Mentor Name: Ricki Schultz
Mentee Name: Phil Stamper
Title: STORM CHASER
Category: Young Adult
Word Count: 56,000
Sixteen-year-old Imogen knows chasing tornadoes is reckless. But after a doctor says she’ll blind two years, her dream of being a professional storm chaser slips away. Now, she’s got one season to prove her worth to local researchers and one shot to give her something to remember. And she’s not going to blow it—even if it kills her.
The farther the car-shaped dot on my GPS got from Shit-town, Virginia, the easier I breathed. A swatch of green hues crawled across the screen—weather radar overlay—and demanded my attention. I gripped the wheel and squirmed in my seat.
“Imogen!” Diana punched my arm. “TAKE THE EXIT.”
Snapping out of a trance, I yanked the steering wheel to the right, making her fall into me from the passenger seat.
“Chill, Di. I got it.” I tried to say this in a chill way, but the wavering of my voice said otherwise. After a deep breath, I released my death grip on the wheel, hoping my voice would steady along with it. “I, uh, got it.”
“Damn. How spaced out were you? That British robot was prepping you for that turn for, like, two freaking miles.” Diana crossed her arms. “Y’need me to drive?”
“Nah, you drove enough.”
She squinted at me, and I bit my lip to stop from laughing.
“Is this because—”
“You hit the rumble strips eleven times in one hour? Yeah, that’s it.”
“Well sorry!” She stretched out the word. “Ohio’s effing boring. And don’t get me started on Indiana.”
“Yeah … I think I got that, considering you spent all of Illinois bitching about it.”
I scanned the radar one more time. Behind the swirling greens lay a color that spiked my heart rate into the hundreds: red.