#22-DEMON AT MY DOOR (REVISED)

>Dear Agent:

Sixteen-year-old gothic outcast Natalie Sugarman bartered her soul for her dying mother’s life eleven years ago to a boy demon that could stop time. Now, the lifelines on her palms are slowly vanishing, and she knows it’s just a matter of time before Satan’s little helper returns.

Natalie’s learned to keep the soul bargain to herself; after all, blabbing about it in the past has only landed her on a suicide watch, which was followed by a string of lame psychiatric appointments. But when the weirdness begins—snakes gathering around her, disappearing beetles—she seeks answers about her dwindling lifelines from a freaky, glowing-eyed fortuneteller. Creeped out by the psychic’s methods, she bolts from the reading and misses the warning that the demon who stole her soul is closer than she thinks.

After some strange incidents with her new boyfriend, including a hot, levitating make-out session, she realizes he’s the grown-up version of her little nightmare and he’s returned to collect. Natalie must figure out how to win her soul back from the demon before her lifeline completely disappears—even if that means making a deal to damn five other souls to take her place.

DEMON AT MY DOOR, my YA Urban Fantasy is complete at 57,000 words. The manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

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Life lines. Most people think of them as options game show contestants use to help themselves win a million dollars or something else just as equally lame. Me? I know different. I know that the schoolyard game about those little squiggly lines on your palm forecasting your life is actually real. Believe me, I’ve done the research. Which brings me to the mess I’m in. Why the hell are mine disappearing?

Maybe it’s because of that sadistic, five-year-old soul-stealing bastard.

This is the fourth therapist I’ve been to this year. Each one causes me to question my sanity a little more, so there’s no way I’m going to spill my guts about my newly discovered countdown-clock of death. My chart’s filled with enough crazy.

Tearing my eyes away from my palm, I tuck my hand tightly under my opposite arm to get my mind off the creepy issue rolling through my brain.  Seeing a doctor is Mom’s idea. Did I mention how much I resent being here? My last doctor kicked me out of his practice for not “trying” enough. I begged Mom to let me quit at that point and try to heal myself, but since I’m not legally an adult yet, she still calls the shots for what she deems best for me.

As I wait for the doctor to come in, I gaze around the room and notice Dr. Fletcher’s family photos. They’re all smiling, and it occurs to me that people always seem to smile in photos.

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.


6 Responses to “#22-DEMON AT MY DOOR (REVISED)”

  1. Kelly Hashway says:

    >Query: In the second paragraph, you need a comma between watch and which. In paragraph three, you wrote "dealt" instead of "deal."

    First 250:
    Great first paragraph. Doesn't she know why her lifelines are disappearing? I wouldn't say "Maybe it's because of that…" Have her confirm that if she knows it as fact. I'm not sure you get "fired" from a doctor. That word seemed odd to me.

  2. K says:

    >Query: I absolutely love the concept, but I think some of the writing could be clearer. The first paragraph is nice, but I think it might flow better if you start with the lifelines and THEN tell us about the deal she made. Interest, and then conflict. Yes.

    I really want to know more about the grown up demon boy. Does he really love her? Or has he been tricking her the whole time? I don't mean you need to put this in the query, I'm just interested.

    First 250:
    HA! Love it. Especially that standalone sentence after the first paragraph. It reminded me of Holes in a great, unique way. I already have a great sense of Natalie's voice, and I want to hear her story. You might want to watch out for the show-don't-tell thing, because it feels like you're getting close to crossing that line. But for the first 250, I don't think you're really going overboard.

    It does seem like a few things could be "shown," and I have beef with the second sentence of the second to last paragraph. It feels fairly awkward compared to the rest of your writing. You could definitely just jump into the action, and through the dialogue between the doctor and her, most of the things in that large paragraph could be filtered out.

    I really like this story! If you need a beta reader, let me know.

  3. Tuuli says:

    >I remember this from Ask Dalphe. Great job with it! Heck, if I was an agent, I'd request it.

    As for the 250-words, I hope something happens soon. I see a lot of backstory, which I was happy to sit through, but by the end, I was getting a little antsy for something else. I'd keep reading just to see what happens next. But something better happen soon–beyond studying her hand and reflecting.

    And I don't think you can be 'fired' by a therapist, but maybe that's just your mc's voice (which I love, btw).

    Good luck!!!!

  4. Jen Duffey says:

    >Query:
    I agree with the other posts, you've got a great Query. I would request as well. I'm a little curious how she's going to win her soul back while dating the demon. I like that hook.

    Opening:
    The only recommendation I have would be to give a little information on why she is at the therapist. I know in your query it says that she had suicidal thoughts that landed her in therapy, but my assumption was that those were finished. Are these appointments still related to that?

    Good luck!

  5. Tangynt says:

    >Query:
    Everyone has already offered stellar input about the letter. My only question is why after eleven years are the lifelines starting to disappear? Did something trigger it like her sixteenth birthday? A curiosity that, if presented, I feel would add to the great tension you have going here.

    250 words:
    I agree with what was said previously, give the reader the reason for her bouncing back and forth between doctors. Also, after 250 words, we have no idea who the char is age or gender wise, and no clue what to call them. Try and work that in.

  6. ChristaCarol says:

    >Query: A lot has already been said. I have to agree with switching to add the life lines part first. The only other thing which isn't a must is to add a word or two if you can on if Natalie is crushed that the guy she's been smitten for or whatever, is the demon.

    250:

    The first para is great. Though I almost want to know how she realized they were missing (the life lines) or maybe hope to figure that out later…because not everyone I know pays close attention to the wrinkles in their hands. 😉

    The countdown clock of death part tripped up my reading a little. It's just the wording, really. Maybe "newly discovered clock of death counting down with each silent tick." or I don't know, something. Or just clock of death. I think countdown is redundant anyway. Clock of death pretty much says everything.

    I agree that the info paragraph could maybe be weaved in to other areas but it isn't a big stopper for me. I would say to watch your sentence structures and work on mixing them up a bit, you have more long sentences than anything else and when you read it out loud it sounds too much the same.

    I really like the voice here, and the premise. Great start. good luck!