TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: Crazy Deep
GENRE: YA Speculative Fiction
WORD COUNT: 153
Being a Hurricane Katrina evacuee is damaging enough, but fifteen-year-old Marissa Martin confronts even worse when her dad disappears into the war zone that was once New Orleans. She could always use her telepathic powers to save him, if only they worked the way they’re supposed to.
Just when she feels most alone, Marissa literally bumps into Jake, the cute student council president and telepath with a direct link to her every thought. Usually that would freak her out, but Marissa discovers just how much she requires his help when a woman stuck in New Orleans connects to her. Aided by Jake and his sister, a girl with a social conscience the size of California, Marissa races back home and wades through the waters in search of answers that begin with who this mysterious woman is. She soon discovers Hurricane Katrina may not be the worst of her problems when she uncovers family secrets that change everything, especially her.
Complete at 61,000 words, Crazy Deep is YA speculative fiction that combines a real-world disaster with a romantic twist.
Like Marissa, I left Louisiana and now live in central Pennsylvania where I teach college-level composition and American literature courses. Writing has become my way of returning home through such publications as Becoming Cajun, Becoming American: The Acadian in American Literature from Longfellow to James Lee Burke (LSU Press, 2009) and a more recent article on post-Katrina New Orleans detective fiction published in Clues: A Journal of Detection. I am an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 150 Words:
Marissa, I’ve a feeling we’re not in New Orleans anymore, I think, glancing out the window at the Pennsylvania mountains.
“I’ll be here at 3:00 to take you home,” Aunt Celeste reminds me as I slide out of the car for the first day at my new school. Lucky me.
I nod to let her know I’m listening. Not that it matters. Her head’s already shifting to the side to make sure no students have wandered behind the car as she backs up.
When Dad forced me to evacuate without him a week ago, I thought it would be temporary, that I’d fly back to him in a couple of days once the whole Hurricane Katrina threat passed. Now I live in Aunt Celeste’s guest room, my room, according to her. My real bedroom is filled with water, if it’s still there. Even a pair of ruby slippers can’t take me home again.