Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #14

Dear John Cusick,

Belinda Gallagher is mere months away from aging out of the Georgia foster care system, when a seductive and terrifying woman claiming to be her mother arrives to take her home. And introduces herself as Lilith, the Queen Succubus Extraordinaire.

Belinda isn’t totally surprised by her demonic genetics, since strange things were always happening around her, like her ex-boyfriend being hit by a car seconds after she imagines it. But she is surprised that her new home is Limbo, a place where the dead work off their sins, which looks very much like the suburbs. Despite living in a mansion (gardener included) and having all the trappings of the perfect life, everything is far from picturesque. Lilith has plans for world domination and insists her daughter learn how to be a proper succubus via regular visits from Lilith’s demonic sisters. Goat intestine for breakfast, then school at a prestigious Christian academy, followed by lessons in seduction, deception, and how to crush a person’s soul are not the standards for normalcy.

As Belinda tries to suppress her demonic urges (worst superpowers ever), she struggles to keep up the appearance of an average suburban teenager. The more she rebels against Lilith’s sinister ways, the harder it becomes to hide the evil lurking under the surface. And keep Mommy Dearest from destroying the world.

BELINDA LIVES IN LIMBO is a 90,000 word YA paranormal novel, and potential start of a series. Fans of THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER will appreciate Belinda’s inner battle.

I graduated summa cum laude from the Savannah College of Design with a degree in Motion Graphics. I designed and produced the trailer for the award winning novel The Technologists, written by Matthew Pearl, and published by Random House in 2012. I have published an ongoing fiction novel on Wattpad, which has drawn in a significant amount of readers and has over 35,000 reads.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,


I don’t belong here, but everyone thinks so. County Corrections Orange looks particularly right on me. I have that “damaged goods” look. Perhaps at one time I had potential but now that I’m wearing this jumper that works nights as a traffic cone, I’m just another poor miscreant on her way to a life of crime. Here is the secret though: I never had potential. At least I never had potential to do any good.

My probation officer babbles about what happens now that the judge has signed off on my community service, something about counseling and mandatory court dates. I’m hardly listening. Three more months and I won’t have to deal with the Georgia judicial system anymore. My probation will be up and I’ll be free. She swiftly dismisses me, having about fifty other juvenile delinquents to speak to. Docile, compliant Belinda Gallagher is the least of her worries.

The air outside her office is stifling, rife with teenage breath and youthful angst. None of us want to be here, but we’ve all done something to deserve it. Now, I’ve done plenty of bad things in my life but, for the first time, I can say that I actually am innocent. Mostly.

I navigate my way through the endless hallway. It’s littered with girls wearing the exact same outfit as me. We are a sea of highlighter orange. I finally get to the locker room, change quickly, and then exit the building to meet my ride. 


Molly Shaffer said...

I love the concept of a succubus novel. I've never read one before. Quite interesting. I love the imagery you have in your 250 word excerpt. Is this going to be omniscient in anyway?

Author Amok said...

There were hints of humor that intrigued me in your query and first 250. That made me want to read more of Belinda's voice ("We are a sea of highlighter orange.") Watch for consistent verb tense in your query.

Stacey Trombley said...

I LOVE this. Unfortunately, "normal kid who finds out they're supernatural" is a hard plot line (even if its super unique)because its been done a lot. That alone might make this a hard one. Of course, I'm not an agent so maybe I'm over thinking it. Plus, there's nothing you can do about that. I think this is a great concept, honestly would totally read it. (Also, read School For Good And Evil, it's an upper MG book but has some similarities and might be another comp title for you.)

I hope I'm wrong about it being a hard sell because I'd love to see this published. Good luck!

Reverie said...

I am intrigued by this concept and like the 250 sample. I do thing the first paragraph/lines could be a little stronger but overall great sense of setting!

Anonymous said...

I love the subtle humor in the first 250. The voice is great and makes me want to read more about Belinda.

Good luck!

John said...

So, as I'm sure you've heard, paranormal is really hard to sell. There are a few familiar tropes here, including "half-demon teen" the "boyfriend in a car accident" and being able to see someone's death before it happens. You'll have to fight against these, unfortunately, in trying to place this one.

That said, what draws me to this project is 1) the writing is strong and the voice feels fresh and 2) there seems to be a light touch here, a bit of humor and irony in what might otherwise be a dreary or self-serious paranormal adventure. The humor helps this story stand out in a crowded market.

And I love that title.