Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Writers Voice: THE TREASURE HUNT


Dear Mentors/Judges,

When sixteen-year-old Benjamin McGill is shipped off to Bay Haven, ME, to stay with his grandmother for the summer, it’s not a vacation—it’s a punishment. With nothing to do in this lazy tourist town but run errands for Gran and clean up after her evil cat, Ben’s thrilled when he receives a letter from a secret admirer with promises of a treasure hunt. 

Ben follows clues to a cafe where he befriends Mitch, a long-haired metal head, and Jennifer, a chain-smoking extrovert. When Jennifer learns about the treasure hunt, she invites Mitch and herself along. But Gran says they're devil-worshippers, which forces Ben to sneak behind her back to see them. Despite this, his summer picks up, like a heavy guitar solo in the middle of a power ballad.

But when Ben starts making metal playlists on Spotify and daydreaming about Mitch's long hair and stubbly jaw, he realizes he wants to be more than friends. Just one problem—Mitch is full of mixed messages, acting like he has a thing for Jennifer one moment, and letting his hand linger next to Ben's the next. 

Now Ben must decide if he should risk everything and tell Mitch how he feels, or play it safe and continue the games with his secret admirer.

THE TREASURE HUNT, a 69,000 word standalone, is a YA contemporary with a bisexual main character that may appeal to music fans, especially those interested in post-hardcore and metal. It's DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES meets SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. 

First 250:

“Daggers Speak Louder Than Words”

Skating was like flying. If my mother was criticizing my clothes or my step-father was questioning why I had so many pictures of “that skinny tattooed drummer” in my room, I could get on my skateboard and take off, leaving all that shit behind. Nothing could touch me when I was airborne. 

But when I was grounded (in more ways than one), stuck at home because my end of the year grades were less than stellar, music was the only thing that could keep me sane. Thank god my mother had no idea I owned an iPod shuffle, otherwise she would’ve taken it away during my sentencing last night.

After making sure my bedroom door was closed, I put a hand under my pillow and grabbed my iPod. I sprawled out on my bed and pressed play, turning the volume down so I’d be able to hear if someone was coming. “Stained Glass Eyes And Colorful Tears” by Pierce the Veil played first. 

Oh, god. A chill went through me, hearing Vic’s emotion-filled voice, and goosebumps traveled up my arms. My eyes watered, so I wiped them, eyeliner coloring my fingers. I rubbed the teary-makeup on my jeans, and then I replayed the song when it was over because I liked to torture myself, apparently. 

Ugh. This was not how I imagined I’d be spending my first day of summer vacation.  

Thanks for reading! Good luck, everyone! :)