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B8: YA CONTEMPORARY: STAGED

Tuesday, 8 March 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

donkey kong

 

Title: STAGED

Age Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 61,000

Pitch: After seventeen-year-old country singer Paxton Parker loses her record contract, she teams up with her bestie to stage tabloid pictures. But trusting he’ll only sell photos she approves might cost her career.

First 250 Word of Manuscript:
Skyscraper Louboutin’s and liquor were a bad combo. If my manager hadn’t nudged me through the stage curtain, I would’ve chucked those stilts. Barefoot. Now that’s a statement.

With a rhinestone microphone clutched tight, I stumbled through the darkness on stage. A sea of haters stirred like wild animals. Static and animosity prickled the air.

Nerves always raked my skin before every performance. Not tonight. I wouldn’t have felt flames lick the sweat beads off my forehead.

White lights danced across the band already in position with guitar straps tight across their chests and drum sticks inches from play.

The entire front row flipped me off in unison thanks to my scandalous breakup with country superstar, Chad Holloway, but I waved at the ten people holding sparkly “Paxton Parker” signs. Turns out, opening for my ex-boyfriend was like playing country music for jailbirds who’d requested rock.

“Hel-lo, Dee-troit.” Jack Daniels vapor wrapped the microphone. “We have a great show for you tonight.”

Music blasted my back and I tottered, bracing myself with the silver microphone stand. Words trickled from my mouth, slower than the beat, but faster than the echo in my head. I pirouetted on one five inch heel, my skirt flowering higher than my panty line. The drumbeat pumped blood to my heart, and the lights flickered and swirled as I collapsed on stage with a thud.

Screams and bursts of laughter sliced through the shadows, rising toward the ceiling like billowing smoke. Camera flashes flickered with the brightness of a thousand strobe lights.

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