Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #38

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Word Count: 65,000 words


Fainting in front of her class sucked. And receiving mean letters from a supposed anonymous enemy of hers totally sucks. But going on a senior class trip with fifty of her closest enemies (ahem, classmates) sucks the most.

Ever since Natalie Webber fainted in front of her entire class while dissecting a frog, her life has changed for the worse.  Her entire existence has been whittled down to a single nickname: Gnat.  And if her teasing nickname isn’t bad enough, the anonymous and highly harassing letters from her stalker have shattered any esteem she once had.

So that’s swell.

In hopes to shed her nickname, and her loser status that accompanies it, she tags along with her best friend on a senior class trip to England.  And while she had hoped the home of the Beatles would bring her closer to her class, she’s never felt more alone.  The continuation of the anonymous notes doesn’t help.  Nor the fact that the tuba playing band freak from home seems to be all up in her business every minute of the day.  But when she loses her best friend to the very people that catapulted Natalie to Loserville, she feels she might as well pack up and leave.  Until she meets Brant, a kaleidoscope eyed Beatles fanatic who has far too much charm and even more demons in his own closet. And even though he’s seemingly unattainable and 100% unavailable, he might just be the one person to save her from herself, her nickname, and the tormentor behind the threatening notes.

My humorous young adult, contemporary novel, HERE COMES THE SUN, is complete at 65,000 words.  It was recently chosen as a finalist for the Bakers Dozen competition at Miss Snarks First Victim blog and The Writers’s Voice competition.   

I have had one short story published in a multilingual publication during my tenure at Benedictine University, where I majored in Writing and Publishing with minors in Film Studies and Communication Arts.

First 250:

I’m amazed that she’s acknowledging me

Me.  I’m Natalie to my friends.  Gnat to my classmates. Social pariah extraordinaire.  Even though the airline gods made our worlds collide by seating us together across the Atlantic, I still expect her to ignore me for the entire eight hours of our trip.  All of my classmates are just dandy at doing that.  So excuse my open mouth of shock when she nudges me twenty minutes in and drops a tiny blue pill into the cup of my palm.

“It’s not Viagra, is it?” I narrow my eyes at Meredith, while sneaking skeptical glances at the pill.  We’ve spoken twice.  Meredith and I, not the pill. The first time was to borrow a pencil during trigonometry.  The second was about two seconds ago when she pushed some sort of drug into my palm, simultaneously swallowing her own.  I casually peek at her crotch, somewhat expecting it to begin growing.  Her eyes follow mine and I swear I see fear in her tiny pupils.  She looks back at me in mock horror. 

“No,” she enunciates.  “It’s a sleeping pill.”  I swear I hear her hiss dumbass under her breath.

Whew. “Why?”

“Why is it not Viagra?”  I wipe her spit off my forehead. “Do I really need to give you an anatomy lesson too?”

I don’t need a lesson in Viagra.  My mom once dated a guy who kept a constant supply of the little blue pill in our medicine cabinet. 


  1. I really like your premise, and the first 250 words are quite interesting! In your query, though, your first and second paragraphs convey the same information twice; you could delete one completely and it would read more smoothly.

    Good luck! :)

  2. Hahahaha I love the voice :D I agree with Caitlin that you can delete the first or second paragraph without losing anything.
    But again i was totally laughing out loud reading the beginning of your story!
    Best of luck!

  3. Great query, great voice. I'm usually not a fan of first person novels but you pull it off superbly. I'd be surprised if you didn't make it into the agent round. You have solid stuff here.

    Good luck
    Bouncer Post 5

  4. I love the idea of a class trip to England and all the social dynamics in this story! I was a little confused by the query, though. You call it a humorous contemp, and some of the story seems to fit this, but to me, “stalker” and “threatening notes” say something else, and I’m confused as to how it’s going to fit together, tone-wise. I was also a little thrown by the fainting in class and the stalker mentioned together—are they connected?

    Your first and second paragraph are also really similar, and I think they could be combined (or one eliminated).

    I might advise trying to simplify this query overall. I think you’ve got a lot of great pieces, but for me, the pieces don’t quite fit together yet. Good luck!