Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #29

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 82,500


Seventeen-year-old Jerome Harold Prewitt III is not the first to fall to the Underworld, but he is the first to survive.

Since he was twelve, Jerome has suspected that someone is out to get him. When a jungle cat attacks him in a suburban cemetery, his doubts flee faster than he does. Almost. He’s fortunate the girl with brown eyes he just met (sitting on her own headstone, no less) knows how to handle wild animals.

Jerome can't convince anyone about the attacks, but his rescuer returns again and again when he needs her most. That is until the latest assailant takes her by mistake, leaving Jerome falling from his neighborhood, which is suspended miles above the planet’s surface.

Now Jerome is stuck in the Underworld with no one to rely on but himself. As he plans a rescue mission and tries to find who is behind the attacks, he learns the Brown-Eyed Girl has her own secret--one that could lead to the end of the world if discovered by her abductors. She's a time-traveller. All Jerome has to do now is find his answers, stop the attacks, rescue the damsel, get home, and save the world. No big deal.

First 250:

At twelve years and not old enough for a title, the Boy kept his focus on the moss-covered cobblestones at his feet, but he stopped his daily walk through the cemetery at a sight even he could not dismiss.

"You shouldn’t do that.” He narrowed his eyes and glared with indignation.

"Do what?" The target of his fury, a girl no older than he, swung her legs back and forth. She had brown eyes, but as for her other features, he had not taken the time to notice them. He found something else far more interesting.

"What you’re doing, sitting on that headstone there."

"And why shouldn’t I?" Her question seemed genuine, but the Boy could not fathom how she could not see the issue with her actions.
"Because. Someone died there."

The Brown-Eyed Girl brushed an orange leaf from the headstone. "No they didn’t. Not one of these people died here. They all died at home in their beds, or abroad in the world, or wherever it suited the world best to have them die."

The Boy paused in surprise at her response, but could not deny she was right. "Well, I’m sure that person doesn’t want you sitting on his headstone.”

"Oh, I’m quite certain she doesn’t mind."

The Boy jolted. Who did she think she was? He puffed up his chest. "And how can you be so certain?"

She ran her fingers through her hair and shook it loose. "Because,” she said, “this headstone is mine.”


  1. I've been captivated by this query/first page for months. GO BROWN EYES GO!!!

  2. Oh man, I'm all over this. I love the voice and I love the magical feel of it. I remember reading the opening at WOC too (right?) and it's just wonderful!

  3. LOVED the voice and the title. Good luck!

  4. Love this title. And when I read the end of your 250, I thought, "ooh, this is creepy--but in a GOOD way!" Good luck with this. Sounds interesting.

  5. Thanks guys! Love all the great comments. You're making my day!

  6. Ahhh, I love the voice here! It's so well done, and everything feels very well put-together.

    Good luck!!

  7. I love the image of the girl perched on her headstone, and I think the concept is really cool!

    I think the query is really close, but there were a few parts that confused me... Like "leaving Jerome falling from his neighborhood, which is suspended miles above the planet’s surface." I got stuck on this because the way it was phrased made me wonder whether this was a surprise to him or not. Then, I had a hard time reconciling that phrase with the fact that he ended up in the Underworld. Perhaps simplify and just say that he fell to the underworld. And maybe put the fact that he was the first to fall there and survive there because the transition between the first sentence and the rest of the query kind of threw me off, too. Other than that, though, I think it's a great query!

    And, of course, I fell right into your first 250... :)

  8. This is a wonderful start. Love the voice, love the girl with brown eyes. Strong fun writing. The query sounds like this is going to be a wild ride.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Now that's a premise. Loved your 250. Good work!

  10. Saw many versions of this query during it's evolution! Still in love with this story!

  11. Your title and last sentence are very promising. You're in! Good luck!

  12. Thank you so much! I'm super excited. Yipee! Oh, I mean I'm celebrating in a very professional manner, I can assure you. Professional means happy dancing right?

  13. :) Yes! Happy dancing is always appropriate - haha!

  14. I love the title. Love it! congrats!

  15. Love the title, love the premise, love the voice.

  16. Love that last sentence, and congrats!

  17. Love the voice and can't wait to see where this goes. It sounds like an enjoyable read. Good luck.