Dear Miss Snark,
I've recently completed a suspense novel, “Title” (95,000 words), set in Cambridge, England.
Polly trades one small world for another. She leaves an unchallenging, semi-rural New Hampshire town for the formal, eccentric, ancient city of Cambridge. It's a good change, until a newly close friend disappears—and it becomes clear that the real reason she's run so far from her old life will have to come out.
I wrote for “Such-and-Such” magazine for six years, and now freelance for “This-and-So” magazine. I'm an American living in Cambridge, and my intimacy with this amazing city is evident on the page.
SASE enclosed. Thank you for your time.
ok, that's succinct!! I love it.
I'll read on for sure.
“Come on,” Nick said, tugging my hand. He dragged me past the Plesiosaur and Iguanodon skeletons, and unlocked a stairwell. He prodded the elevator button within. When the thing came it had one of those old iron grilles, which he shoved aside for entry. He pressed me against the back wall of the box and kissed me furiously.
He has lovely hands. Later, when the people making “missing” posters asked for a detailed description of him, I uselessly went on about his perfect hands. Right here you've got me. You're 84 words into this and you've got me. Good.
When the lift went ding at the top floor, he stalked out without a word down a long, dingy hallway. I trotted after him; it's not like he was forcing himself on me or anything. I'd forgotten he has an office up here in Earth Sciences—but of course he does. It's a tiny space, nothing more than books and a coffee maker and a desk and a lock on the door, which is enough of course. We perched on the desk, our bodies facing forward and our heads to each other, like two kids sharing a soda-fountain float, knees touching. He pulled my face to his.
I don't think he meant for much more than petting—he doesn't seem like someone who would rush anything. But when he unbuttoned my shirt I said no. I'm certain I did, but it was kind of muffled in his cheek. So he undid the next button. I shoved his shoulder, hard, and said no again. He was surprised, I think. I was too. I mean, it's fine to say no to anything, but this was abrupt. He leaned in to kiss me again. I don't think he was deliberately ignoring me, I think he was just on a roll. So was I frankly. I kissed him back, which was disorienting—he had a right to be even more confused. It was all so—there was this line. I wanted to be on one side of it. I tried to stay there, and haul him back there. But he couldn't see the line. All he knew was that I was still leaning into him. He kissed me all down my neck, and then lower, down into where my shirt was open from the first two buttons. It made me crazy, in a good way, and it made me angry, which was strange. I shoved him so hard he was suddenly standing; I had pushed him off the desk onto his feet. I leaned over the other side of the desk and vomited into his rubbish bin. It had papers in it, not crumpled, just all smooth and rounded, clinging to the side of the basket. I vomited in it, and then over it onto the floor. I kept throwing up for three or four minutes. It was horrible. I was embarrassed and I'm sure he was.
When I was done I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and pushed past him. In the elevator I buttoned my shirt. Back at Peterhouse I changed my clothes.
If Nick had disappeared the next day, I might have blamed myself, imagining him hiding himself out of tact or embarrassment or disgust. But it was days later. I had no reason to think it had anything to do with me. I was worried, of course, but not ashamed, and certainly not fearful of being found out in any way. I was worried for him, not for me. It turns out that I should have been worried for both of us.
ok, I'm in. Send more.
And why isn't KY back from the bodega yet??