If you would like to know how this works, and why there's a covering letter and 500 words but no synopsis, please go here, for the guidelines.
Please do be constructive and respectful. "Do as you would be done by" is a pretty good motto, and I think it is especially important on these Submission Spotlights.
Oh, and by the way, please ignore Mandy's remark about the caramel toffees. This is, I hope (!), her little joke. I think it also goes without saying that the letter would really be addressed to the agent's name...
Dear Mrs. Awesome Agent
“I wish you weren’t real. I wish that you just never existed, that you weren’t ever born.”
It was just a squabble. Arrow hadn’t really meant it, had she? Well maybe, but she most definitely hadn’t thought it would work. Cousins don’t just disappear because you say they should, but why did everyone keep telling Arrow that Cathy wasn’t real? Why did they all think Cathy was nothing more than an imaginary friend Arrow had had as a kid.
Arrow struggles to adapt to the idea. Everything she remembers about Cathy feels real, too real. Has the world gone wrong or is Arrow a loony with mashed potato for brains?
Fear that the syringe wielding lab coat men are going to lock her up (and maybe a little guilt) sends Arrow into a world of giant slugs, absentminded kings and storms that rain socks to rescue her cousin and prove she isn’t a loony.
Complete somewhere between the count of 30-40,000 words (my constant editing tends to alter the count) Nowhere Place is a fantasy novel for 10-12 year olds. Please find attached the first 592 words.
I hope the caramel toffees find you in a good mood,
“No,” Arrow said.
She had barricaded herself behind a book. Her knees were curled into her stomach and her back was facing Cathy. A cartoon print duvet bunched awkwardly behind Arrow’s knees. Sunlight played across her stick-like frame and danced along the posters on the wall. Most of the posters were faded with age and curling at the edges. They boasted pictures of fairies, dragons and other mythical beings.
“Oh Arrie, just a touch of colour,” Cathy whined.
“I said no!”
Cathy and Arrow were cousins, but you couldn’t tell just by looking at them. Where Cathy’s skin was fair, Arrow’s was a soft caramel cream. Cathy’s hair was dark and perfectly straight. Arrow had a mop of light brown curls.
“Listen, a dab of mascara and some eyeliner could really open up your face. And then you won’t look so… boyish anymore,” Cathy said.
Arrow sighed. Just that morning, Gran had helped Arrow set up a camper cot. The makeshift bed took up a lot of space and Arrow’s bedroom wasn’t very big to begin with. Now Cathy sat on the edge of the rickety thing with a hairbrush in her hands. Cathy’s tog bag slouched against the end of the camper cot, taking up even more space.
“At least let me do your hair. Just because you’re an orphan doesn’t mean you have to look like one.”
“Yap yap yap! You’re like a dog with a bone.”
Cathy frowned, “Am not!”
Arrow shot her cousin an over the shoulder glare before turning back to the pages of her book. Cathy’s words had left a nasty taste in Arrow’s mouth. Arrow did not like being reminded that she had lost her mom when she was just a baby. She did not like that her mom had kept the identity of her dad a secret.
“Arrieeee, don’t be so stubborn. I’m only trying to help!”
When Arrow failed to respond, Cathy began tapping her foot to a melody in her head. Her eyes wondered around the room and she blew, rather loudly, at strands of hair that had escaped from her pony tail.
Arrow slammed the book closed and shot up. She swung her legs over the side of her bed and glared at Cathy, “What do you want?”
Cathy put on her sweetest smile, “To help of course.”
“If you want to help,” said Arrow. “Be quiet and let me read my book.”
“What’s it about anyway?”
Cathy nodded. Her sparkly blue earrings jingled in agreement. Arrow closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“It’s about this girl who works in the kitchens of a castle and the prince is really bossy, but then the castle gets invaded and Giselle and Maximums, that’s the girl and the prince, are kidnapped together and they have to find their way back home.”
“Well what happens?”
Arrow clenched her fists, “If you really want to know you can read it after me.”
Cathy blew at the loose strands of her hair again, “If it’s any good they’ll turn it into a movie. I don’t like reading.”
With a groan, Arrow flopped back onto her bed. The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling stared down at her. They were faded with age and prestick marks were visible through the cheap plastic. It was a wonder none of them had fallen off. Arrow looked at her book, but didn’t pick it up again. She was counting down in her head, three... two...
“Oh,” Cathy blabbered on.