Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Agent's Inbox #27

Dear Agent,

A small-town teen thinks taking part in his older brother’s Bigfoot hoax is a great idea--until a real-life monster attacks.

Thirteen-year-old Tim records video of MoMo--a Bigfoot-like creature that first terrorized his dying hometown many years ago. The video goes viral overnight. When Tim discovers a furry costume in his family’s storage shed, he realizes what he saw wasn’t a monster, but a hoax put on by his brother and the mayor’s son in hopes of reviving the town. Afraid that his brother could lose his football scholarship if they’re caught, Tim reluctantly joins their plot.

Reporters, amateur monster hunters, and even a reality television crew flock to town in response to the social media frenzy Tim’s video creates. But then a real monster arrives, killing pets, livestock, and eventually humans. The town’s Monster Hill is transformed into a danger zone, inhabited by MoMo and crawling with trigger-happy hunters eager to kill it.

Struggling under the weight of the lies he’s told to protect the plot, Tim convinces the other two boys to stop their hoax. When the mayor’s son sneaks off to Monster Hill for one last ill-advised appearance in his MoMo costume, Tim must take action to save the people he cares about.

#MoMoLives, an upper middle grade horror novel, is complete at 51,000 words. It is inspired by actual events that happened in my hometown when I was ten years old. I wrote this novel because of its connection to my childhood, but most of my writing projects are science fiction rather than horror.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.



Note to self: Next time the Conroy twins ask me to play hide and seek on Monster Hill at sunset, tell them to get lost.

I caught Robbie in his usual hiding place about five minutes ago. Now I’m after Mitch, who’s not only better at hiding, he loves to startle me.

A twig cracks in the distance, putting me on high alert. I move toward the noise, but Mitch is gone when I get there. The sun slips down over the top of the hill; pretty soon I won’t see anything as the shadows grow even darker.

More rustling comes from a few feet behind me. Mitch is making more noise than usual tonight; he’s giving himself away. I get a whiff of something foul on a light breeze that’s kicked up. I bet he stepped in dog crap again. That kid’s a magnet for the stuff.

My phone vibrates as I turn toward the noise. Mitch’s text glows on the backlit screen: “Mom called me in when Robbie came home. You win.”

A chill shoots down my spine. If Mitch is at home, who’s sneaking up on me? Or maybe it’s something, not someone. After all, I am on Monster Hill.

POP! A thicker branch behind me breaks. I catch movement out of the corner of my eye, and turn quickly enough that I get a brief glimpse of a hulking, shadowy form in the darkness. Its eyes shine as it steps closer.

“YAAAAAH!” I sprint for home.


Sheryl Witschorke said...

I really like this concept and while I did read the entire opening, I wasn't as hooked by the sample pages. The voice was missing for me. It's like making a great smelling soup but when you taste it, it's too bland. You have a great idea and will have great pages to match with some tweaking of the voice.

Anonymous said...

Loved the query idea and the concept. I think this sounds fun and original, and I love the complicated nature of the lies they weave. I do like the pages, though I found there wasn't enough atmosphere for me to totally grip onto the story than I would have liked.

Rachel Berros said...

I really enjoyed the query and thought it was full enough without being too over stuffed with information.
I also felt the page lived up to expectation and it drew me into the story. That could be because I'm a horror wuss, or just some fun writing! ;) I would however agree that you could add a little more atmosphere to really get under people's skin and pull them in.
Good luck!

Unrepentant Escapist said...

I love the sample page is nice too. The only thing I'd say is, as an adult reader, I'd like to see more suspense/build-up before he jumps to something is chasing him. I don't feel immersed in his fear.

Unrepentant Escapist said...

Sorry, the first line of that is I love the query and title, and I think the sample page is nice too.

Roller Coaster Robot said...

I like the concept and I like that it's inspired by real events. I agree with the above that it might better to give the reader just a tad more atmosphere, a maybe a few more inner thoughts about his fear. But cute story!

The Agent said...

Just by telling me that there's a teen involved I already know the genre - and the bigfoot hoax also tells me most of what I need to know. This is a solid first line.

However, in the second chapter, when you mention the age of 13 I realize that this could also potentially be Middle Grade, so it would still be helpful to state the genre in the first line. It's not until the last paragraph that you say "upper middle grade" and I was a bit confused about the age range as I read the query.

However, this is a solid concept and I always love me a little Scooby Doo type plot, so I'd definitely read on!

The text:

Great first line. I also like the hashtag.

This is a very well written and totally creepy first 250 words and I would absolutely keep reading!

Jessica Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Gorbet said...

Wow, what a concept! Something like this could be difficult to articulate in a query, but you nailed it. Wouldn't change a thing.

As for your first page, love the opening paragraph. Love the humor. The only thing that I might offer up as a suggestion is changing your MC's reaction to the Mitch text. Instead of pausing to ask who could it be and then remembering he's on Monster Hill, I'd rather see him jackrabbit home and then when he's out of perceived danger, he can think about what happened. I think this could amp up the ante here. Just a thought.

Finally, I love that the fictitious monster is called Momo. I think this is perfect for MG.

Best of luck with this awesome concept, I love it!Wow, what a concept! Something like this could be difficult to articulate in a query, but you nailed it. Wouldn't change a thing.

Best of luck with this awesome concept, I love it!