Abs Writes A Lot

My name's Abs… and I write a lot.

The Writer’s Voice… lalalala….

on May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice

Okay, no, it’s not a singing competition! 😉 And yes, I just announced my book deal for my romantic women’s fiction novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, yesterday and I am still SQUEEing my little heart out, but, on a whim, before the announcement was made, I decided to enter my YA manuscript, DEAD TALKER, in its second contest, called The Writer’s Voice. I made it into the first round. Gosh, guys, this is almost an embarrassment of riches at the moment! But, I will take it, because I would still love for DEAD TALKER to find an agent so that it can be published by a major publisher and be a huge success. So, here goes my entry, and thanks again to the wonderful organizers and coaches of this contest–Kimberly Chase, Krista Von Dolzer, Brenda Drake ( you know she had to be involved! 😉 ), Monica Bustamante Wagner and Cupid’s Literary Connection! You are all awesomeness! 


I am seeking representation for my 56,000-word YA paranormal novel, DEAD TALKER.

Fifteen-year-old Sydney knew helping that cranky dead guy would end badly. Now, more spirits want her help. But not all are lost— or good. 

With the help of hottie psychic Noah, Sydney discovers dark entities are stalking her, threatening to bring her to their side — and she’s not keen on moving to No-Longer-Living-ville. Sydney must embrace her gift or the menacing shadows will destroy her, as well as those she cares about.

My manuscript mixes the creepy contemporary style of Vivian Vande Velde’s short story collection, Being Dead, and the humorous voice of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series and Jessica Brody’s 52 Reasons to Hate My Father.

I have a B.A. in communications and journalism, and currently work as a newspaper editor in western North Carolina. DEAD TALKER is my first YA novel, though I have a romantic women’s fiction novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, releasing through Swoon Romance/Month9Books this fall. 

First 250 Words:

There’s a dead man in my classroom.

The pale, portly man looks like a reject from a zombie movie set. Though his grayish skin seems to zap the light from the room, I’m the only one to notice this cloudy fixture amongst the sunlight pouring in through the wall of rectangular windows. Of course, that’s nothing new. I’ve always been the only one to see the dead people lurking around.

He looks confused so that means he probably doesn’t realize yet he’s no longer among the living.

Just what I need.

He’ll look to me for help, for a hand to guide him over to the other side, perhaps relay a message of love to his wife and kids. Sorry, I’ve got bigger worries.

Okay, not “bigger worries,” maybe, but after about ten years of this crap, I’m kind of over it. Surely, dead folks can go find some other medium in Wilmington who’s desperate to make a connection with the other side so she can pay off her debt. Come on. I don’t need this. I’d rather focus on my hottie English teacher, Mr. Bradford, and daydream about the day he’s going to realize I’m fifteen going on thirty, as my mom is so fond of saying.

I digress. While drowning happily in my thoughts of Mr. Bradford and his Clark Kent handsomeness, I’ve grabbed onto the dead dude as a life preserver in my zoned-out state. Now he realizes I can see him.

Great job, Syd. Seriously.


23 responses to “The Writer’s Voice… lalalala….

  1. Blair says:

    Awesome opener! I love this take on I-see-dead-people—reminds me of Buffy or a teenage Ghost Whisperer. Good luck!

  2. Jennie says:

    Love this! You have great first lines in both your query and your first 250. I love your voice. Excellent entry! Good luck!

  3. This is great. I want to read more! You have a really distinctive voice, Best of luck!

  4. This is a great beginning with the first 250 words. Awesome, awesome.

    I’d like to know a tad bit more in the query synopsis, like why will the spirits hurt her and how can they if they’re spirits? If she’s the only one who can see them can they hurt her severely like in The Sixth Sense or the like?

    Great story and great first line!

  5. Go, Abby, Go! Good luck with the contest — love Syd’s voice : )

  6. Elizabeth Dunn says:

    You sure got the voice and the humor! Love the hook in the first line of your query.

  7. Love your entry! The premise sounds intriguing and SO up my alley–And that first page–LOVE the Voice! Best luck!

  8. Marieke says:

    Ooh, I love the voice here!! So cute!! 😀 Good luck!! (And congrats on your book deal <3)

  9. Kristy Shen says:

    Love love love this entry. Excellent voice and writing. I’m cheering my heart out for you, Abby! *waves POM POMs*

  10. Your first 250 words really set the mood (& the voice for your MC) – good job, and good luck!

  11. Roselle Kaes says:

    Good Luck, Abby!!! I absolutely love Dead Talker!

  12. Donea Lee says:

    I was thinking teenage Ghost Whisperer, too!! Very cool ~ 🙂 Best of luck to you! (And congrats on your other book deal!!!)

  13. Stephanie Fellenstein says:

    I really like the last paragraph in your first 250. I felt like I was in the classroom with the dead folks.

  14. You definitely have some great hooks. Congrats on your recent deal and good luck!

  15. Dannie Morin says:

    Love this concept. There is so much YOU here. Well, except the whole dead people thing. Good luck, sistah! XOXO d

  16. Melissa says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome voice. I REALLY love it!!! I would read a book or five from this girls viewpoint, she rocks!

  17. Fida says:

    I’m in love with this voice!!

  18. Hannah Scott says:

    Ghost Whisperer, Sixth Sense, and teenage crushes. Wow! I’m in! Good luck to you!

  19. Masumi says:

    Sounds so interesting! I want to read the full story!
    Good luck, Abby!!

  20. There’s a dead man in my classroom? You had me at hello. There’s so much to be said for sarcasm. 🙂

  21. I absolutely LOVE the first lines in both your query and your first page. Perfect! And what a fun paranormal premise! Best of luck 🙂

  22. Diana Sousa says:

    Interesting concept! The first sentence hooks you right away!
    Good luck!

  23. Caitlin says:

    I really like the intro and her being annoyed and sick of her skill. Good luck! 🙂

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