Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Secret Agent #10

Title: Life Set Sail
Genre: YA Fantasy

I know three things about séances: (1) if done right, (supposedly) you can talk to the dead, (2) you need candles, lots and lots of candles, and (3) witches perform them.

No, scratch that. Wiccans perform them. My friend Abigail was quick to point that out the first time I called her a witch. “Wicca is a spiritual practice; a peaceful polytheistic religion. We don’t ride brooms, Mae.”

If there was a contest to see who’s weirder, me or Abby, she’d win. Hands down, 100%, no questions asked, win. And tonight I’m supposed to help her conduct her first séance, because, like always, she managed to coerce me into her weird little world. I should get a gold medal for this crap.

I can only hope “talking to dead people” isn't as scary as it sounds. Abby knows I can’t even sit through half a horror movie before I go running out of the theater with my tail between my legs. So this better not be scary. And it’s not like she's trying to contact a long lost relative or someone cool like Eleanor Roosevelt. No, that would make too much sense. Abby’s trying to find a boyfriend, a new dead boyfriend. She’s been scanning the school’s microfilm for weeks, looking at old newspaper obituaries, trying to find “the one.”

My best friend, the freak.


  1. Love the premise. I think you could tighten it up a bit. I wonder if you could go from the first paragraph to the third, and seed in the information about Wiccan a bit later. As it is, your second paragraph slows the reader right down. Also, your very last line is fantastic, and that's really what's happening here, right? Abby's looking for a dead boyfriend? I'd suggest putting that little tidbit right up top.

  2. Really interesting premise. I like that it's from the best friend's perspective, and can see a lot of potential for where this story could go.

    The formatting in the first paragraph really threw me off. I think it's technically correct, but the numbers and parentheses make me feel like I'm reading a report instead of settling into a novel. I would take out the numbers altogether and leave each point as a sentence. Ie: I know three things about seances. If done right, you can supposedly talk to the dead. You need candles, lots and lots of candles. And witches perform them.

    I would also take out the bit about a contest to see who's weirder. We can tell from the previous paragraph that Abby is into weird stuff, but so far the main character hasn't mentioned anything weird that she's interested in, so why compare them with a figurative contest?

    I agree with moving the finding a dead boyfriend bit up. That's a fantastic twist and deserves the lime light.

  3. I agree with the comments above. Starting off with a list was distracting for me, but I think the solution provided above is really good. Since this is fantasy, I was distracted by "tail between my legs" - is the MC human or an animal? This early on in the book, I'd maybe find another phrase. But you've got the character across well in a short space and I also love the search for a new dead boyfriend.

  4. I absolutely loved everything about this, and I'm dying to read more. I loved your MC's voice, her dry and slightly snarky take on the world, I loved the premise, I love the weird best friend, and... just everything. I think you conveyed the tone of your book really well, and that everything I just read was engaging and delightful. Great job!

  5. The phrasing in the opening line is a little bit unwieldy, but I like the way it both defines a potentially unfamiliar term and gives off a clear sense of Mae’s personality. But I was left wishing we knew more about her beyond her skepticism of seances! Her tone went from charmingly sarcastic to a little bit mean at the end, which kept me from completely connecting with her.

    I kind of love Abby’s hobby of dead boyfriend hunting though. I’d keep reading (but mainly for Abby!).

  6. I was in trouble when doctor told me that I have been diagnosed with Genital Herpes… I though about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I’m gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was surfing the internet I found DR.AZIEGBE email. I emailed him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I’m cured by DR.AZIEGBE herbal medicine, I’m very thankful to DR.AZIEGBE and very happy with my hubby and family. email him on via: DRAZIEGBE1SPELLHOME@GMAIL. COM or what_sapp Tel- +2349035465208.. CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:- 1. HIV/AIDS 2. HERPES 3. CANCER 4. SINGLES 5.HEPATITIS 6.E.T.C