I'm participating in Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up To Get An Agent contest (aka GUTGAA)! Deana is a great blog friend, and even though she's now repped by Sarah LaPolla, she's still so awesome that she wants to pay it forward by hosting this contest. Go follow her if you're not already, and check out the contest. She has helpful contest links in the upper right hand corner of her blog.
And a quick update for those of you who read my last post on virus woes, I'm using hubby's computer this week while I wait for my Toshiba recovery disks to come in the mail. He's just going to wipe my hard drive. So, hopefully my cute little laptop will be healthy again soon.
Okay, so on to GUTGAA! I'm entering my recently completed upper middle grade fantasy. For those of you that don't know, middle grade is usually readers between 7 and 12, and upper middle grade is the oldest category, usually the 11 and 12-year-olds. This is my first full length middle grade novel, though I wrote a short novella for my son once.
So, what we're supposed to post is our query and the first 150 pages of the book. The judging round is next week, so please offer up your feedback so I can polish! Tell me what works and what doesn't. I really would appreciate any and all constructive criticism. Also, definitely let me know if you're participating in GUTGAA too, so I can make sure to visit your entry. I know I'm not going to be able to make it to all 200 or so entries, so that will guarantee I return your visit. And, please feel free to provide feedback even if you're one of my regular blog friends not in GUTGAA!
(Agent's proper salutation),
The last of the dreams are running out…
It’s been thirteen years since the Queen of Ravens cast the spell to strip all Taravel’s inhabitants of dreams. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to her, there is one remaining who can dream unaided, twelve-year-old Eleven, the dreamseer.
An orphan, El has been raised in a black market dream caravan, caring for the ponies who grant people the ability to dream. The citizens of Taravel pay generously for a ride on the dream carousel, a chance to touch the magical, dream-inducing manes of the ponies. But when the ponies start losing their ability to spin dreams, El knows she must do something.
Accompanied by Dusti, a persnickety pony, and Ryn, the pirate-poet, El sets out to break the Queen’s spell. The three companions’ adventures take them from crystal pirate ships, to cities in the sky, to underground palaces and the home of a sea witch. Along the way El realizes there’s a lot more at stake than the ponies: a rebellion is brewing, the Queen has learned of her existence, and the truth about her parents is far different than she ever imagined. And worst of all, if El doesn’t free the dreams soon, they’ll be gone forever.
Everdream is a 50,000 word upper middle grade fantasy. Per your submission guidelines, I've included (whatever requested) below. Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 150 words:
Dreams seeped through the flaps of the tent, escaping into the sky like multi-colored ghosts. It was a busy night in the caravan. Though the metallic taste of thunder sat on my tongue and dark clouds pressed down over the crowd, we were still packed. The other merchants had begun to close up for the night. But we weren’t exactly ordinary merchants.
I counted bodies as I walked along the line of people snaking out the purple and white striped tent. Sixty-two. Eight-eight. Ninety-six. When I hit one hundred I cut in.
“Sorry, but this is the cap for the night.” I watched the opposite expressions of relief and disappointment on the faces of the two people I stood between. Groans and angrier protests rose around me.
I walked back to the tent as the crowd behind lucky number one hundred dispersed into the darkness.
Thanks for taking the time to read my entry! Good luck to all GUTGAA participants. And everybody have a great week!