Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #10

Dear Ms. Smith,

Eighteen-year-old Lilja is laser-sure of her dream to pilot a geimskip into orbit, but less sure of the changing relationship with her best friend, Finnur. She can’t have both, not when she’s applied for an internship on the space station with the Icelandic Power Corporation--a company whose geothermal power plant is a danger to Iceland, according to Finnur. When Lilja finds out that Finnur’s been planning to thwart the plant’s expansion behind her back, she doesn’t think twice about proving him wrong and accepting the internship.

During initial tests at the IPC’s space station, Lilja excels at the flying sims, putting her dream of piloting a geimskip within reach. But she soon discovers Finnur was right in his concerns--the IPC’s power plant is triggering earthquakes in Iceland. When she witnesses the murder of a fellow intern who uncovers how to permanently disable the plant from the Kraka geimskip, Lilja must find a way aboard the Kraka before an even greater earthquake destroys her hometown--and everyone in it.

Complete at 65,000 words, BRIGHTEST MIDNIGHT is a YA sci-fi with eco-thriller elements. My work has been published in Pugalicious Press’ TIMELESS anthology of YA historical romance and the SPAIN FROM A BACKPACK anthology, the Compass Media Rainbow Readers online reading series for children, as well as FACES, COBBLESTONE, and APPLESEEDS magazines.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this project.



Waiting for my notification is torture. After refreshing my tablet non-stop all day at school and one last time when I arrive at the airstrip, I’ve had enough. It’s a relief to power it down and stow it away. I don’t need to hear the ping of a new message anyway. I’d much rather fly.

Finnur’s waiting for me at the tail section of his dad’s Haukur 100. It’s the lone propeller plane on the tarmac, but it stands proudly next to the jets lined up like shiny toys. Its sturdy metal frame looms against a gunmetal-gray Icelandic sky.

Finnur’s dark blond hair falls over the bridge of his nose as he greets me with a smile. “Hi, Lilja.”

“Ready to catch some air?” I rub my hands together.

He raises an eyebrow. “You know you sound like a twelve-year-old boy, right?”

I pull myself as tall as I can manage in my pointy-heeled boots. Even with the extra two inches, the top of my ponytail only reaches Finnur’s shoulder. “You know my motto,” I shoot back. “Fly like someone’s chasing you.”

Finnur rolls his eyes and follows my lead as I climb into the cockpit.

He doesn’t know how much I need the distraction of my weekly joy-ride because I haven’t shared my secret with him, or with anyone. But when the acceptances finally go out today, I’ll either get to spill my news--or be forced to watch my dream slip away.


Anonymous said...

I love this so much! The stakes are so clear, and the first 250 flows the way I'd expect from the query. Good luck!

Samantha Sabovitch said...

You did a good job of laying out the characters, describing the stakes, and giving us a taste of your sci-fi world.

The only nitpick I have is that I wasn't sure whether her best friend Finnur was male or female and the nature of their relationship. I spent some time searching for that info, to find it in the last sentence. Then I spent some time looking for a romantic relationship, which I didn't find except for the hint in the first sentence.

I absolutely adore your first paragraph, since we all can relate to that. ;) I have no nitpicks about the rest of the 250 words!

Good luck. Now I want to go read some sci-fi, since I've been reading more urban fantasy lately. :D

Anne Tedeton said...

Killer 250, and a nice, clean query. The worldbuilding here is seamless. I'd definitely read more!

Megan Reyes said...

Is it just me, or does Lilja waiting for her notification sound a lot like waiting to hear responses for submitted query letters? :oD

I really like this. The plot could appeal to both men and women—jet pilots AND romance!

I really like that her dream job ends up becoming the villain… what a great conflict!

The voice is good. I can tell Lilja is a strong and determined lead. Her relationship with Finnur seems fun (which will of course lead to a great romantic conflict).

Overall, good query. I would read more. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This one has a great voice. Good luck!

Melinda said...

You hooked me with the word Iceland. I just returned from an amazing trip there and have been thinking how it would make a great setting for a story. I also love the title.

The query is solid, but I was a little confused at the mention of the Kraka. Can you just drop it and say geimskip, or is this different somehow? And does she want to get aboard to disable it, escape the earthquakes, or something else?

Love the voice in the first page. Nice job!

Mandy P. said...

I'm all for the concept of this story! I would read this in a heartbeat.

My only nitpick, and this is a serious nitpick so forgive me, is in your 250. "I pull myself as tall as I can manage in my pointy-heeled boots." Pointy-heeled boots? Why on earth is she wearing heeled boots at all to fly a jet? Pilots generally wear flat shoes. (Or rather, no more than a men's dress shoe/combat boot type heel.) It just seems that pointy-heeled boots would be really impractical.

Good luck! The story sounds great!

Jennifer Eaton said...

The premise sounds awesome, and I can imagine a great chase scene in there somewhere.

I'm wondering if there is any romance between the two friends that would make things a little stickier? Something like that might spice up the query a bit (or clutter it, but I was wondering as I read, so I thought I'd mention it.)

Sounds like a great read. A timely topic to contemporary USA's troubles with Fracking (at least that's what it made me think of)

Good luck with it!

Karen Clayton said...

Love the opening line of your query. Laser-sure of her dreams. SO cool! You had me hooked from the start and never let go. Good story and good writing.

Bridget Smith said...

This is such a great setting, and I love how it flavors the story. I also love characters who have dreams and run after them. However, the stakes seem too generic to me. The second paragraph – the bulk of the plot – isn’t specific enough to Lilja. Is there some way you can show that the loss will be personal as well as general? Obviously the loss of her hometown, etc., is no laughing matter, but it can be one of those things that’s too big to hurt the reader. You want us to be just as worried as she is.