Word Count: 86,000
Pitch: Lacey Anne McDougal, defying her Klansman father, sneaks across tracks separating the city’s colors to hear jazz music. There, she falls in love with a pianist—but there’s just one problem: he’s colored.
Excerpt: Lacey Anne McDougal was sure this was a bad idea. She stood by the tracks that separated Tulsa, Oklahoma, staring open-mouthed at a lopsided sign that read: *Let not the sun go down on a Negro’s back, lest he be dead*. A noose hung around a dummy’s neck, tied to the pole above it. *Yes, most definitely a bad idea*, she thought, her palms slick with the idea of what she was about to do.
The sign was not a threat—it was a promise.
The bustling city did nothing to calm her nerves like it usually did. Cars zipped by as young adults waved and shouted from the windows. People laughed and children played marbles on the sidewalks. Smoke rose from chimneys, belching hazy waste skyward. White-gloved women strolled through the city, gossiping and pointing at every person trimming plants in front of the marketplace. Ever since Lacey was a child, she knew not to go to the other side of town—it was beat into her by her Klansman father. Today, however, she was breaking that rule.
Lacey turned around slowly.
“I am sorry, Miss, but you shouldn’t be out here… you know, this far from Main,” a deep voice informed her. “And don’t worry about the dummy. It isn’t going to hurt anybody… it’s from that film, you know?”
Her eyebrows shot up.
“Why, *The Birth of a Nation*, ma’am. What are you doing out here alone?”