Friday, May 2, 2014

The Writer's Voice Entry - STRANGE ATTRACTORS (YA sci-fi)



Dear Writer's Voice coaches,

With the weight of the multiverse on her shoulders, it’s a wonder that seventeen-year-old Piper Newton doesn’t have to see a chiropractor.

As a corporate spy, Piper uses her unique ability to travel between universes to obtain lucrative information for her father and his company. But when she discovers that a parallel version of her father’s most-hated competitor is experimenting on the veils between universes, the gravity of her next spy mission threatens to break her back. 

Her father asks her to infiltrate the company through the competitor’s son, Calvin James. Dating--even for a mission--is the last thing she wants to do. Guys lie and cheat and are more destructive than superluminous supernovae. But because Piper and her father believe the damage caused by Calvin’s father’s experimentation will create a black-hole-like-void, ultimately destroying both universes, she knows she has to do something--even if that means hooking up with a cocky jerk like Calvin James.

To Piper’s surprise, Calvin quickly disarms her with his intelligence, quesadilla-making-skills, and butterfly-effect-smile. She’s soon sneaking off to the parallel universe to see Calvin behind her father’s back and neglecting to tell him everything she learns. She rationalizes that his father is more mad-scientist than sinister-villain and wonders if they were wrong about Calvin’s father. He’s only studying the veils. He’s not trying to be malicious.

But when red flags start appearing and lies begin unraveling around her, Piper’s shocked to learn she put her trust in the wrong person.

And she’s going to need the help of a former enemy to exact revenge.

STRANGE ATTRACTORS, a young adult sci-fi, is complete at 80,500 words. It is a standalone with series potential.

First 250 words:


I couldn’t find anything on Michael Silverstone’s desk because it was a complete disaster, like a hoarder-snuck-into-an-office-building type of disaster. As I looked through the receipts, hand written notes, half-eaten food, and coffee-stained papers, I wondered how someone so messy could be organized enough to run New York City’s most successful financial advising company. This extreme amount of junk was like an inexpensive theft-deterrent or more like an inexpensive Piper-deterrent.

What the Hell? I thought, touching a still-wet, soiled napkin. There were words scrawled across the napkin, but “purch-dia-glass” didn’t really tell me anything. I had a knack for remembering random bits of information and passwords, so I made a mental note of the phrase in case it was important.


I cursed under my breath before turning off my stopwatch. Time was up. I quickly stacked all the papers with numbers or percentages in the hope that something important made it into the pile. Since Silverstone’s desk was such a mess, I didn’t worry about him noticing a few missing documents. He would probably assume he’d misplaced them.

I paused, thinking I’d seen a flash of light, and listened. The muffled sound of footsteps on carpet soon followed. Someone was in the hallway! My heart hammered as I slipped beneath the disordered desk. I pulled a knife from my pocket and held it in front of me. 

Thanks for your time and consideration!


  1. I love this book! GOOD LUCK! <3

  2. Oh my god, I LOVE the idea of someone sneaking off to ANOTHER DIMENSION for a stolen kiss! Good luck in the contest!

  3. Very Fringe-ey - cool! Good luck!
    Heather Capps

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I get the FRINGE comparison a lot! :)

  4. Nice concept! I like the idea of working for your dad, but as a multiverse-traveling spy.

  5. Love the concept and voice, and the way you pepper in world-building details. Good luck!

  6. This sounds like a fun scifi! Parallel universes are always entertaining IMO. Good luck!

  7. This looks like such fun! I love your premise, and your characters come to life even in just the query. Best of luck!

  8. I'm way late to this, but GOOD LUCK MELODY!! <3

  9. Hey Melody! I loved your entry, but I didn't pick it since you were on my buddy Stephanie's Pitch Wars team and I would just feel weird mentoring you because of that, you know? I think I can help other authors who need more query/opening help, especially since your query and opening are already so strong. But I want you to keep querying this book! I wish you the best of luck!

  10. Julie Dao mentioned you as a possible beta or cp, as we both write young adult scifi and are at the querying stage. I love your query (more destructive than supernovae! butterfly effect smile!) and your premise and your first page. I agree with Elizabeth, this query is and opening is so strong, I don't think you need any help polishing it. Would you be interesting in looking at my query and first page?