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Monday, 28 October 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

witch hat and black cat

Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 75,000


Seventeen-year-old Grace Armstrong is falling for the handsome guy who appears in her bedroom mirror, and he’s not alone. There are horrible monsters that taunt her through the glass and follow her wherever her reflection hits. When the monsters possess her mom, Grace flings herself into the mirror linking both worlds to save her, but the guy isn’t the only one waiting for her on the other side, and Mom’s life isn’t the only one at stake anymore.

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

Despite the whole stalker vibe he’s got going on, I’ve always felt this soul-deep connection to The Phantom of the Opera. Music runs through him like blood through veins and for me, there’s nothing more relatable than that.

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

Through a Glass Darkly is a powerful, character-driven story which blends beautiful prose with an authentic teen voice. There’s love, but it’s more than love. There are fantastical elements, but it’s rooted in truth.

First 250 words:

Silence fell in a quiet crash as I pulled away from the keys, the final chords fading into stillness.

“That didn’t sound like Chopin, Gracie.” Mom shuffled into the living room, bleary-eyed and yawning, a steaming black cup cradled between interlocking fingers.

“And that doesn’t smell like decaf.” I hid a smile. She and Dad were doing some sort of cleanse—Mom’s idea—and caffeine was on the no-no list.

I moved my hands along the worn brown wood of the piano, following the grain with my fingertips. Rare Vancouver sunlight poured through our condo’s floor-to-ceiling windows and the piano was one of the few things that didn’t shine with the threat of reflection. The threat of monsters.

Light spilled over Mom’s shoulders as she moved to stand beside me, reeking of fresh ground beans. “Don’t tell your father,” she said in an exaggerated whisper.

“Don’t tell Mr. Lee.” I launched into the haunting tones of Regina Spektor’s ‘Samson.’ “Besides, I need a modern piece for my audition too.”

“I think he cares more about the audition than you do. He’ll get to it.”

She freed a hand to caress my cheek and her fingers felt warm, the heat from her coffee cup sinking into my skin as the cup itself came into view. Its reflective surface flooded with monsters and I sighed. So much for playing in peace.

Even in miniature form the beasts were hideous. Lines of fire traced patterns between their mottled brown scales, and the thick black horns protruding from their foreheads pulsed in syncopated rhythm with their fiery blood.

Filed: Contests, Misc

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