Thursday, May 2, 2013

Writer's Voice Entry

 
I've been randomly selected to participate in Cupid's Literary Connection's Writer's Voice Contest! Can you guess how I'm feeling about that?

a) EXCITED
b) CraZeD
c) Nervous
d) All of the above
Uh-huh. You guessed it. That last one.

But seriously, I am really excited and a huge thank you to Cupid, Brenda Drake, Monica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer for hosting! If you're curious to see how the contest works, click here.

As part of the contest, I'm sharing my query and the first 250 of my YA Magical Realism CHICK MAGNET. Enjoy!

THE QUERY:
Dear Writer's Voice Coaches:
JD Marshall has a power most guys would trade their left nut for. With one hypnotizing look, he can get a girl to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And for three years he’s racked up more scores than Brett Favre. But his power’s not a blessing. It’s just a curse.

And it is a curse. One he’s got three months to break or lose any chance of ever having a real relationship. The only way to break the curse—learn to love and be loved. Like that’s going to happen. JD needs to focus on quarterbacking his team to the state finals. He needs to pass freaking math. And he needs to quit thinking about Susan Milton. She’s taken. She’s forbidden. Worse—she seems to be the only one immune to his power.

But JD can’t get away from her. The principal (aka Mom) arranges tutoring with Susan to save a shaky English grade. But when math and football botch the after-school sessions, the “tutoring” with Susan continues over late night phone calls. JD discovers that he’s going to have to do a little more than just look at a girl to charm the skirt off her. And he finds that underneath that tight little body lies a pretty screwed up past, one that parallels his own.
What blooms is a relationship JD can’t tell anyone about—not even his best friend. Because Susan—the one he wants, the one he can’t avoid, the one who could break the curse—just happens to be his hot new English teacher.

At 98,000 words, my young adult fiction CHICK MAGNET is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a Paradise Lost twist. It explores second chances, defying odds, and the bonds of friendship.
I am a member of SCBWI, the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Write Brained Network. I am also a founding member of the group blog YA Confidential, a resource for YA writers devoted to all things teen, all the time.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

THE FIRST 250
Getting with Susan Milton should be the last thing on my mind.
I should be thinking Northeast and their defensive line, the one that racks up eight QB sacks a game. I should be running through Coach’s five new plays—the ones the Panthers won’t see on the scouting tapes. I should think about how David and I are going to get a keg for the beach after the game. Or how if I don’t play the game of my life, we won’t even need one.
Maybe I should focus on my senior project.
Or the Pre-Calc test I have in thirty minutes.
            But I just can’t get my mind off her.
            Ever since she glided into English on the first day of school, I haven’t been able to focus on much else. And not just because Susan Milton’s the hottest chick I’ve ever seen. I mean, she is: tight little body, sexy smile, shiny blond hair that smells like the jasmine growing in my backyard. She has a habit of wearing these low cut tops, and if she bends over just right, I almost get a free show. And God, her voice. The way she recites poetry, it’s like she’s singing—just to me. I used to hate English. Now I hate the wait until third period for my new favorite class.
            But Susan Milton is forbidden. Off limits. I can’t have her.
            And unfortunately I can get practically anybody.

 
I hope you enjoyed my query and excerpt. Thank you again Writer's Voice hosts and coaches! 

70 comments:

  1. That's awesome - congrats on getting picked!!!

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  2. Congrats on getting into The Writer's Voice, Alison! That's fantastic! The number one thing that leaps off the page (screen?) for me is the guy voice. You totally nailed it. I feel like I'm inside a dude's head, scary as that would probably be in real life. ;-) Also, the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and PARADISE LOST influences have my interest piqued for sure. Sounds great and I would definitely keep reading! :-)

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  3. I totally did not see it coming when you add that she is his teacher. Great twist! Good luck!

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  4. I'm getting all kinds of chills seeing this on your blog today! Of course I agree with Jaime -- you TOTALLY nail the teen guy voice. And your Beauty and the Beast/Paradise Lost references are so spot on.

    *sigh* I ♥ JD.

    Best of luck with the contest, friend!

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    1. Thank you for all the story love, Katy!

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  5. You definitely nailed the voice here. And ha, what a wonderful premise too! Definitely not what I expected, and very refreshing. Good luck!

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  6. That is some incredible voice.

    And Paradise Lost mixed with Beauty & the Beast? All right, I'm down. Keeping my fingers crossed for you, because I definitely want to read more.

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  7. Ooh, I love the twist on this (and great guy voice, btw - kudos!). Good luck!

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  8. ZOMG, Alison! Amazing query - super tight, great set up, and I loooove the way you drop the whole "and she's my teacher" thing. Loooove. Great first 250 too! If the point is to make people desperate to read the rest, then you've nailed it. :) Good luck!!

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  9. Love the male voice here! What an intriguing premise...I would read this in a heartbeat!

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    1. Thanks! I hope you get the chance to one day. :)

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  10. It's always refreshing to see male protagonists! I also love that it's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, since one of my group projects in my Children's Lit class this semester was on versions and retellings of that story. And as a name nerd, I really like that you named the love interest Susan instead of some more popular Top 100 name from this generation.

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    1. My character names usually just splurt out of my head and this one did just that. But I do love her name. And I love the BatB connection too. Good luck with your entry! I enjoyed reading it!

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  11. This sounds GREAT! Super fantastic query! Good luck!

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  12. I love the twist on Beauty and the Beast! Plus, I love a good male narrator. Good luck!

    www.blairthornburgh.com/writing/the-writers-voice-entry/

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  13. I´m lucky enough to have read this book several times already. The voice reminds me of Robin Benway because it´s so authentic...The plot is amazing and you become friends with the characters.
    Simply amazing <3

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    1. OH AND BEST OF LUCK Alison :D Crossing my fingers for you :D

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    2. I heart you. :) Thank you for all the story love!

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  14. Oh my God I am in love - did NOT see that twist at the end of the query!!! Such great voice!! Good luck!!

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  15. I love the twist at the end. I never expected it. And the first 250 is so loud with voice, you'll surely get picked! Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you so much! Good luck to you too!

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  16. I'm hooked!! And like some others said, I did see that last twist coming! (:

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    1. Yay! Thank you! And good luck to you too!

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  17. This sounds great! I love the voice and the twist is fantastic. I'd definitely pick this one up off the shelves. Good luck!!! :)

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  18. You nailed the mail voice in this! Good luck!

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  19. Forbidden love, a "special" skill, a curse ...sounds fantastic! Best of luck. :)

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  20. You nailed the voice! I busted up laughing at the first line of your query. Why don't you have an agent yet? This is fantastic. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love that first line too. :)

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  21. Alison, I have been DYING to read this since I first heard about it. Can you please get published already?! ;-)

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    1. Hopefully one day soon, Jessica! Thanks for all the story love. :)

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  22. Love the male narrator and the super huge taboo that drives the plot. Very surprising query. Well done! And he's a QB who now loves to hear poetry--awesome. Good luck!!

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  23. Wow, what an amazing query--you hooked me from the very first line. I actually gasped when I found out she was his teacher. I didn't see that coming at all. The whole premise is fantastic, and so is your voice.

    Good luck. :)

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    1. Yay! Thank you so much! And I LOVE your project. Definitely want to read that one!

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  24. What a great twist to have her be his teacher--would love to see how that plays out (in a non-voyeuristic way, hee hee). Best of luck!

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    1. Thank you, Angelica! Good luck to you too!

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  25. Oh dang. His teacher! Nice twist. I like your 250 :) Good luck in the contest.

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    1. Thank you! So nice to see you back in the blogosphere. :) Good luck to you too!

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  26. Oh crap. His teacher?!?! Tricky, taboo ground. With a female protag, there's no way it could be pulled off commercially. (I don't think?)But, with a dude...maybe...? Just maybe... I'd love to hear what industry feedback you've garnered with the premise. G'luck.

    Lucas

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  27. Interesting take on the genre, and nice twist!
    Good luck!

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  28. Go, Alison, go! I love the voice in this excerpt. :)

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  29. This is just absolutely fantastic. Best of luck to you!

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  30. I LOVED your entry! Such an interesting premise and awesome 250! Best of luck in this contest!

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  31. I've liked the sound of Chick Magnet ever since I started following your blog so it was great being able to read an excerpt of it. Great male voice and nice twist with the teacher. Hopefully one day we'll be able to read more than just the first 250 words - good luck in the contest!

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  32. Wow. Great query--love the twist--great intro, and great premise! Love the voice. Good luck!

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  33. “Hi, Alison! I WANT YOU AND CHICK MAGNET ON TEAMCUPIDSLC13!!!!!!!

    Loooove the voice. Loving this MC! And, ack!, what a twist!!

    Come join me on Mt. Olympus!!!”
    ~Cupid

    YIPPPEEEEE YAAAAYY CONGRATULATIONS!!!! *Stuffs confetti cannon with golden sparkles* BOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!
    ~Sarey

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    1. Thank you so much Cupid and Sarah!!!

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    2. YAY! This makes me all kinds of happy!

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  34. Alison, honey!! *This* was one of the reasons I was holding back one of my picks. I wanted to save it in case you didn't get picked by another judge. :) I already helped you with this MS and I thought it would be awesome if another set of fresh eyes read now. Congrats on getting picked by Cupid! To tell you the truth, I've been stalking your entry, like, every day! I think you're really talented and you'll get an agent soon.
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH, Monica! You have been SO helpful and your kind words have put a permanent smile on my face! I am very honored to have you as a reader AND a friend. Thank you!

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