Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #11

Genre: YA Contemp
Word count: 88,000


Yesterday, sixteen-year-old Bixby Darwin was Simon Rook. 
Today, he has a new name and a new home, courtesy of Witness Protection.

Yesterday, he was avoiding the get-to-know-my-son lunch his mother set up with her new boyfriend. 
Today, said boyfriend is dead, victim of a bombing at his flower shop.

Yesterday, Bix suspected the boyfriend was a terrorist.

Today, Bix learns his absentee father is an assassin.

Now, he’s a little concerned about what tomorrow will bring.

In my 88,000 word YA Contemp novel, Son Of A (Hired) Gun, 16-year-old 
Bixby Darwin’s life is thrown into a state of flux when he’s relocated him to a small town with big secrets. Secrets that could get him or someone close to him killed.

First 250:

 “Simon,” Mom calls down the hall to me. “If you make us any later I’ll—.”

 “I’m ready.” Heading her off, I save my latest blog.

You’d think we were having lunch with someone more important than her latest boyfriend. Now that she’s reached the critical get-to-know-my-son juncture in this relationship, she’s a little on edge. Or ready to jump off one.

I take out my phone and tweet. @Simonsays: Lunch at Melting Pot with Omar. Rather stay home than break bread (and dip it) with Mom’s florist/terrorist boyfriend.

Jury’s still out on whether Omar is actually a terrorist but it does make good blogging and tweeting. It’s not like anyone takes me seriously anyway. That’s kind of the problem when you’re sixteen and look like you’re twelve.

 “Simon?” Mom’s yell borders on hysteria. “You’ve got to stop calling him a terrorist.”

 “I can’t help it if I think he’s a terrorist.” Although last week, after I heard him talking Russian, I was pretty sure he was KGB.Turns out he’s a Croatian-Arab hybrid who speaks four languages fluently. Mom calls him worldly, I call him suspicious.

“What if he reads it? What’s he going to think?” Mom watches me in the mirror as she touches up her eye gook.

“Mom,” I meet her gaze in the mirror. “That’s assuming he reads more English than plutonium rich.”

Mom bites back a laugh, her mouth forming a heart. “He is not a terrorist.”

Notice she didn’t say he could read.


  1. I think your query is outstanding. You found the perfect and unique way set up the story. One typo: "when he’s relocated him to a small town" Get rid of 'him.'

    Your 250 delivers on the promise in the query. I get a strong feel for these characters right away.
    Do you mean gook or goop? Gook makes me think of the sleepy-crust, or mucus-like stuff that collects in the corner of an eye. If you are referring to her make-up, I suggest using goop.

    Best of luck.

  2. Amazing query. Amazing first 250. You've totally hooked me!!

    One tiny thing: the phrases "latest blog" and "latest boyfriend" are maybe a little too close together in succession. I know this is nitpicky, but that's only because the rest is so very very good!

    Carissa #24

  3. Risky format for your query, but I think it works. Great job! Good luck. I've read this before in other contests and liked it.

    Laurie #8

  4. I love the rhythm and resonance of your query. You just have to keep reading. Your first 250 is an ideal match to your query. Your characters are alive on the page.

    Oh, why does my entry have to follow yours? Yours is FANTASTIC!

    Best of luck,
    Bonnie #12