Thursday, April 28, 2016

Are You Hooked? Middle Grade #6

TITLE: Vampire Mask
GENRE: MG - Contemporary

Piper is a thirteen-year-old vampire.

Unless you ask her mom. If you ask her mom, she’s an adorable thirteen-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with lupus—right after she lost her father to complications from lupus.

But in Piper’s mind, she’s a vegetarian vampire, waiting for her magic powers to come in.

I remember the day I was reborn into this new life. The day they told me not to go outside because the sun could kill me. That day, my whole life changed.

It was not a change I am happy with.

"Piper, eat your breakfast."

I blinked at my mom. "Vampires don't do mornings."

Long suffering sigh. "You aren't a vampire."

"Then why can't I go in the sun?" I asked, mushing up my pancakes.

"You can go in the sun. You just have to cover up. Wear that cute floppy hat I bought you."

I pushed away from the table, glaring at my mom. She would never understand me. I resisted the urge to bare my fangs at her and instead I jumped to my feet and stalked out…or at least, I tried to stalk out. But the big black combat boots she bought me yesterday make it very hard to stalk. I think they weighed as much as I do, and they made my knees ache.


Vampires wear black. And since I'm sure I'll have to be fighting other vampires soon, I must have combat boots.

"Piper!" Crap. My mom had noticed my retreat and my still-full plate left behind on the table.

"I'm going back to sleep." I called as I tried to bound up the stairs. I only fell once.

Do vampires sleep in their combat boots? I was new at this, so I wasn't sure.


  1. I'm hooked - I think the logline could be smoothed out a little - if you took out the repeated phrase and add 'then' you could change the repeat on lupus for the father and add 'the same disease'. Just a suggestion of course. I love the premise and could totally see the scene between the mother and daughter - got the vibe right off and the quirky [yet tragic] humor. great job!

  2. I agree with the first commentor - the story itself, and the narrator's voice, are quite compelling, and funny. The log line needs work. Piper's voice feels true to a thirteen-year-old. I love "Vampires don't do mornings." as well as her whole attachment to the awkward combat boots. Perhaps in the dialogue, mom could directly mention Lupus as being the reason Piper needs to be careful in the sun, and then Piper could stalk out of the kitchen in direct response to that. The phrase " I jumped to my feet and stalked out" feels a little cliched, and then you backtrack from actually stalking. Maybe something like "I jumped to my feet, ready to stalk out of the kitchen but the big, black..."

  3. Piper has a very endearing voice. Despite the short passage, I already hope things turn out well for her.

    The use of "Unless you ask her mom. If you ask her mom,..." feels too redundant, but I imagine your full query letter could be different.

    Great work and best of luck.

  4. Hahaha! Love the voice. Really engaging and love the use of comedy to deal with something serious. I feel the need for a bit longer before leaping into dialogue. A bit more setting to ground the reader.

    And in the pitch:

    Piper is a thirteen-year-old vampire.

    Unless you ask her mom. If you did, she'd say Piper’s an adorable thirteen-year-old, diagnosed with lupus — right after she lost her father to complications from lupus.

    But Piper (doesn't buy it?? knows better?? Or something) She’s a vegetarian vampire, waiting for her magic powers to come in.

    I like this. I hope you do well with it.

  5. Hi. Cool idea. Lots of bits of fun, but I found the sentences a little choppy in places. There are a few tense errors too.

  6. What a fun premise! Yes, I'm hooked. The voice is certainly compelling, as is Piper's situation. The humor works well in the face of this very difficult situation, although it will be something you need to tread carefully on as the novel progresses. Not sure about the dialogue so early (because on the mother's part it is so generic), but do love the 'vampires don't do mornings.' Maybe put that thought into text instead. Good luck!