Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Press Finalist #2 - Speck Hawkins

70,000 WORDS

Speck Hawkins, the quiet kid labeled worthless nerd by everyone who matters, is more than ready for a fresh start. He gets exactly that when he transfers to Lorincaut Academy, a prestigious boarding school with unusual teaching methods. Armed with a plan—speak up, ditch the nerdwear, and never eat alone—he expects to remake himself within the first month.

What he doesn't expect?

The creepy lake, where his good luck rock dissolves to ash before his eyes.

His sudden, inexplicable development of 20/20 vision.

The blood-red note with his name erratically scrawled on it, sent by someone who claims she can make his every wish come true.

That the life he's always wanted comes with a deadly price.

SPECK HAWKINS is an upper middle-grade fantasy novel with series potential.


Speck Hawkins fumbled in the weeds for his thick, black-rimmed glasses. He slid the heavy frames up his nose, as he'd done every day for years, only to discover he no longer needed them: blurred through the lenses, sunny yellow splotches appeared all over the lake, bright spots against dark water. He yanked the glasses from his face.

Without them, he saw with perfect clarity: marigolds. Ten flowers floated on the water; ten more bobbed up from below the silver-gray surface. They lingered there, like dead fish in a stagnant pond, until suddenly they began to deteriorate. The petals, the stems—one by one, they shriveled to ash and faded into the lake, until every last flower was gone. A chill turned his arm hairs to frayed wires. No birds chirped, no leaves rustled, no wind howled under the heavy gray clouds; there was only silence, thick and deafening.


Jessa Russo said...

I love the title of your book, and the premise sounds really great. I also like that you break the typical query rules with your query. My only suggestion would be to add Speck's age into the query. Editors and agents want to know that information immediately.

Unfortunately, Curiosity Quills does not handle MG yet. Good luck!

Unknown said...

What is upper middle grade? This kind of seems like it may actually be YA? If so, it definitely sounds interesting, and I think Jessa and I would both like to read more. My only critique is of your punctuation in the first 150. There seem to be a lot of colons and semi-colons.

Unknown said...

Your first 150 are fantastic. If I were looking for MG, I'd definitely request this. Wish you best of luck in finding a perfect home for Speck Hawkins.

abuckley23 said...

Sounds creepy and I think it definitely sounds more YA than MG. You're in good hands with Krystal and Jessa :)