Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Triangle Entry #8

Title: Son Of A (Hired) Gun
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Word count: 86,000


16-year-old Bixby Darwin’s life is thrown into a flux when he’s catapulted into the Witness Protection program.

Yesterday, Bix was Simon Rook.
Today he learned that he was once Sawyer Rock and that henceforth, he’ll be Bixby Darwin.

Yesterday, Bix was avoiding the get-to-know-my-son lunch his mother insisted on having with her current boyfriend, Omar.
Today, Omar was blown up along with his shop.

Yesterday, Bix suspected Omar was a terrorist.
Today, Bix learned his absentee father is an assassin.

Yesterday, Bix lived in Portland, Oregon where he rode the MAX rails, and drank Starbuck’s coffee at the corner shop. It didn’t matter which corner seeing as they were on every other one.
Today, Bix just landed in Cypher, Indiana where funeral processions are considered mass-transit and Folgers a high-brow coffee.

Yesterday, Bix wrote a successful blog and had over a thousand Twitter tweeps.
Today, he was told if he even tries to go on the internet, the Feds will fry his computer.

He’s a little concerned about what tomorrow will bring.

First 250:

I have imaginary conversations with my dad.

Some people call it blogging. But to me, my posts are the conversations with my dad that I’ve never been able to have, seeing as he abandoned us when I was still incubating. I imagine that he stumbles across my blog, Simon Says, and realizes that this Simon—this short but witty sixteen-year-old—is the son he left without a trace.

I like to think he regrets this loss. I like to think —

“Simon,” Mom calls down the hall to me. “If you make us any later I’ll—.”

“I’m ready.” Heading her off, I save my latest blog. Across the street, MAX pulls out of the station.

You’d think we were having lunch with someone more important than her latest boyfriend. But seeing as she’s reached the critical get-to-know-my-son juncture in this relationship, she’s a little on edge. Or ready to jump off one.

I take out my phone and tweet.

@Simonsays: Lunch at Melting Pot with Omar. Rather stay home than break bread (and dip it) with Mom’s florist/terrorist boyfriend.

“Simon,” Mom’s next call borders on hysteria. “You have to stop calling him a terrorist. What if he reads it?”

“Mom,” I duck under a cloud of hairspray and meet her gaze in the mirror, our brown eyes locking. “You’re assuming he reads more English than plutonium rich.”

Mom bites back a laugh, her mouth forming a heart. “He is not a terrorist.”

Notice she didn’t say he could read.


  1. Fantastic! I'd keep going, and I love that title!

  2. Yes, what everyone else has said--and that one line "I like to think he regrets..." The sadness flows right through it. Great!

  3. Great voice, and great idea. I like how the mom reads his Twitter account. :)

  4. The voice is great and I think the story sounds good too. I would consider shortening the query though. It is SUPER clever the way you have it laid out, but by the fourth one it had lost it's 'coolness'. I would pick the top three 'Yesterday's, Today's' and stick with those. That way it will leave the agent with a 'this is totally unique' feeling.

    The first 250 felt super real. Loved them

  5. Agree with Kelley. First 250 flow well. The query has a lot of information. It's good info but i had to read it twice to keep up with the info. Consider condensing it. But the first 250 are great.

  6. I agree. I think if I take the last two out, it would read more smoothly and flow better. I appreciate your recommendations ;)

  7. I'm very particular about boy voices, can't be too boy-boy but can't sound like a girl either. I think this has a great balance. Add in a little missing father and new identities.


    Partial please! 100 pages :)

  8. Did you hear my squee up North??? Thank you so much, Agent Vickie. Now I can go to bed and have sweet dreams.

  9. I love boy narrators, and Bix sounds great. Congrats on the request!

  10. First off, CONGRATS! YAY!

    I really like what you did with the query. Different, but in a good way!

  11. Thanks to everyone for their comments and especially to Cupid for running this contest and hopefully, many more to come. This was a blast. And it was so fun getting to read so many different and awesome stories.