12.22.2006

HH Com 310

Many people lead dual existences, readily displayed public personalities shading the guarded activities of their secret lives. In my novel, "Joan's Creep," a 10 year old girl gets more than she bargained for when she stumbles upon a dangerous exhibition of what goes on behind closed doors.

The first part of my novel takes place during a single night as young (your hook starts here---->) Joan Whalen enters a concealed portal and crawls through the duct work at the Wilderness Resort. From her hidden vantage point Joan witnesses the private anguish, joy, betrayal and perversity of the occupants in each room she visits. Tired and lost after a long night in the maze-like heating duct system, Joan falls through a poorly connected vent and into the room of a naked sadist. The second part of my novel takes place 14 years later as the scarred and mentally unhinged Joan, accompanied by a similarly damaged companion, searches for answers and reexamines her nocturnal creep through the hotel. (and ends here) The activities in part two occur in one day.

I've always appreciated stories told from a child's perspective, encouraging readers to revisit the innocence that existed before we accepted aberrations as normal occurrences. My novel is set near the cloud-enshrouded Obscure Mountains, a popular tourist destination renowned for the possibility that on any given day the clouds could lift and reveal the mysterious mountains.

Portal is a word almost exclusively associated with science fiction, so when I read that I'm expecting black holes and dragons or something.

You've given us one piece of the hook: the main character. Everything else is missing.

I'm never going to read past "naked sadist" in a book about kids. Ever.

3 comments:

wavybrains said...

You want "readers to revisit the innocence" then you dump a ten year old in a room with a sadist--this is not how you recapture the innocence--that's how you create a backstory for PSTD. This is one case where being vague may actually help you--allude to some horror at ten but focus on who Joan is now and why she's returned--if the first part (half?) is a graphic retelling of what she sees/happens to her--you may want to refocus. Make the story about her now at 24 with LIMITED flashback. Just my two cents.

~Nancy said...

Naked sadist? ::shudder::

What Miss Snark said. I primarily read fantasy, and when I see "portal," I expect to see the MC be transported to a different world or something.

Instead, she falls into a room with a naked sadist? I'm sorry, author, but I don't get it.

I can't comment as to whether or not this is an appropriate subject for YA because I don't read YA.

Good luck with it.

~JerseyGirl

Katharine Swartz said...

This seems to me to be an adult novel, with the first part being child-centered. Adult novels can have child main characters. A ten year old with a naked sadist in a hotel room is not something I'd ever want to read in a YA, and I don't think I'm alone in this. If you wrote it for an adult market, you could be freer with the creepiness factor, whereas in YA you'd be constantly checking it, and perhaps losing some of the story's power.