Wednesday, November 4, 2009

8 Secret Agent

TITLE: Bite Me
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Talbot blamed his mother for the fact he’d spent most of the summer impersonating a nun.

Though the financial system in the Osbourne household had something to do with it, too. That was his father’s fault—a physics professor who left his family the day he discovered his wife and children were all werewolves. The lycanthrope blamed the bastard every time money ran tight.

Which explained his current situation.

“How could you, Talbot?” his mother screamed into the phone. “After everything I’ve done to scrimp and save to send you to the best paranormal university in the country, and you have the nerve to tell me you failed your classes because of test anxiety? What the hell kind of excuse is alcohol therapy?”

Talbot winced and pulled the phone away from his ear. If he didn’t know better, he’d think she was part banshee. He pinched the bridge of his nose, wishing he didn’t have to have this conversation so close to the full moon. “Well when you put it like that, it sounds stupid, Mom.”

“Don’t you stupid me, young man. You have a serious problem here. If you flunk out, you won’t graduate next spring.”

Talbot rolled his eyes. “Look, I’m sorry. It was a bad semester. I messed up. But I don’t know what you expect me to do about it.”

The minute the words left his mouth, Talbot regretted them.

“Do. Do? Oh, I’ll tell you what you’re going to do, Talbot Alexander Osbourne.”

All three names. Not good.


  1. An interesting idea, but it feels a little busy. Everything at once. Maybe narrow down to just the phone call and the failing? Though the first line is amusing it feels like something stuck in there just because it's amusing.

    Still I'd read more, just to see where the werewolf family is going to go.

  2. I enjoyed the last line, but I do wonder about the rest of the plot. Already, there seems to be a lot going on. We're introduced to three characters right off the bat and it gets a bit muddled. I would read more, though, to learn more about Talbot.

  3. The writing is a little rough. I love the first line, and was not confused by the number of characters. But your individual sentences are wordy and not as clear as possible. This would be improved by going through it with someone who was absolutely brutal, and willing to mark up every single sentence to make it the best it can be.
    Is Talbot’s brother’s name Lawrence? Love the classic reference to the Lon Chaney movie.
    I’m hooked. Keep writing!

  4. Loved this! Urban fantasy from a male perspective! I'm not a guy but love Jim Butcher, Simon Green and Rob Thurman's urban fantasies with male protagonists. Great first line, didn't think too much was going on and loved the three name bit since I use my husband's three names to yell at him. :D I'd definitely read more.

  5. Great opening line, but I'm trying to figure out where the nun impersonating came in. It felt like the line was there as a hook and nothing else.

    That being said, I love the story!

    1st paragraph--"the lycanthrope blamed..." Should it be lycanthrope(s)? I thought you were talking specifically about the mother, but if they are all werewolves, wouldn't it be plural?

    The story flows well and you have a good voice. I'd definitely read a few more pages.

    Good Luck


  6. I like this one best of the ones I've read here today (possibly cuz your voice reminds me of my own. ;-D)

    I like the first line, but you need to tie it back in relatively soon. (And for all we know, you do starting with the 251st word.

    I think the last line isn't all that original and I'm getting the feeling that you are capable of being very creative.

  7. I kept wavering back and forth on this. The premise and your writing style have me thinking this would be a cool, fun read, but the writing makes me iffy.

    You threw me a great first line, but didn't take it anywhere. He's referring to his mom as 'the lycanthrope' which would work if he wasn't a werewolf, but he is, so why not just say Mom?
    She says he tells her he failed because of test anxiety, and then she says he uses the excuse of 'alcohol therapy.' I don't get it. And then, - If you flunk out, you won't graduate' Well, no kidding.

    What I got from the beginning half was that money was tight because his father left them, and Talbot had to work at something which involved dressing like a nun, and flunked his test, probably because he was working instead of studying.

    The second half just made me go 'huh?' because what I had imagined didn't seem to be confirmed in any way. At this point, all I'm sure I know is that he's a werewolf and he flunked his exam.

    I'd probably read a bit further to try and figure it out. Whether I did or not, and how quickly I did, would probably determine if I kept reading.

  8. Once you got to the dialoge you had me hooked, but getting from the background to that was a bit awkward. I think the best comments on how to tighten that up have already been made, but I would definitely read more.

  9. Funny, funny, funny.

    I think you should lose the lycan-whatever-thingy. Too confusing in a start that has us feeling off-balance to begin with.

    I love that this magical family is short on cash and the mother screams like a banshee.

    I loved the alcohol therapy for test anxiety bit. :) This kid has me howling (groan).

  10. Loved it! Your first line is awesome. I'm not really a werewolf fan, but I'd love to see the rest of this. I would suggest taking out the second paragraph, it feels unnecessary and it takes away from the action.

    Good Luck,

  11. I love the voice here, but I think this opening needs to be a little more cohesive. You're opening line is interesting, but I didn't see how it relates to what follows. And why does money being tight explain his situation? He failed all his classes because money was tight?

    I think you should cut the backstory and just open with the phone conversation. It's very funny.

    Good luck.

  12. I liked this. I liked the voice and both your characters' personalities. I'd keep reading.

    **The lycanthrope blamed** -- This pulled me out of his POV. Just say 'Talbot blamed' or 'he blamed' and work 'lycanthrope' in somewhere else if you really want to use it.

  13. I like this one a lot, especially the 1st line. How old is this protagonist? Sometimes a college-age protagonist can be a bit troublesome from a marketing standpoint; they might seem too old for YA and too youthful to be a believable MC in an adult work. I like the voice in this sample, though, so I'd definitely read on.

  14. I loved the first line, I like your voice and I thought the whole thing really zinged once we met Mum.

    I would definitely read on

  15. This is cheating a little because I've read more of this story on a crit group, but I LOVE this story. I was instantly hooked the first time I read it and am hooked again. The voice is awesome and I adore the humor!