Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #14

Dear Ms Sciuto,

Thirteen-year-old Gary Jones doesn't remember seeing alien abductions on his schedule. That doesn't stop an advanced alien race called the Adviera from kidnapping him. After an alien probing, Gary can move objects with his mind. Unfortunately, his mysterious disappearances don't go unnoticed by his mom and teachers. If only his telekinesis could keep him from flunking the seventh grade.

Ignoring Gary's troubles, the aliens continue to abduct him and other Earth kids whenever they want. With advanced technology that only works on humans, they gift the kids powers ranging from invading people's thoughts to transforming watches into laser shooters. The Adviera secretly plot to turn the superpowered kids into intergalactic weapons hoping to gain an advantage in their impending interstellar war.

Alongside his young alien trainer, Esther, Gary begins to hone his telekinesis. But the aliens pit him against deadly challenges expecting him to take full control of his unpredictable powers. Unless the alien council stops changing the rules, mastering his ability will be impossible. With the increasingly intense training schedule, he's on a fast track to becoming another casualty of the Adviera training program. If Gary doesn't get a handle on his ability and team up with the other kids, he, Esther, and the rest of the Adviera will be turned into space dust. And without the aliens' protection, humanity won't be far behind.

THE ADVIERA ABDUCTIONS, complete at 61,000 words, is an Upper Middle Grade Science Fiction with series potential that blends Sky High and Ender’s Game, with young alien trainers reminiscent of Jedi Masters. I am a member of SCBWI and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild. I have included the first 250 words of my manuscript below per the request of the contest.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.



Walk the dog and stay out of trouble. Should have been easy enough. But the familiar prickle of hairs sticking up on the back of Gary's neck told him it wasn't that simple. Trouble always found him.

His mother's gaze from the living room window bored into him, sending a shudder up his spine. A silent warning he knew all too well. He couldn't escape her radar. Her menacing voice always echoed inside his head. In an attempt to drown it out, Gary grabbed for his earbuds and shoved them into his ears. Bobbing his head to the thundering drums and crashing guitars, he stepped in synch with the music.

Buster, his Golden Retriever, dragged Gary away from the window as if on a mission. The dog stopped at a dimly lit street lamp near the end of the block, barked, and pulled hard on the leash. In an effort to hold him back, Gary grabbed Buster’s collar with his free hand.

“What is it, boy? What are you barking at?”

Gary looked around the darkening street. The dim lights reflected off the parked cars, but no one was outside. A brisk wind beat against his ears raising goose bumps on his skin. Nothing interrupted the continuous drumming of his music.

Following Buster’s gaze, he found the cause of the disturbance--white lights floating across the sky.

“It’s just a plane. Come on.” He tried to yank the dog back toward the house. Buster planted his butt on the ground and whined.


Wendy Parris said...

I love your first 250, especially the opening paragraph. You do a fantastic job with Gary's voice, and setting up a sense of foreboding right away.

Tiny bit the beginning of your query, you indicate that the Adviera are the antagonists, then in the last two sentences it seems that they are being threatened and are necessary to protect humanity. If this is the case, maybe you can throw in something about Gary realizing the Adviera are actually trying to help, and there is another alien threat out there?

Or maybe I'm mis-reading...let me know!

Definitely want to read more. Good luck ;-)

Anonymous said...

I really like what you've done with this. And I hadn't seen the first 250 before. It's great the way you take the familiar of walking the dog and infuse it with the hint of something more coming.

I don't think that's an airplane, Gary...

Natasha M. Heck said...

What a great 250 words and leaving on a hook! I was a bit confused about when he started listening to the music since he "stepped in sync", but the next paragraph his dog dragged him away from the window. I do like how you are conveying his emotions with the music so just a little clarity there.

The query I feel is a bit long with too much information about the alien's agenda and losing sight of Gary. The interstellar war interests me quite a bit, and I love how that leads into your last line. Good luck!

PamBrunskill said...

Loved your first 250 words! You've got great voice--it sounds perfect for upper middle great. I also was a little confused with the window comment because I assumed he was already outside when he was walking in sync with the music. The query was a bit long for me as well. I wonder if there's a way to condense the plot into two paragraphs, focusing only on the heart of the story and leaving secondary parts to read in the novel, or maybe just hint that they exist. As written, it was too much to take in at once, and I felt overwhelmed while reading it, though I'm sure it would make sense in the novel.

Good luck with this. From the little I read, I imagine middle schoolers will love it!


Agent Sara Sciuto said...

I was intrigued by the alien abduction and the resulting telekinesis. Although you caught my interest, the description I felt was too long and I didn't read the full thing. For these long descriptions, I just read enough to get a good sense of what the story's going to be about and then I move on to the sample pages. We just don't need to know all of these plot details at this point. It's all about piquing an agent's interest and getting them to read the sample pages.

For the sample pages, I know it's upper MG, but the voice still felt a bit on the mature end in parts. Especially that second paragraph with the monologue about his mom--it didn't sound like a 13yo voice. Overall though, I enjoyed the query.