Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blind Speed Dating #9 (YA)

Word Count: 76,000


I am seeking representation for my novel GHOST LIGHT, a dark Twelfth Night that is complete at 76,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Jennifer Donnelly's REVOLUTION and Maureen Johnson's SHADES OF LONDON series.

Fifteen-year-old Natasha Bassett’s decision to take her dead brother’s place in a prestigious production of Hamlet raises ghosts, in more ways than one.

After a transplant concludes her battle with a genetic heart condition, Natasha has a ton of plans. Unfortunately, they are all for her twin brother Nico, who died before his name made it to the top of the transplant list. In order to achieve his dreams, Natasha binds her B-cups and enrolls in a prestigious London theater program. She still hears Nico’s voice in her head, encouraging her the way he always did. She'll be damned if she doesn't get his name on the top of the cast-list as Hamlet, the role he spent his whole life coveting.

Except, Natasha’s not that fabulous at portraying her ebullient brother. Her new troupe may not know her gender, but they know she is a thoughtful, witty actor who is more suited for Ophelia than Hamlet. She doesn't mind being associated with the suicidal Danish chick, but Nico does. The second the cast list is posted, a vengeful, bitter ghost is awakened by her failure to fulfill her brother's last wish. Or, possibly, her antidepressants should be switched to antipsychotics. Unless she wants to have a specter toying with her guilt and sanity forever, she must find a way to live out the Bassett Twins’ final plan, even if it means being overshadowed by a brother no one else can see.

I am a member of SCBWI and an MA/MFA candidate in children's literature at Simmons College. Through the Simmons program, I had the opportunity to revise this manuscript under the guidance of {Editor] at [Big 5 (4?) Publisher]. My blog “Sense and Disability” chronicles my misadventures as a young woman with a disability. Also, I recently finished a year-long internship with [agent].

FIRST 250:

My twin brother Nico lived and died by the philosophy that all the world is a stage and hammed it up accordingly. I, on the other hand, got stage fright at the worst times. The airline employee at gate E6 opened Nico’s passport, and my heart-rate picked up at a terrifying pace. I shouldn’t have done it this way. I should have used the passport that said Natasha.

The gate agent checked the name of my ticket against the name on the passport, and my lungs began to contract in time with my heart, and I focused on inhaling. Over the years, I’d perfected the ladylike faint, but in this scene it would do me no favors.

“All right, Nikolai Bassett, you’re all set. Have a good flight.” She handed my documents back and waved me on.

I’d gotten ten feet in when my phone buzzed. I sagged gratefully against the wall of the jetway and flipped the hood of my hoodie up to ward off helpful Samaritans. The text was from Nico’s boyfriend, Tad.  A smiley face with You made it this far! in swirly text. I cleared the message and the wallpaper on my phone made me gasp, the way it always did.

It was a photo from one of the many staged readings of Hamlet, organized by the Bassett twins. The other patients we’d wrangled into reading spent most of it slumped in their chairs and reading in a monotone—until Hamlet took the stage.


  1. Honorary Cupid Pink Monkey BootsFebruary 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Cool concept! Struck with Honorary Cupid Pink Monkey Boots' arrow!! (One arrow for a partial.)

  2. Another arrow for a partial from HC Ninja Spy!

  3. HC ShelfElf fires three arrows for a full request!

  4. I'd love to take a look at this one after HC Pink Monkey Boots, HC Ninja Spy and HC ShelfElf's exclusive weeks are up. Please send me the 1st 100 pages + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put the word Cupid somewhere in the subject line. Thanks!

  5. I'd also love to see this after the winning agents' exclusive is up! Could you please send a query letter and the first 100 pages as a word or pdf attachment? (see today's Cupid post for submission guidelines). Thanks and look forward to reading!