Genre: Magical Realism
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 42,000
Three sentence pitch:
Twelve-year-old Mandy finds an ancestor’s journal at Grandpa’s farmhouse, reads a flying spell… and grows strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school Mandy’s an outsider, too different. Her absentee mother shows up with Hollywood plans for her Winged Wonder Girl – but a glamorous life with the mother she longed for means leaving Grandpa and the two friends who stood by her – one is her crush, and he’s crushing back.
Question 1: In your MC’s voice, what costume character do you relate most to and why?
I’m going to be a phoenix for Halloween, the bird that flies out of the ashes. Not because my dad died in a fire when I was little, or my wings – a phoenix is fierce, like me.
Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka marketable/unique)?
FLUTTER is a satisfying and delicious treat packed with savory frenemy dynamics, a bittersweet layer of mother-daughter pathos, a dollop of tween romance, and a generous pinch of magic sprinkled on top.
First 200 words:
Mandy pulled a marigold out of the vase on the kitchen table and snapped the stem short. “You look handsome, Grandpa,” she said, and stuck the golden-orange blossom in his button hole.
“Thank you, darlin’. He grinned and bent at the waist in a courtly bow. “Got to make a good impression on the judges.”
Mandy rinsed her cereal bowl and left it in the sink, then followed Grandpa outside to the old white truck. Grandpa was already revving the engine, the sound muffled in the fog that clung to the hills. They bumped down the gravel road, tires churning up a cloud of dust, then turned onto the blacktop that led to the highway.
The dewy fields and orchards sped by, row after row, mile after mile, the colors and patterns flowing together in a blur. The engine thrummed a steady, rumbling rhythm and the truck’s heater blasted stale warmth. Mandy rolled down the window and squinted her eyes against the rushing wind. Her hair whipped around – it almost felt like she was flying. She’d whoosh right out the window and up into the air, soaring high into the blue sky.
Loose papers began blowing around inside the truck. Mandy rolled the window closed.