So now the actually entries have all been revealed, I can talk about the entries I chose, and why, a bit more candidly.
I do want to say first that I loved more than 15, but unfortunately I couldn’t chose anymore. Hopefully all entries will join in the Twitter Pitch Party #PitMad on 13 September and that YA (and possibly MG – waiting to confirm) entries will post in the Get Your Pitch On (#PitchOn) contest in October.
Y1: PRIME GRADE – YA Speculative Fiction
First off, I love SpecFic. I was searching for a great entry in this genre and did with this one. It was a late swap in because it ended up in a weird folder and was discovered just before we were due to post.
I noticed there was a lack of Dystopian feel stories (not that I wanted them specifically) and I felt this one had a shot of standing out. A strained relationship with the father, a government initiating population control and a group of teenage rebels all intrigued me.
Y2: Mirror of Sand and Flame – MG adventure with fantasy elements
This was one I’d love to read with my seven-year-old. The MC is definitely no Gary Stu, having destroyed his hometown. I like rooting for the underdog. Then having to go into a fantasy novel – like a reverse Inkheart – I loved the whole concept. Then the writing was so outstanding, I just couldn’t pass this one up.
Y3: Thunderbird Dreams – Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
I know that agents have MG and historical high on their lists, which made me really look at this one. I can’t help imaging a stiff moving puppet trapped in the mountain (Thunderbirds are GO). This is another one I’d love to read with my youngest and the writing was just gorgeous.
Y4: MIRE – YA paranormal mystery
This one called and called to me, even though it took me until after the last round to move it into my list. Firstly, I’m a HUGE believer that teens are thinking more globally and they want to have MCs that aren’t always American white girls. I took a guess that the MC was of Indian descent given the pitch. Then there was the intrigued – why was she kidnapped? It made me think of TANGLED.
Y5: PALADIN – YA Fantasy
YA Game of Thrones anyone? I believe Fantasy will be making a comeback, thanks to the success of GoT. I love it in YA. Australian Author, Rhiannon Hart, has a YA fantasy Blood Song and this one reminded me of it. Again, an imperfect and conflicted MC with stakes so high. And then there was that writing – wow!
Y6: CHILDREN OF THE GODS – YA Steampunk/Mythology (Mythpunk) Romance
Why isn’t there more Steampunk in the world? There should be. But then to add in Greek mythology – I’m ready to explode. I love the idea of the old and new gods set as real people (something I’ve done myself) Then add in the Romeo and Juliet factor at it’s a winner.
Y7: AN UNCOMMON BLUE – YA Sci-fi w/ fantasy elements
I went through the entries with my fourteen-year-old-son and I knew he would love this one. And, as I predicted, he thought this one was the coolest of them all, which may have something to do with him being a rugby player. I really struggle to find books that he likes to read (a lot of stories he would like are told from girl POVs). Even though he’s a very advanced reader for his age, he’s very fussy on storylines. Finding a story that gets his interest is hard. But this one combines two of his loves – rugby and SciFi.
Y8: Beneath the City of Lights – Forensic Mystery/Suspense
A forensic archaeologist – how cool is that! Adult fiction has to be brilliant to catch my eye (for some reason I’m more YA orientated). I loved the conflict possibilities with the death of her ex’s brother. The writing really grabbed me in – I wanted to know more, more, MORE!
Y9: Jo – New Adult Sci-fi/Horror
None of the agents had New Adult on their wish list, but a couple had horror. I know that agents can pitch this as either adult or YA, depending on the MC. I love the idea of an MC that’s a monster. And the stakes are great. The opening line was fantastic. I just wanted to read this.
Y10: UNDERCOVER – Young Adult Thriller
As I said above, I’m a strongly against white washing the publishing industry. My MC in my manuscript that’s out on sub is an Australian of African-American descent. So the MC in this one caught my eye. It still took me a bit to put it in my ‘yes’ pile as I just wasn’t sure if it was my own personal biased. But I know agents have been looking for YA mysteries that aren’t cosy mysteries – something along the lines of Veronica Mars. This storyline fits perfectly.
Y11: Singularity – YA sci-fi
Did someone say Cyborgs? Woo Hoo. I nicked this one before the slushies even put it in the ‘yes’ pile for the host bloggers to look at. I have a soft spot for cyborgs, and then add in an alien invasion and I’m sold. I love out-of-the-square storylines, and this one has it.
Y12: Charley Cross and the London Dead – YA historical thriller
This is one that I’d classify as Speculative Fiction. The historical aspect was a huge hook for me and I think it will be for agents too. Then add in the undead (zombies?) and it kicks it up a notch. The pitch made me think of The Infernal Instruments series. Very cool.
Y13: Stealing the Sun – (New) Adult Sci-Fi
Starships! Space Opera SciFis are so cool. Yes, the agents didn’t ask for New Adult, but I am so confident this will still get splattered with paint. As I said in my last post, I did a lot of Star Wars make-believe play as a child, which might explain my love of SciFi. The pitch for this was was solid and add in the high concept of a ship that ‘thinks’ and I’m just about drooling.
Y14: Jack and the Bones – YA paranormal
I love retellings, and so do agents and publishers. I think this one should be YA Speculative Fiction. Paranormal is a bit out of favour in some circles.Short, sharp, but such a strong pitch, Having your soul fused to a harp!
Y15: Sylvan Legacy – Historical Romance with Paranormal Elements
This was actually the first one I picked. I think this genre will be a big trend, although I think it’s more like a Historical Fantasy as elves are fantasy beings, not paranormal beings. It could come under the Speculative Fiction umbrella (yes, I know, I love SpecFic). It reminds me a lot of the pitch for The Falconer by Elizabeth May (not yet released). I think the agents are going to love this one.
These fifteen, along with some on the blogs and some that didn’t get picked, are ones that caught my eye and held my attention. If I were an agent I would ask to see more of these. I would read them with my children or read them myself. I would love to see these on bookshelves. That’s why I picked them.