Monday, September 17, 2012

Rd 1 Agent Pitch Contest #31 - JOHNNY DRAKE, TIME TRAVELER

Johnny Drake, Time Traveler
Middle Grade, Adventure


Thirteen year-old Johnny Drake makes an astonishing discovery in his basement one day: his furnace is also a time machine, invented by the now-deceased previous owner of the house. Then Johnny gets an outrageous idea: prevent the car crash that disabled his teacher, Miss Anderson, twenty-eight years earlier.

Using the teacher’s favorite novel, A Christmas Carol, as inspiration, and relying on the inventor’s journal for time-traveling tips, Johnny dresses as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and travels to 1983. He warns Miss Anderson of a grim future if she gets in a certain car on a specific day. Johnny soon learns, though, that there is a mystery to the crash involving his father, and that changing history will have major repercussions in the future.

Can Johnny alter the past without risking his very existence?

Johnny Drake, Time Traveler can easily be continued as a series.

First 150 Words:
“Johnny Drake, are you paying attention?” Miss Anderson said. The tone in her voice meant Don’t be a slacker. Even while she was scolding me, though, she had a hint of a smile, which suggested she had seen the likes of me before.

But I knew she hadn’t.

I sat up and tried to look alert. Truth is, I had been paying attention—just not to what she was saying. My attention was on the way she limped to the blackboard, the cane she used to get around. I’d heard the stories of how she got injured when she was fifteen, only two years older than I am now.

What I’d been thinking about was preventing the accident that hurt her leg.

What I’d been thinking about was time travel.

Sam Rizzo, my best friend, shot a spitball at me, bringing me back to reality: English class with Miss Anderson, lunch period next with Sam and Amy.


SugarMagnolia said...

Thanks for participating! My plan is to read through all the entries and then begin my comments and critiques. I will give out my top ten my votes when I'm finished.

Best of luck to you, and stay tuned!

Jayme said...

This was already one of my favorite Pitch Polish entries, but the extra backstory in this version makes it even more of a standout. Good luck! :)

SugarMagnolia said...

(Hi again! I plan to give out comments during this round, and then I'll give out my top ten votes as soon as I have critiqued everyone's queries.)

What a great start! Your first 150 words immediately drew me in, and I think you really hit your stride in the third paragraph. Your voice is confident and engaging, and Johnny seems like a dynamic, interesting narrator. I also like the fact that he cares so much about his teacher; this speaks volumes for who he is.

This is just a tiny detail, but did you realize you used two colons in the first paragraph? Colons are such statement punctuations that I would recommend cutting one or the other. I also had a tiny problem with those two sentences (one in the query, one in the 150 words) where you interjected the word "though." Maybe it's just a funny quirk of mine, but I felt like those sentences didn't read as smoothly as I would have liked.

Very minor details in an otherwise super promising query. Excellent job!