Category: Young Adult
Title: ISLE IN THE SEA OF GHOSTS
Word Count: 65,000
Three Sentence Pitch:
While Blair lies comatose, his soul wanders limbo. A dead girl offers to help him wake if he brings her back with him, but he’ll have to sail across the Styx, duel the grim reaper, and shatter the rules of the afterlife for her, all before his comatose body draws its final breath. Success will restore her life—failure will cost his soul.
Question 1: In your MC’s voice, what costume character do you relate most to and why?
“Captain Hook—I work in an ice cream shop. There are Disney-esque levels of singing involved, and I’m plagued by children who won’t grow up and who I’d just love to skewer with the waffle maker.”
Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka marketable/unique)?
The book has the plotting of genre fiction—filled with tension, mystery, and lots and lots of action—but at its core lies a literary story about contemporary issues affecting LGBT teens. Witty, cynical, and darkly funny, Blair is a character whose struggles and triumph will resonate with readers in this intensely voice-driven novel.
First 200 words:
Blair Samuel Sommers didn’t plan his fatal leap.
A few hours earlier, he was having a fairly normal day at his fairly normal job, which was a weekend shift at an ice cream shop. A pack of giggly tween girls requested their sixth flavor sample, holding up the line of customers. Blair took a wooden taster spoon and scooped up a bite-sized portion of rocky road.
“Utinam sicarii te raedam locus circumveniant.*” He handed the spoon to the blonde leader.
Above the register hung a framed sign: Clamo, clamatis, omnes clamamus pro glace lactis. It translated to “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” The ice cream shop’s owner had gotten it on eBay, and Blair had initially griped about having to explain its meaning to each and every customer—until it had given him the idea to use more colorful Latin phrases while serving frozen desserts. He was taking a Latin class in his junior year of high school, so he considered it a good faith effort to practice.
“What did you just say?” asked the blonde.
“Enjoy your ice cream,” he replied sweetly.
*[footnote]: “May assassins beset you in the parking lot.”