Dear Miss Snark,
When her sister disappears as part of a government-sanctioned illegal medical experiment, a journalist must use her covert empathic abilities to find her. MindBlind is a 80,000 word thriller. (err...covert empathic abilities means we're in the SFF realm)
In a near future world in which hyper-empathy is considered a disease treatable with neuro-ablative surgery, closet empaths live hidden among the ‘Mind Blind’. Isabel Jepson is just such an empath. An investigative journalist, she has learned to successfully ‘pass,’ concealing her empathic skills, but she lives an isolated life. you're missing the obvioius. Why does she want to keep her empathic abilities. You've assumed having them is good. If they are "treatable" there must be a down side..what is it?
A gifted linguist treated for hyper-empathy as a child, Isabel’s older sister Kathryn is an emotionally scarred adult. (being a linguist will do that to you.) But she has something the government needs and is willing to experiment with her brain to obtain. Randall Parness, an agent for homeland security, kidnaps Kathryn in an effort to create the perfect spy--an empathic linguist he can control.
Isabel’s investigative instincts are not enough to locate her sister. She must rely on her empathic skills, risking disclosure to seek allies among mind blinds and other secret empaths to rescue Kathryn and expose the government’s plot.
The manuscript of MindBlind is available upon request. Thank you for your time and attention.
I'm looking closely at all cross genre stuff right now, so I'm going to overlook the beige query letter and get right to the pages.
"Izzi! I got the job! Call me!"
It always started out the same way. The same breathless excitement, the same certainty, the same glow in Kathryn's eyes. It was always the dream job or the perfect guy, finally the right alignment of the stars. But every one of her sister's bosses and boyfriends seemed to be named 'Shithead'. Kat was drawn into disastrous relationships the way some people were suckered into buying lottery tickets.
Isabel stabbed the skip button on the phone, letting the image fade from the display. Kat could damn well call her back this time. She needed a hot shower, a change of clothes, and a drink, but not necessarily in that order.
She hated interview days. Today’s had been as difficult as the ten that came before it, all put together. She should never have let Jared convince her to do this story.
Kicking off her sandals, Isabel collapsed on the sofa and reached for her wineglass. The shower could wait. She closed her eyes letting the alcohol ease the tightness in her throat and chest. That little girl had reminded her of Kat, had spoken in the same monotone that had stolen Kat's animated voice after each treatment. Isabel’s hand trembled and wine sloshed over the sides of the glass.
Remember, she'll be a little sleepy after, so she won't be able to play with you. We're counting on you Izzi--watch over Kat. She needs you. But she'll be all better soon.
She managed to put the glass down without shattering it. Damn Jared for insisting she take this story. She could just imagine his reaction if she called him now.
"Jared? That series on that new treatment protocol? Yeah. No can do. So sorry. Saw my sister nearly driven insane by it. And by the way, if they’d found out I was an empath, I would have been detained and forcibly treated along with her."
Oh, that would go over quite well.
Isabel stared across the coffee table at the glowing telephone display. Every few minutes it would chirp, reminding her of Kat’s stored message. Sighing, she reached for the phone. Hitting the button for audio only, she surrendered to the inevitable. “Call Kat.”
She poured another glass of chardonnay.
“Hi, this is Kat. Sorry you missed me. Leave a vid, voice, or text and I’ll get back to you!”
“Kat, it’s Izzi. I’ll be home all night.”
Isabel ended the connection, puzzled. Kat hated to miss a call and never turned her mobile off. Well, maybe she finally gave poor Kennett a break. He’d only been asking her out every week since forever. But it was probably too much to hope for; Kat seemed to have the same luck choosing companions as bosses.
Bosses. Jared. Shit. He was expecting her to check in about today’s interviews, but the less time she spent with him while she felt this vulnerable, the better. It was hard to banish the image of his capable hands kneading away the tension of her neck and shoulders. She shook her head.
The interviews needed to be transcribed and voice-stress analyzed but Isabel didn’t need a computer algorithm to tell her she’d heard the truth in that girl’s voice. A shudder washed over her followed by the despair she’d been struggling against all day.
backstory, action seen after the fact, tired heroine in first page.
the writing doesn't suck but I'm not caught up in the story at all. Give us something to chew on; reading this is like looking at pages of food when you're hungry. You also need to give some thought to explaining why empaths are considered dangerous. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but you'll have to clue me in cause it's not obvious to me. My empathy as we all know is damn limited.