Monday, January 21, 2013

Bouncer Post #64

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 80,000


A seventeen year old girl with synaesthesia must come to terms with the true nature of her condition and use it to fight the legendary “once and future king”—King Arthur himself. BROKEN IN BLUE is an 80,000 word YA contemporary fantasy in which LE MORTE D’ARTHUR meets GOSSIP GIRL.

Rhi might be weird—she feels in color—but synaesthesia isn’t the worst of her problems. Rhi wouldn’t mind being different if someone other than her best friend would notice she was alive. Even her mom barely seems to register her existence. But when Rhi is attacked by a watery demi-goddess, she discovers that her mother was once the Lady of the Lake and that beings of myth and legend are real—and suddenly very interested in her and the power her colors represent.

When her very first date ever ends in a battle with a hellhound, Rhi instinctively uses her colors to destroy it and is recruited into a magical task force whose only aim is to prevent an impending doom:

The return of King Arthur.

Because apparently being locked in a deathless sleep for a few hundred years isn’t enough to dissuade the most powerful king ever born from trying to take over the world.

To stop him, Rhi will need to master her colors and use them to remake Excalibur. However, as her abilities grow and she discovers the truth about who she really is, Rhi must choose which world she belongs to—this one or the world of magic she is heir to.

Rhi is finally getting noticed—and it might just kill her. But the choices bound in color and magic are never black and white.

I am a member of SCBWI, The Writers Community of Durham Region, YALITCHAT, and Canadian Actors Equity.

First 250:

Fear is white edged and thickly veined with an ugly sea-green.

Mom was gone.

When I was little, Mom was afraid of a man with silver hair. I saw him once across a busy street and Mom pulled me tight against her chest where the sound of her heart was a wave crashing against rocks. That fear crept out of her chest, crawled through my ear, and made its way down to my own wildly beating heart to take up permanent residence.

Rhiannon, listen to me, we cannot be seen. Hide in the shadows and be still and silent.

And as she held me, the fear broke apart inside me like ice floating on a treacherous ocean and all the colors of my emotions erupted out of it.

When I was older, I tried to tell Mom about the colors I felt, but she just smiled and looked away. I didn’t try again. Besides, everyone has something crazy going on if you look close enough. I was probably lucky that all I had were colors in my head and a stalker father. And yes, I knew the man was my father, but I was as invisible to him that day as I am to everyone else. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be seen. I’m sure my synaesthesia would be pretty interesting to some psychiatrist bored with the usual budding Unabombers.


  1. Great twist on the King Arthur myths! =)

  2. Hi! Interesting idea.

    In your query, I suggest you move the first paragraph (minus the first sentence) to just before your bio. You could tag on the age of your MC in the first line of the sentence "17-yr-old Rhi might be weird..." and I think it gives you all you need. Not sure if you need the paragraph beginning "Rhi is getting noticed." Also, I suggest you delete "Because" before "apparently being..."

    Regarding the first 250, I'd like to read on to see how synaesthesia works. Good luck!

    1. Ooh, very good advice. That would make for a much tighter, more suspenseful query.

  3. I love this concept and that you turned Arthur into a villain.

    I love your first 250 as well. The only line that tripped me up was the second one. I'm not quite sure what it had to do with the rest of the story, and might be better placed after the "flashback" closer to the present day stuff. I'm intrigued and would love to read more. Good luck in the contest :)

  4. I love this concept! If I saw this description on the back of a book, I'd take it home to read, no question.

  5. Thank you for all your comments! I appreciate all the suggestions very much.

  6. I am so excited for this! YOU'RE IN! You had me at King Arthur. As a Villain. And then synaesthesia! Love. I want to say, though, that what sold me was your premise and your query which are both top notch. Your first 250 felt a little uneven. The last paragraph seemed a little too tell-y. But, even so, I hope your book makes it someday, because I want to read it. ;) Congrats and good luck!

  7. Thank you so much!! And thank you for the notes too - I love all feedback.