Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Agent's Inbox #13

Dear Mystery Agent,

Thank you so much for your participation in this contest! I’m looking forward to your insights, and can’t wait to read your reactions to the entries.

ONCE UPON A WITNESS is an upper middle grade of 60,000 words. This fairytale mashup is ELLA ENCHANTED meets SHREK, in which an enterprising ex-princess discovers that the Organization of Fairy Godmothers is using the Island of Witness Protection to dispose of anyone who doesn’t fit their idea of a happily ever after.

When Princess Esme finds herself unjustly banished to the Island of Witness Protection by her manipulative Fairy Godmother, she’d do anything to return home. But her trouble is only getting started. While digging into the Island’s secrets, she learns that her frenemy has taken over her kingdom and imprisoned her friends, and that her Fairy Godmother has no plans to bring Esme back. Unfortunately, getting off the Island without her Fairy Godmother’s help seems impossible. The Maphea (Magicians Against Princesses Happily Ever After) guards the secret, and Esme’s only allies are the reportedly evil creatures a nice princess wouldn’t claim as friends. As her misfortunes grow--she’s chased by wraiths through a dungeon, her pocket dragon tries to kill her frog prince friend, and she unwittingly unleashes the magic of a deadly basilisk mirror--Esme wonders if her Fairy Godmother could be right. What if she doesn’t deserve a happily ever after?

In addition to writing middle grades, I work as a content editor for Red Adept Publishing. I also write romantic suspense under the pseudonym Lily Black. Storm of Attraction will release from RAP in spring of 2017. My MG novel NinChicks took third place overall in the SCBWI Carolinas 2013 fiction writing contest, and first among middle grades.

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


Chapter One: Wherein the Princess Befriends a Dragon

In Fairyland, a princess should never run. Neither should she hide. And refusing to take tea with a visiting Prime Minister? Any princess worthy of the title would rather sleep on a pile of frozen peas.

Yet I was doing all three.

I dodged around another corner of the castle, and squeezed into a small side closet. I kept my fingers on the handle of the door, so it didn’t quite latch. Feather dusters tickled the back of my neck, and bundled sheets pressed close from the shelves around me. In the darkness I listened.

I heard the tramp of many boots walking by my hiding place, and the stiff rustle of women’s full skirts. His honorable Sir, the Prime Minister of Kingdom Hogsmallow, must have recruited half my lords and ladies to help him look for me.

Once they’d passed, I stepped out and walked quickly down the hall in the direction they’d come from. Two minutes of careful walking and cautious watching later, I slipped into a tiny side parlor where I knew I’d be safe. My old nurse, Gertie, was the only person who used this and she would never tell on me. Truth, she’d probably hide me. Unfortunately Gertie was in the small bedroom behind the parlor, taking her nap, so I’d have to sit tight and wait for her to wake on her own and help me out of my mess.


Elizabeth Jaeger said...

The idea of banishing anyone who doesn't fit their idea of "happily ever after" is cute. But the name Witness Protection for the island doesn't sound child friendly. The letter feels a bit wordy. I think it could be more catchy if it were filed down a bit, offering the reader the more catchy aspects of the novel.
A stronger start to the opening would be, "I dodged around another corner..." This would more firmly grip the audiences attention.

The agent said...

I love the special personifying at the beginning of this, which instantly appeals to any narcissistic tendencies within me, so you successfully made me read everything. Unfortunately, the plot does not intrigue me as much as I had hoped, but as this is very subjective, someone else may just love this project.

Jessi said...

I love this! And have nothing useful to add, other than I would totally read this book if I picked up. Good luck with it. :)