The Writer’s Voice: THE LAST PAPER DAHL, MG Fantasy

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to say my number came up in the drawing for the writing contest, The Writer’s Voice (kissing your imaginary feet, Rafflecopter!). Great news for my blog as well, which has become a poorly neglected entity, no thanks to it’s cruel mistress, and is starved for activity. I’d like to thank Brenda, Monica, Nikki, Elizabeth, Krista and Kimberly for hosting this contest and for all your hard work!

Title: THE LAST PAPER DAHL

Category: MG Fantasy

Word Count: 63,000

Query:

Dear Writer’s Voice Readers,

I’d be thrilled if you’d consider my 63,000-word MG Fantasy, THE LAST PAPER DAHL. It will appeal to fans of CORALINE and THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, also readers seeking diversity.

On Monday, eleven-year-old Cecelia Dahl’s sorrows aren’t turning her into paper. Her little brother is alive, and her mother doesn’t blame her for his death then run off to The Land of Yesterday in search of his ghost. Cecelia has a pleasant house in Hungrig, Norway that doesn’t come to life, kidnap her father, or try to kill her. She has a soul she can’t see, not a small blue one that literally strolls out of her body, abandoning her like everyone else. That is Monday. Then Tuesday sweeps in with its terrible claws and rips her life to shreds.

Moments before Cecelia’s house—a dark and crooked thing called Widdendream—absorbs her father and tries to swallow her whole, a pair of mischievous gnomes arrive at her window in a hot-air balloon and carry her away. Outside, question marks rain from Norway’s sky, and Cecelia’s world no longer makes sense. Thank goodness the balloon’s keepers claim to know how to find The Land of Yesterday and save her father from Widdendream’s doom. Cecelia must survive the harrowing voyage over land, sea and stars, in order to find Yesterday and bring her mother and ghost-brother home. If she doesn’t, Widdendream will never give her father back, and Cecelia’s transformation to a Full Paper Dahl will be irreversibly complete.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

K. A. Reynolds

First 250 Words:

On Monday of last week, Cecelia Dahl understood the world. She resided in Hungrig Norway, in a crooked house called Widdendream. Daisies that bloomed in both grass and snow circled the shimmering lake outside her window. Sharp mountains loomed over her town. Dogs barked. Cats meowed. Cecelia’s midnight blue hair grew long and fast and cantankerous. Her skin was dark and bronze and oddly freckled, just like her mother’s. Widdendream loved her family, as all good houses should, and her family loved her the same way. Indeed, on Monday of last week, these were all hardboiled facts.

Then Cecelia did the bad thing. And just after midnight of Tuesday last, she understood only one fact: Tuesday hated Cecelia and Cecelia hated it back.

“Cecilia,” Miss Podsnappery asked while pushing up her horn-rimmed glasses. “What ever do you call that instrument in your hand?”

Every eye in class turned on Cecelia. Expressionless gazes traced her charcoal sweater and the black-and-gray striped dress beneath it, judging her frayed tights and scuffed boots too, no doubt. Her teacher, bewildered as always, loomed over her desk far enough to cast shadows. Cecelia forced a smile. She must keep her answer as succinct as possible, forgoing any miscommunications. Teachers were simple creatures, after all, and one had to be succinct, especially since Tuesday last week. Ever since, understanding had gone straight downhill.

“Miss Podsnappery,” Cecilia answered, speaking with extra care as not to confuse the poor woman, for she did try exceedingly hard to please.

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