Dear Snarkmandu: (ok, I'm laughing)
I'm offering a mid-grade contemporary novel, Midnight Run.
What do a brother and sister do when they sneak out of the house at midnight and witness a crime? Solve it, of course! But for these kids there's a twist: they have to help Mom run for mayor. And the election is less than a week away! (Im perking up here)
Midnight Run is a 40,000-word novel featuring humor, mystery and heroes. Twelve-year-old Ricky narrates the story, as he and his fifteen-year-old sister Rory (Aurora when she's in Mom's doghouse) become amateur sleuths. Key to solving the puzzle is a GPS bracelet all kids must wear to school. (oh yes yes yes, please dog, I hope you can write)
The story climaxes on Election Day when the protagonists use their wits to overcome long odds and a well-connected adversary: the current mayor. Fortunately, these kids are clever enough to thwart the guilty parties, save a classmate from evil kidnappers, and ultimately help Mom win. (oh dear dog, a plot, Im fainting with joy)
I've written a series of 12 half-hour, live-action DVD comedies ("title") aimed at a YA audience and due for a late 2006 release. I've also had two short stories published and written scripts for eight other live-action videos produced for elementary schools.
May I submit Midnight Run for your consideration? Hell yes you may.
Beggar at the Gate
(you barbarian you)
Ms. Price stands in front of our class, arms folded, and waits.
Nobody dares to move. Twenty-two pairs of eyes stare unblinking at Ms. Price. All twenty-two pairs of lips remain sealed. And all twenty-two sets of arms and hands rest neatly on their desks. Except mine. My eyes turn downward, and I feel my right arm fight off gravity and rise into the air as if a puppeteer is gently tugging it upwards with a string.
Classmates squirm in their seats. A cough. The weight of my arm sends pain signals to my brain as though I am holding the entire class in the palm of my hand, which, in a strange way, I am. (you cannot have a sentence this long and maintain dramatic tension. Just can not)Can't Ms. Price see my hand? What is taking so long? I've committed my eyes to stare at my shoe tops so I don't allow myself to look up. It is so quiet, I can hear the second hand on the wall clock in the back of the room as it tick tick ticks a lap around the dial.
At last! "Yes, ma'am?"
"You've taken William's backpack?"
William is not William. He is Billy which sounds curiously close to Bully and he strives daily to measure up to the name. He is only William if you are his teacher or his mother. To the rest of our sixth-grade class, he is Billy pronounced however you like. Right now, Bully sits in the principal's office whining his complaint and keeping the rest of us from gaining our freedom. The final bell chimed at least three minutes ago.
"Yes, ma'am, I took it."
I finally lift my gaze and walk to the front of the classroom.
Ms. Price pauses and eyes the rest of the class with continued suspicion. "Did anyone help Mr. McCallie?" I'm at the front of the classroom so I don't dare look around, but apparently no one confesses to acting as my sidekick in crime. "The rest of you are dismissed," I hear Ms. Price say, and she turns her attention to me.
"Have a seat, Richard."
"Where did you hide the backpack?"
The question is more difficult than it sounds. See, I didn't take the backpack. I know who did, and I really care about her.(you don't have to tell us this...duh)
I think that's my first mistake.
Since I didn't take the backpack, I don't know where it's hidden. I hadn't anticipated this question so soon. Okay, okay, I confess. I'm trying to come to the aid of Lisa Branch, girl in our class, tell you about her later. Right now though, I've incorrectly predicted Ms. Price will dole out some petty punishment - do more homework or clean the playground or some such nonsense - and I'd trade my PlayStation for an answer to her question.
She misinterprets my silence. "We can call your mother, Richard. Maybe you'd rather tell her where you hid the backpack."
"I threw it out." So I'm not the King of Clever under pressure.
"Threw it out?" Ms. Price says, a note of skepticism in her voice.
"Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry."
"Threw it out where?"
"Well, the trash."
"I didn't think you threw it out the window, Richard. Which trash can?"
"Oh. The cafeteria." This is my second mistake.
This needs ruthless paring.
The query letter really got my hopes up.
I'd read more but most likely this is a nice note with "keep working, let me see a new draft that has been sheared".