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Sunday, 28 October 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: Dark Contemporary Gothic 
Category: Young Adult 
Word Count: 68,000

Three Sentence Pitch:

Opal MacBride’s inheritance includes albinism, a lecherous uncle, and a family curse that says she’ll never find true love. The curse suffers a mortal blow when two brothers, one living and one dead, fall in love with her. But a happy ending requires foiling her uncle’s depraved abduction plot, and choosing between the boys she loves—a choice of life, or eternal life. 

Question 1: In your MC’s voice, what costume character do you relate most to and why?

Rapunzel, though my tower is actually a Maine lighthouse and my hair is magical, with feelings and desires of its own, while hers was just…hair. Also I believe she had only one prince, whereas I have two, both of whom desperately need saving and one of whom is dead. 

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka marketable/unique)?

Doesn’t everyone love a dark fairy tale in which ultimately the heroine turns the tables on the villain, finds true love, and rescues herself? 

First 200 words:

Sporadic blasts of the foghorn heralded our arrival at the lighthouse. The headlights illuminated the mist shrouding the island, but couldn’t penetrate it. Once we were out of the car, fog clung to my skin like a veil. The air was thick with the smell of sea creatures, both living and dead.

Aunt Laura and I followed Uncle Ned into the lightkeeper’s cottage. He lumbered up the narrow staircase and carried my suitcase into one of the two bedrooms on the second floor. Laura began to unpack, setting my folded clothes on the narrow white bed.

“Darling, shouldn’t you start making dinner?” Ned asked. He was slightly out of breath.

“Yes, of course.” Laura scurried away.

Ned stepped towards me. I grabbed an armful of sweaters and held them to my chest, as if their soft wool could protect me, like an armored breastplate.

“When is Pearl’s funeral?” The words scraped past the clump of grief damming my throat.

“Tomorrow, at ten thirty. Just a private service with the two of us, and your Aunt Laura. A friend of mine will officiate.” He went on to mention my father’s other siblings, whom I’d never met.

Filed: Contests, Misc

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