Dear Ms. Meadows,
All Cheyenne Butler wants is to be a normal teen: hang out with friends, sleep in class, maybe even date. But after spending five years in juvenile hall for accidentally causing her aunt’s death, she knew it would be a challenge.
A few days after Cheyenne is released into her Uncle Andy’s care, her ailing father passes away, leaving Cheyenne an orphan. After her initial visit with her new therapist, she avoids going, convinced she can handle everything on her own. From her cousin Joey’s accounts, North Maltwood is so bland it’s earned the nickname “Normal,” so it can’t be that hard to adjust to the outside world.
And it wouldn’t be if the people in school were as normal as the town’s nickname. Her cousin’s extraordinarily dim girlfriend, Kelly, is a constant bone of contention within Joey’s, and now Cheyenne’s, social circle – a subset of a school club only known by D.M.S. After a close friend from this tight-knit group goes missing, Cheyenne’s life begins to fall apart. Through all this, Cheyenne discovers that the common definition of a normal teen may be the most abnormal thing of all.
As a native middle-class suburban Bostonian, I bring some of my own adolescent experiences into Cheyenne’s world.
I have been published in Commonthought two years consecutively and studied under author Laurie Foos for one semester at Lesley University. I am also a member of SCBWI and Grub Street, Inc. In addition to working on the sequel to FALLING TO NORMAL, I am currently co-authoring an adult novel that explores romance and the quarter-life crisis.
Thank you for your consideration. If you would like to read the entire 55,000-word manuscript for FALLING TO NORMAL, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I truly look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your time.
In December of 1993, it was official; I was no longer a ward of the State. After four and a half years being locked away, the time had finally come.
I looked at my uncle Andy, who nodded. He was sitting in a chair next to me, both of us across from Director Lady.
I couldn’t believe it. “I’m done?”
“We think it’s best you stay for another two weeks and continue with the program,” she said. “This is a probation period, Cheyenne . Craig has voiced his concerns regarding this move. You will need to continue with your therapy.”
I wrinkled my nose. “With him?” Craig was the psychiatrist on staff and looked like Jerry Garcia’s long-lost pedophiliac brother. Whenever I met with him, I couldn’t get past the way he looked and that made it hard for me to take anything he said seriously.
Andy spoke, his Canadian accent a little thicker than normal. “I’ve set up an appointment with Dr. Kleghorn.” I groaned before he quickly added. “She’s not like the one you ‘ave ‘ere.”
I didn’t want to examine my inner workings anymore, but if that was the condition on me leaving, I would suffer meeting the family therapist. “When do I need to go?”
“You have an appointment with her next week,” Director Lady said. “One of the direct care staff will bring you.”
“Great.” What else could I say?
“It will be under her recommendation whether or not your tenure in North Maltwood will be temporary.”