42. FATHERS, FENDER GUITARS, AND OTHER F-WORDS – Young Adult Contemporary

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Rebecca Yarros

Mentee Name: Carrie DiRisio

Title: FATHERS, FENDER GUITARS, AND OTHER F-WORDS

Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 74,000

Pitch:

Screw fifteen minutes of fame; 16 year old, cardigan-wearing Laney just wants five minutes of normal. But a surprise hall of fame nomination for her dad’s punk band stirs up old secrets, forcing Laney to choose between her hard-earned anonymity and the chance to discover the identity of the groupie mother who abandoned her.

Excerpt:

The dive bar made me homesick. A whiff of deep fried somethings shrunk me to kid-height, drooling over post-gig onion rings.

“ID?” The bouncer asked, reminding me I wasn’t a kid, nor on tour with Dad. I wobbled on my high heels, struggling to open my tiny clutch.

He steadied my elbow. “You’re dressed up all frilly.”

“Thanks.” I hoped he meant to compliment me, not call me a plus-sized pastel creampuff.

He marked my hand with an underage X. “Not your usual joint?”

“Not quite.” Not anymore. Since moving to Cleveland, I spent my time in quiet coffee shops, like the one my boyfriend thought I was studying at tonight.

Familiar chords ripped into the muggy September air. Ignore Alien Orders; Union Juliet’s anarchist anthem. I winced. Why did the jukebox gods hate me?

“Not a Union Juliet fan?” the bouncer asked.

“I don’t like punk rock.” I snapped, guilt chasing the comment. Dad raised me to be kind to everyone, including tough bouncers. But, I couldn’t admit, even to a bouncer, that my heart beat to a punk rock rhythm.

“Shame. Back in the day, Union J played the straight-up truth.” He said. Ironic, then, how often I lied about them.

Someone shouted my name—or rather the name I’d used for the last eight months. “Elaine!”

Logan Hernandez approached, looking like Jimi Hendrix in Joey Ramone’s clothes. I swore. No one from school should be here.

I bolted, leaving my ID behind.

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