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37. THE GOLEM INITIATIVE – Young Adult Speculative Thriller

Monday, 3 November 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Meredith McCardle

Mentee Name: Ron Walters


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Speculative thriller

Word Count: 73,000


Overwhelmed by Prague’s relentless winter, 17-year-old Aaron unearths a pocket watch from World War II that gives him the power to raise golems and thrusts him into a world of spies, mercenaries, and alchemists, all desperate to claim the device for themselves.


A hollow snap like fractured bone filled the air as Aaron’s hatchet bit into another half-frozen log. Mismatched wedges of wood tumbled to the ground, spraying snow across the wet cuffs of his jeans. Shivering, he jerked the hatchet out of the chopping block and stared at the pitiful pile of kindling he’d managed to split. There was no way it would last the night, especially if it started snowing again, but—

Please. He grimaced at the unbroken layer of clouds hanging heavy and low in the sky. This was Prague; of course it was going to snow again. That’s all it ever did here. He hadn’t seen the sun in so long, his body was going through vitamin D withdrawal.

He flexed his numb fingers—after two months he still wasn’t used to the cold—and debated whether to call it a day.

A gust of wind knifed through his coat.

That’s it.

Hatchet poised above his shoulder, he eyeballed the chopping block and was about to bring his arm sweeping down when his phone rang. The guitar blast ringtone was so startling in the winter stillness of the backyard that he almost dropped the hatchet on his head.

“Son of a—”

This snow-hell of a city was going to decapitate him.

Aaron fumbled inside his coat, pulled out his phone, and immediately rolled his eyes. Considering the fact that his dad still wasn’t home, it didn’t take a particle physicist to figure out why he was calling.

Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d happily take a peek at the first 50 pages if you care to send to jmccarthy@dystel.com.

  • Hi Ron, I do love a good speculative thriller. I also love Prague, and golems. I’d love to read more of this! Please email me your query, first 50 pages, and a synopsis (if available) as Word documents, with the subject line: “Pitch Wars Request: THE GOLEM INITIATIVE.” Looking forward to reading on! Cheers, Brooks

  • Laura Zats says:

    Awesome voice! I’d love to see the first three chapters! Send in an attachment with a query in the body of an email to laura@redsofaliterary.com.

  • Laura Cummings says:

    Hi Ron,

    You had me at “alchemists”, and I’m loving the voice of this. Could you please send your query letter, synopsis, and first 10 pages to querylaurie(at)fuseliterary(dot)com? Please make sure to include the subject “Pitch Wars: THE GOLEM INITIATIVE” so I remember to give this priority. And to clarify, I am Laurie McLean’s assistant and am requesting this on her behalf, so go ahead and address the materials to her.

    Thank you so much!
    Laura Cummings

  • Rena Rossner says:

    Hi Ron!

    I’d love to read this full manuscript. Can you send it attached as word document to: rena(at)thedeborahharrisagency(dot)com – and please reference PITCHWARS in the subject line.


    – Rena

  • Lana Popovic says:

    Hi Ron,

    This sounds SO COOL. I love Eastern European settings – yes to all the settings of my people – and the voice is beautiful. Can I see the full ms, please, as a PDF? Thanks so much!

    All my best,

  • Stephenml says:

    National Fund’s Young Adult Initiatives aim to test and implement new strategies for targeting America’s opportunity youth.

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