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Pitch Polish

Below is my REVISED query and first 150 words… Thanks to everyone who commented!

TITLE: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 98,000

Query:

Dear Fantabulous Super-agent:

During an attack by a wraithlike creature, seventeen-year old Haylee Wells falls through a portal into a post-apocalyptic future. Taking refuge with a group of humans, she learns this creature is one of the Pale Ones, who have propelled her through time to claim a power she didn’t even know she had.

She must survive in a world where the Pale Ones reign and can kill with a single touch.  A world where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Haylee’s own abilities become evident. The gardens flourish with a touch of her hand, her wounds heal more quickly than natural, and she can see the auras of those around her. She and her companions wonder why the supposedly immortal creatures see her – an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing – as a threat.

She knows she should return home. But the journey to the portal will be dangerous, and her growing affections for her new friends, particularly the duty-bound protector of the group, leave her unsure in which time home resides. If she doesn’t leave, the Pale Ones will decide her fate. They will either kill or enslave her.

TERRA INCOGNITA (98,000 words) is a YA Post-apocalyptic paranormal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth.
My eyes flicked left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape.

In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me.

I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with my dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold him several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet and brushed strands of dark blonde hair away from my mouth.

– – – –

Original is below…

Hello all! I have decided to participate in the GUTGAA Pitch Polish blog hop! Yay! I’ve made so many changes to my query over the last (many) months, sometimes I don’t know up from down… seriously. So, I thought I’d see what you all thought. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks!

All right *deep breath* here goes…

TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 100,000

Query:
Dear Uber-Agent:

Seventeen-year old Haylee Wells thinks she lives in an ordinary world. Her biggest concern has been convincing her mother she may not want to attend college. Ever. But just out of sight something not so ordinary lurks. Hidden in the shadows of city streets and forests – just like the one in her backyard – the Pale Ones plan their coming out.

In the future, the cities are gone and the land barren. Mankind, fearing the deadly touch of the Pale Ones, knows better than to venture into dark places. Haylee awakens to this world, where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Taking refuge with a group of humans, she becomes fast friends with Glenna, who has a calming presence – literally – and is drawn to Derik, the duty-bound protector, despite his condescending-jerk quotient and creepy insider knowledge of the Pale Ones. He can sense when they are near, and his description of them leaves her thinking they may be the monsters on which many supernatural creature legends are based.

The Pale Ones know great power dwells within Haylee and have propelled her through time to claim it. When her abilities become evident, she wonders what the supposedly immortal creatures want with an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing. She knows she should return home. But her growing affections for her new friends, particularly Derik, leave her unsure in which time home resides.

TERRA INCOGNITA (100,000 words) is a YA post-apocalyptic paranormal with romantic elements.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth. I flicked my eyes left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape. In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me. I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with the dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold the dog several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet, but the dog remained with his tummy in the air, smiling at me.

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Entered Pitch. Won Request!

Hello all!

So… I stumbled across a 35-word pitch contest here and won a request for a full of Terra Incognita from an editor at Entangled Publishing!  Very excited and nervous!  It will probably be a while before I know if they want it, though.  In the meantime, I will continue querying agents… I’ve gotta spark some interest somewhere, right?  Hm….  And I will continue to write, as well, though I have slacked off this past week or so.

Also, other cool news… I won an ARC of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator (the winner of the 2011 ABNA in the YA category).  The copy is in the mail, and the book is due in stores on August 16th.  If you want to check out the author’s blog, you can find it here.  I’m looking forward to reading her book!

So, I’ve done it…

I have officially edited Terra Incognita and made it a Young Adult fantasy.  I know, I know… can we say “sell out!”?  😉  Heh, not really…  It turned out it didn’t change as much as I thought it would… I changed her age from twenty-three to seventeen (almost eighteen) and since it already had the feel of a YA book, I didn’t need to change how she talked or the way I told the story.  (I did keep a copy of the original file, just in case.)  And I have decided that I like it (and it’s chances) better as a Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy…  so yeah.  It’s my genre/category of choice anyway (most of my other stories are YA), so it makes sense.  The character remains unchanged (which was my main concern) and the story still reads the same way, with only some minor age-appropriate changes (not for the reader but for the character).  Below is my rewritten pitch… hopefully it’s better than the others anyway… 🙂

TERRA INCOGNITA

Seventeen-year old Haylee Wells thought her mother pressuring her to choose a college was her only problem.  But between her aunt’s death and a wraithlike creature attacking, she suddenly has much more to handle.  When she finds herself in a post-apocalyptic future where these creatures reign and can kill with a single touch, she takes refuge with a group of humans who have their own special abilities.  She needs to find her way home.  But the connection she shares with Derik – the duty-bound protector of the group – and her own developing abilities complicate things further.  If she fails to realize the power within herself, she risks becoming a slave to the “Pale Ones” and never returning home.  

Eh, not too bad… but we’ll see.

As always, thanks for reading…  Until next time….