Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #47

Genre:  YA Magical Realism
Word Count:  57,000


For Taylor Anderson, even death can’t erase the memories of her final weeks on earth.

She is haunted by the words her classmates whispered as she walked the hallways of her high school (whore, whore, whore), and can’t shake the painful ache left in her gut after Sunny, her now ex-best friend, did the horrible thing that caused it all.

Death should make everything disappear, but when Taylor is hit by a car she doesn’t get an afterlife filled with harp-playing angels and peaceful thoughts.  Instead, she appears in front of a staircase that climbs up into the sky, with no end in sight and nothing to keep her company except the ghosts of her past.

But the staircase is more than the empty relic it first appears to be.  Within it lies a second chance to uncover the true value of everything Taylor thought she wanted to leave behind, but first she must revisit Sunny’s betrayal and the week that nearly broke her. 

Unless the stairs break her first.

THE STAIRS AND THE FLY explores friendship, jealousy and what happens when we die.  The humor, emotion and magical realism elements will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY and A.S. King’s PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ.

First 250:

Anyone who saw me get hit by the car will call it an accident, and by definition I suppose it was.  She didn’t see me.  I didn’t see her.  Splat.  But in the deepest pit of my stomach - the part that flutters awake when Mom catches me in a lie or I see Justin Cobb walking down my high school’s corridors - I know I wished for it. 

“Well look who woke up on the right side of the bed for a change,” my mother chirps when she sees me bound into the kitchen with a Cheshire grin plastered on my face.  She watches me curiously over her Mornings Are The Cat's Pajamas coffee cup, relief relaxing the fine lines around her mouth.  She’s been trying to coax me out of my self-inflected bedroom encampment all week.  

“Milk?”  She asks, leaning into the pantry to watch me select my breakfast, like she wants to make sure I’m not duping her.  I take the carton from her outstretched hand and pad towards the table, ignoring that it’s whole milk instead of my preferred skim.  It’s my mother’s not-so-subtle attempt to squeeze more calories into me.  She probably thinks I’m turning into an anorexic.

“Where’s dad?”  I push aside the stack of mail that's taken up residence in my usual place at the breakfast nook.  My father’s morning newspaper is folded neatly on the table, undisturbed and unread.


  1. I remember reading your query back when you were still working on it (querytracker forums maybe?) and the story stuck with me. I thought the premise sounded very cool. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Megan! I was working on it through AQC, so perhaps you saw it there? Appreciate the nice words!

  2. I really like the premise of this and the first paragraph is very well done.

    Good luck!

  3. Excellent hook! Always a sucker for ghost stories. Best of luck! :)

  4. Excited to see you here. Good luck!

  5. I love the idea of the stairs, so much potential for awesomeness there! Good luck! :)

  6. Hooked! The query is fantastic.

  7. This is great! Awesome query and really fantastic opening paragraph.

  8. Good luck, Stace! I'm rooting for you :)

  9. Thanks so much, everyone! My fingers are tightly crossed. :-)

  10. Intriguing premise -- I love the "stairs." Good luck to you!

  11. I think this is a great premise. It reminds me of a portion of Grant Nix's "Keys to the Kingdom". Good luck!

  12. Love the voice and the idea of the stairs. I'm hooked!