Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writer's Voice Entry: Catalyst

I was lucky enough to win a spot in The Writer's Voice! *squeal* For those of you who don't know, The Writer's Voice is a contest in which I post my query and first 250 words of my manuscript in the hopes that I'm chosen for a team that will take me to the agent round. So, here goes...

Query:

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose genetic modification for their children, eighteen-year-old Sienna Preston clings to the one thing she’s good at—the art of lying. 

After the mysterious death of her father, Sienna uses her liar-for-hire skills to help support her family. As a “normal” girl among the genetically modified—or GM’s—the world around her is a little too pretty, a little too smart, and a little too cruel. Especially since her love interest is the GM's finest.

But not all liar-for-hire assignments go according to plan. And when her covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, Sienna becomes entangled with a corrupt Government official hell-bent on taking her down. Using her lying, thieving past as leverage—and her mother as collateral—Commander Radcliffe forces Sienna to make a difficult choice. Kill the father of the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for or be sent to Solitary Confinement. For the rest of her life.

Or perhaps there is another option…Like joining forces with an extremist group and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad.

Problem is, even an underground Compound can't escape the fiery missiles of the Government's drones. 

Complete at 100,000 words, Catalyst is a YA near future thriller with strong romantic elements.


First 250:

The bio fridge hums with its latest addition—a package of dehydrated bologna.

“The shelf life for product Meat Delite will expire in one month and two days,” the automated voice chimes in.

I sigh in disgust. If I have to eat one more package of that crap, I might just vomit in my mouth. Seriously.

I eye the sparse contents inside the gelled portion of the fridge. The tube of yogurt looks decidedly better than the bottled pickles. And definitely better than Meat Crap Delite. I grab the purple yogurt tube and tear into it.

As the door closes with a click, I stare at my reflection in the tinted glass. The circles under my eyes are a dead giveaway that I haven’t had any sleep. I’m not used to pulling all-nighters, which might also explain why I feel like a ravenous beast.

I suck down the pomegranate-blueberry flavored creamy goodness and listen for sounds of movement inside our double-wide. But all I hear is the steady whir of the solar panels absorbing the heat from the rising sun. Mama and Emily must still be asleep.

Squeezing the tube to get every last drop of yogurt, I slump down in a recycled kitchen chair and mumble to Iris to show me the news.

“Good morning, Sienna. Here are the news highlights for today.” The small Com Screen begins buffering the latest headlines. If I did my job right, the news should lead off with a disgraced Honorable Tanner Caldwell being led away in handcuffs.

****


A BIG thank you to our lovely hosts Brenda Drake, Krista Van Dolzer, Elizabeth Briggs, and
Mónica Bustamante Wagner for this wonderful opportunity. And to my fellow entrants, best of luck!

51 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing! Good luck, Kristin! :)

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    1. Thank you, Madeline!! Fingers crossed! :)

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  2. You have a great voice. Best of luck!

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  3. Yay! The query's come a long way. Good luck, it sounds great!

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    1. It has come a long way, hasn't it?! Thanks, Charity! :)

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  4. I love the "liar-for-hire!" Just rolls off your tongue. And thrillers with romantic elements are my kind of books. I want to read it.

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  5. "Meat crap delite" <-- love that! You're a shoe-in! (or shoo-in, depending on which dictionary your consult.) either way, this looks like chair-turner.

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  6. Congrats for making it in. And good luck with your entry. That last line is definitely an attention-getter.

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  7. This is solid! Good luck with the contest.:)

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    1. Thank you! And good luck to you as well! :)

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  8. Interesting premise and likable protagonist. I especially liked "the world around her is a little too pretty, a little too smart, and a little too cruel." And speaking of pretty (but in a nice, not cruel way), your blog design is so lovely it makes me want to eat a fancy cupcake. Good luck in the contest.

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    1. Haha! I love cupcakes! :) And thank you. Good luck to you as well! :)

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  9. Congrats! I'm enjoying reading through it now, and hope to have edits back to you by next week:)

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    1. Thanks, Mark! It's always great to have a fresh set of eyes!! Look forward to reading your comments. :)

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  10. Great job! I'd name you the winner! Fingers crossed for you.

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    1. Haha! If only it were that easy...

      Thanks, Stephanie! :)

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  11. Congrats on making it! I also like the "liar for hire" concept! I'd definitely read it when it makes it to the shelves! Good luck!

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    1. Aw, thank you. You just made my day! Best of luck to you as well! :)

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  12. Loved the opening, grabbed me at once!

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  13. I love this!!!! wishing you all the luck! <3

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    1. Aw, thank you!! And I hear congrats are in order!!! So excited for you!!!! :)

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  14. Good luck! I like the voice in your 250! :)

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    1. Thanks! Best of luck to you as well! :)

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  15. Wow! This sounds really good! Super tense, and with lots of romantic potential. I love your voice, too. Good luck!

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  16. YES! I love me some futuristic thrillers! Love the premise and love the voice! Best of luck Kristen!

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  17. I'm not in the contest, but this sounds amazing! Best of luck to you!

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  18. Your entry sounds amazing! Good luck to you:)

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  19. Hi Kristin - I saw your comment on Melissa's blog re help re commenting on Disqus and Blogger and then struggled to find you - not via Disqus! Via Alex and a chase across ...

    Good luck with your entry ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary!! So my comment went through?! Cool. I'm sorry it was so difficult for you to find me! I just visited your blog and it's so great to "meet" you! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  20. I've lived in Las Vegas 6 times and this story sounds like it would fit in perfectly there :) loved your voice and your query would love to read more. Good luck :)

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    1. I lived in Vegas too!! Such a great city. :) And thank you! Good luck to you as well!

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  21. I love the futuristic environment! This is going to be a fun read! Good luck to you, fellow PDXer!

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    1. Aw, thanks! Good luck to you as well!! :)

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  22. Ooh, I really love the sound of Catalyst. So intense!

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  23. Kristin, thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I think you're right that we have some things in common. I love the idea of your story (my inlaws and my sister live in Vegas.) That's a setting with some rich possibilties. I'd love to read it!

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  24. Congrats! My only suggestion for the query would be, if you can compare your book to a cross between two other well-known stroies that woudl be great. I found this helped me when pitching to agents as it grounded them in a general idea of what genre and type my novel fit into. Food for thought:)

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