Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Pitch Finalist #11 - Mad As A Hatter

YA Supernatural Thriller


When Emil Aleric was saved from Wonderland seven years ago, the night he watched his sister die, he wanted nothing more than to forget. Forget the torture, forget his sister’s screams, and most especially, forget their captor, the Hatter, who claimed to come from the future. But when 1882 arrives with aserial killer ravaging London, and leaving notes quoting Alice in Wonderland wherever he goes, Emil knows his former abductor has returned.

When his guardian, Inspector Corwin James, is put in charge of the case, it’s clear to Emil that it isn’t mere coincidence. Still, Emil tries to ignore the evidence—until his best friend falls victim to the madman. Emil always knew, deep down, that when the time came he wouldn’t be able to hide; but now, he isn’t sure he wants to.

Corwin is adamant that Emil can have nothing to do with the case; after all, he’s only fourteen. However, as they come closer to learning the truth of the murders, they find the most pivotal clues lie in Emil’s memories—suppressed for seven years, but now threatening to consume him.

Emil never really believed in time travel. But as he prepares to fight the Hatter, he realizes believing might just be the key—or else, time itself could end.

MAD AS A HATTER is a YA supernatural thriller complete at 51,000 words. The first five pages are below. Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 Words:

From the warm floor of his sitting room, Emil Aleric glared out the window. It was late afternoon, and the crisp wind had left the streets of Belgravia empty, save for a couple climbing out of a carriage, followed by a butler carrying a dozen gifts. Probably some last minute Christmas shopping.

Emil scowled. He hated happy families.

He looked away from the window, took a gulp of tea, and winced. He’d always thought that Earl Grey was some disguised form of dishwater, but every adult he knew drank it, and his mother said it was an acquired taste. He forced himself to take another sip, and looked down at the table in front of him.

One, two, three newspapers lay strewn across the mahogany table. The first newspaper, dated December 16th, 1882, was flipped to the obituaries, where a small paragraph about a girl named Daphne Bell could be found. It was only a few lines, something about her family and “may He bless her immortal soul,” or some such rubbish.

She had been the first to die.


Linda Glaz said...

Powerful opening. Good luck

Hannah Bowman said...

I think there's a lot of cool stuff in this query, especially the Alice-in-Wonderland vibe. But ultimately, I didn't quite feel like the time-travel connection made sense. If that's a major part of the story, I'd like to see it expanded upon a little more in the query. The stakes seem to get too high too quickly at the end ("time itself could end").

Molly Jaffa said...

There's a lot to like here, but for me, the opening occasionally felt like it veered into middle grade territory. "He hated happy families," "every adult he knew drank it" and the reference to his mother all made your protagonist seem a bit young to me. The premise is really intriguing, but your word count may be a little low for a YA supernatural thriller, especially with all the worldbuilding it sounds like this story will require. I'm sure other agents will feel differently, though, and I wish you the very best with this project! Thank you for sharing!

My best,