Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 39

Genre: YA Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Blume is sick of being “hotel-schooled” by her globe-trotting parents, sick of having no friends, sick of her family not taking her pleas for a normal life seriously. After a nasty fight with her parents, Sophie stalks off, determined to forget her problems on a plane tour over the Bermuda Triangle. But when her airplane plunges into a freak electrical storm and crashes in a different dimension, Sophie figures she may have gotten way more than she wished for.

In this new dimension people levitate and materialize objects at will--from mansions and yachts to gruesome creatures and guns. As magical as it seems, Sophie quickly discovers the dark side of such powers, and swears to get back home no matter the cost. Easier said than done. What starts as a single-minded quest for a way off this realm is complicated by Luke Evan, a young native who, against his better judgment, tries to help Sophie find a portal home. Together they discover Sophie's only chance is to pilot an airplane straight into a deadly lightning storm. But as the time of her escape approaches, Sophie realizes her feelings for Luke Evan go deeper than friendship. Worse still, he can’t follow her home. If Sophie thinks flying into the eye of a hurricane is hard, leaving Luke Evan behind might just be impossible.

SECRET WONDERS is a 76,000-word stand-alone novel with series potential. It is similar to Richard Matheson's What Dreams May Come, but for teens.

I’ve published flash fiction on 6S, and soon one of my short stories will appear in the Foundling Review. Since I’m bilingual, I’ve also published a short story in Semanario Tiempo, a Spanish journal.

The complete manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


  1. I think this is a great premise. The query is a little wordy. If you could cut it down and have the sentences more succinct, it would add to the tension.

    Great job!

  2. I think you could probably cut down the query a little by skipping most of the first paragraph. Sophie's life before, while interesting in some ways, isn't really the hook. The hook starts when Sophie's plane goes down and she's thrown into a new dimension, right? Start there and let your premise hook them from the beginning.

  3. I like the term 'hotel-schooled', I thought that was witty, but the alternate dimension comes off as vague and undefined. Can you give readers a better description that'll pull them in?

  4. I agree with the above comment. Most of the first paragraph doesn't add anything to the hook of the story. If you do a little tightening and rearranging, you might be able to work some of that info in later, when Sophie is determined to get home. Something like:

    As magical as the new dimension seems, the dark side of power frightens Sophie, and suddenly her globe-trotting parents and her life of "hotel-schooling" doesn't seem so bad. Swearing to get home, no matter the cost, Sophie enlists the help of Luke Evan, a young native.

    Obviously you'd want to play with it yourself, but I hope that helps.

    Good luck!

  5. Jamie Weiss ChiltonMay 9, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    I like the "hotel-schooled" detail, but other than that I'm not getting much sense of Sophie's personality and voice. How can you work Sophie's voice into the query? The more I connect with her, the more I'll care about her dilemma.

    A good start.


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