! I love the premise and that you open with an actual instruction from the date book. I would love to read this!

    Good luck!

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  4. Thanks for the encouraging comments everyone!!!

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  5. Nice opening. When You Reach Me is one of my favorite kid lit books, so you set the expectation high there, but it sounds like this book might just deliver. Good luck!

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  6. Sean, I really love this premise and your voice is amazing here. I keep coming back to this entry. The word count is too low, it shouldn't be lower than 30K, so you might want to beef it up a bit. With that said, and because I love this so much, WE WANT YOU ON OUR TEAM!!! Please pick us!!!!!

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  7. So happy to have you on Team Brenda! Please email me your query + 1st chapter at brenleedrake@gmail.com and I will give you further instructions.

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