As of January 2022, I have just started querying this book. NORMAL INSIDE is a standalone YA romance, featuring a MC in a new city, a love quadrangle, and gastrointestinal distress.
The Pitch: After her parents’ divorce, Briony Parker is looking for love, normalcy, and intestinal stability, but Crohn’s Disease has other plans.
Briony Parker needs a fresh start. Grade nine was her Year of Music Nerd: the year she was defined by her cello. Grade ten was her Year of Alt: after the school found out about her camp fling with Giselle, she became the token representative of the LGBTQ community at her rural school. That, combined with her parents’ marriage going nuclear, led to a lot of black clothes. Now, she is in a new city and she has one goal.
Unfortunately, Crohn’s Disease has other plans. As Briony grapples with crippling intestinal pain, Jessie Tran (Queen of the Normals) enlists Briony to hook her up with Hot Drummer Boy Marc. As Briony gets closer to Marc, she starts to fall for him, and schemes to get Jessie back with her ex instead. But it’s hard to play covert-op matchmaker when inside, you’re falling apart. It is only when Briony accepts all her identities, including her new Crohn’s diagnosis, that she sees the right crush has been there for her all along.
CHIMERA is an 80,000-word YA fantasy that I queried in 2021. It is the first book in a planned trilogy, but could be standalone with some modest changes.
The Pitch: When a shapeshifting girl who can’t find her true form is suspected of attacking her peers, she must prove to her school – and herself – that she is not the monster they fear.
15-year-old Lola Wilde’s body is changing in a way that sex ed didn’t cover. She has the tendency to literally turn monstrous in stressful situations. Thanks to the miracle of social media, her whole school finds out that Lola’s beyond merely weird.
Lola escapes to Haven, a school for kids like her, hidden in the Northern Ontario woods. Unfortunately, shapeshifting teenagers aren’t immune to social hierarchies, with the kids who can turn into a half-human form (Wings, Tails, or Hooves) ranking higher on the scale than the Annies – those with only an animal form. Lola finds a home among the Annies, but as she struggles to control her abilities, she fears she is a true monster: a chimera, who will never be able to contain her power. Worse than social politics are the amorphous siphons that lurk at the edge of campus, drawn to the students’ chaotic powers. Something begins attacking Haven students, leaving them unable to change form. After Lola is a witness to one of the attacks, the rest of Haven begins to suspect her, including her outcast Annie friends and her roommate (who she’s got to stop crushing on). Lola must prove to them – and herself – that she is not the monster they fear.
THE THIEF OF WINTER
THE THIEF OF WINTER is a 103,000 standalone YA fantasy set in a Norse-inspired world. While complete in its current iteration, I would like to trim it and add a second POV before sending this one out into the world.
When Beirand catches Finn poaching, he takes Finn to face the King’s justice. Finn soon discovers, however, that Beirand is no King’s man; he is something far more powerful. Beirand and Finn are Huntborn, tasked by the gods to find and kill the god Winter. Finn must learn to use his powers and find Winter before the Gaunt Queen, a priestess of the death goddess, does. Far worse than the Gaunt Queen is Winter himself. If the god lives long enough, he will become strong enough to destroy the world, and Finn, the last of the Huntborn, is the only one who can stop him.
THE MOON KINGDOM
THE MOON KINGDOM is a standalone 84,000-word middle grade fantasy. It was my first attempt at writing a novel and it is … not awful. I would love to re-visit this some day, as I still love the world-building that went into it. I queried it back in 2012 and generated some agent interest. I may re-write it, knowing what I know now about publishing, plot and writing in general.
After her family moves to the country, Tera is desperate to find a friend, and her little brother doesn’t count. When she finds a locked door in an abandoned tree-house near their new home, she is too ready to believe the voice that speaks from the other side, the voice that tells her it has been trapped within a mysterious land called the Moon Kingdom. Tera finds a way to open the door. She passes through, along with her brother, to discover that the Moon Kingdom is very real. In the Kingdom, it is always night, but the world is threatened by a greater darkness. The shadows are rising, taking over their living hosts and turning them into slaves in the shadow queen’s army. Tera must save her brother, but she soon finds that she holds the key to saving her own world from the shadows’ threat.