Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #39

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 62,000 


Alison Arroway takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. She has to, or she won’t get paid. Alison is a stunt double for pampered teen actress Pomegranate and when the director takes the shoot to Portugal, Alison is anything but thrilled to be rooming with Pom. But getting to hang around teen hearthrob Erik? Now that’s a plus.

Erik invites both girls on a sunset boat trip and Alison manages to have a decent time. Until the storm hits and the boat is shipwrecked on a small island, leaving Erik missing and the boat captain dead.

In the morning light, Alison and Pom find themselves on the lost island of Atlantis. Only one problem: now that the girls know the secret of the island, the Atlanteans don’t want them to leave. They're stuck with corsets, full-skirted dresses, and the strange steam-driven contraptions that are just a way of life for the islanders.

When a plot by the ruthless army Captain to take over the island and declare himself General over all emerges, an underground group promises to return the girls to the mainland if they can help stop him. They'll go through a mountain, literally, to find the Book of Blue, a book that will explain how to make ‘the stars fall sideways' in order to save the day and earn their freedom.

In 2008, I completed an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and have a short story published in Lit by New Writing North in conjunction with Newcastle University. Also, several works have been published in Blackberry Winter, the annual chapbook of Rochester College where I earned my BA in English and Professional Writing. 

First 250:

Where did the casting director find this guy? Villians-R-Us?

I grunted as I hung from the Technicolor cliff, my fingers barely holding on to the plastic edges fifteen feet above the soundstage.

“See what happens when you mess with me?” Captain Aragno said in a bad imitation of Jack Black. Aragno laughed again and stomped away. I watched his saggy belly sway above the ridiculous codpiece as he strutted down the back ramp and over to the nearby table. He took a quiet drink from a large Nalgene bottle and winked at me.

Ew. He really was awful.

Refocusing on the ledge, I started swinging my legs up, trying to get a foothold.

At a training day about a year ago, my father took me to the Navy SEAL training grounds in North Carolina and we worked on dangling techniques.

“Keep your arms slightly bent,” he had said. “Try to pump if you can, keep that blood flowing.”

I had been hanging for nearly five minutes now, and my muscles were definitely burning. I pumped my arms like Dad had taught me and I swung again, barely missing my foothold.

“Need a break?” The director said from below me.

“No!” I yelled back, voice shaking with the effort. Good thing I'm not miked. I heard they're using something by the Czech Philharmonic for the soundtrack. I made sure to keep my face away from the cameras.

Pull it together. Pull. It. Together.


  1. Atlantis? I'm down. Six chapters please, if you feel so inclined. pam.vhv@gmail

  2. Great query. I love the name Pomegranate, too funny! Considering what the stars are naming their kids now, it's probably going to be the next one we hear of. And off the coast of Portugal sounds like an ideal place to find Atlantis. The Book of Blue and a formula for making the stars fall sideways is all really intriguing!

    With the opening page, I wanted to make some suggestions. I wasn't sure how the thoughts in the final paragraph worked together. She shouts back. Then she thinks it's good she's not miked. So they don't hear the strain in her voice? Then she thinks about what is being used for the sound track (Do you mean for this specific scene? Would they likely even have picked that at this point? Why think about that now? What does that have to do with being miked?) Then she thinks about keeping her face away from the cameras since she's not the star, just her double, I'm assuming. Are you trying to show these are random thoughts and she's losing it? The next thought is Pull it together. Is there a reason to have her wandering mentally? If not something really important, just have her focusing on doing her job, and well, since the para just doesn't really hold together.

    It's an interesting concept. I like your main character's unique job and the whole Atlantis setting. Very creative. Good luck!

  3. This one definitely isn't for me, but I love your title!