Monday, October 28, 2013


Category: YA
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word count: 70,000

When Aubrey, age sixteen, discovers her severe dyslexia is a trait of advanced spell readers, the only person who can help her is Seth-- her former best friend and current heckler. Unfortunately, the exclusive magical community constructs  “accidents” to end Aubrey’s life because they perceive her outsider status as a threat.  Although Seth claims he wants to keep her alive and that he can teach her the basics to spell reading, Aubrey must decide if she can trust him and if she can tolerate his tormenting.    

Q1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you most relate to and why?
What’s the female equivalent of a hobo?

Q2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (unique/marketable)?
My main character is heavily dyslexic and is obsessed with all the spelling rules she’s memorized and this allows for very unique internal dialogue. Do you wish you had candy Scrabble letters so you could converse via sugar without digging out the leftover Valentine’s Day conversation hearts?

First 250:

They’re discussing my flaws. Again.

Usually math is the one place where I’m okay.

Or, at least, I thought I was. Now at this impromptu sister-teacher conference, I’m realizing that my capacity for failure is endless and that this classroom smells like stale dry erase markers, pencil shaving, and a fresh dose of disappointment.

I don’t understand why Nala is so obsessed with finding answers. It’s an impairment. A disability. A handicap. Something that transforms me from an average girl to a “slow learner.” I try so hard and never succeed. But I’ve memorized all the spelling and decoding rules, even if I can’t ever play by them.

There are six types of syllables.

1. Closed. Short vowel sound. Examples include hag, bitch, and many other derogatory terms, such as ass, that I’m internally chanting on a repeated loop as Mrs. Manilow politely tells us I’m an idiot. Nala acts like a bobblehead doll since it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.

“Do you think this is due to her dyslexia?” Nala asks Mrs. Manilow. Seriously? What isn’t?

2. Vowel-consonant-e. The “e” at the end turns bossy and forces the first vowel into submission, twisting its arm until it screams its name. Like in “grade,” “life,” or “hate.” My “wires” (“E”: “Say your name, letter ‘I,’ or I’ll end you!”) are crossed in my head and therefore I have a boatload of problems. 

“She isn’t asking for help, but that could be due to her speech and language issues,” Mrs. Manilow says as if she’s explaining something delicate and profound.