Dear Ms. Meadows,
Seventeen-year-old Amy has no desire to become one of the first colonists on a new planet--but her parents do. So she agrees to be cryogenically frozen for the journey, even though that means giving up the life she loves on Earth.
Three hundred years later, Elder begins his training as leader of the space ship, part of the generations of people who live and die during the centuries-long voyage in order to keep the ship running. Although he hates being encased by the metal walls of the ship, he lives with the hope of planet-landing before he dies.
He has no idea the ship holds a cargo of cryogenically frozen people.
Then Amy wakes up fifty years early.
As Amy adjusts to life on a space ship without her still-frozen parents, she and Elder discover that her cryo chamber didn't malfunction--someone had tried to kill her, and is now succeeding as he unplugs more and more helplessly frozen victims. Desperate to find the killer before he gets to her parents, Amy must combine her knowledge of the past with Elder's knowledge of the ship and technology. Their digging leads to discoveries about how the ship's leaders have maintained control in the past...and why one man thinks the answer is to kill the cryogenically frozen people before they have a future.
Complete at 80,000 words, LONG WAY HOME is a YA science fiction intended for teens who like modern, character-driven speculative fiction. Building on the suspense of solving a mystery in a contained area like Jeanne Du Prau's CITY OF EMBER and the philosophical implications of science in Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, my novel, LONG WAY HOME, tells a story of mystery and deceit through the alternating view points of Amy and Elder.
I am currently a high school world literature teacher and an active member of SCBWI, having been published in and working as the copy editor of the state SCBWI magazine. Additionally, I run a blog on writing for MG and YA audiences which has over 250 subscribers.
I am prepared to submit the entire manuscript upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration with this project.
My name is Elder, even though I'm the youngest one on the ship. Not that I'm young. Sixteen years should mark me as an adult. But still, I'm youngest by a decade.
I lay on the cool metal floor of the Keeper Level, the only level with a window to the uni outside. Above me, the stars are abbreviated dashes in the sky, with streaks of faint colors―mostly reds and yellows, but sometimes blues or greens―within the lines of the stars.
I wonder, sometimes―I can't help but wonder―what it will feel like to stand on Centauri-Earth and look up at the stars and see only dots of light, not trailing splatters of delicate colors. It'll be a long time, I know―I'll be really old by the time we land, but when we do, I hope it’s at night. I want it to be really dark with no clouds or moons, and I hope before we set out to make our new world as the first humans on another planet, we all take a moment to stand still on the planet and look at the sparkling stars.
But I try not to think about it too much. Planet-landing is a long way away, and I don't like to remember how much time will pass before I go from being a traveler to a settler.
Above me, the stars glow brightly.
And then one of them dies.