Wednesday, January 13, 2010

12 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Twelfth of Never
GENRE: Contemporary upper MG

If this were a movie, you’d be hearing Elvis music right now. The soundtrack to my life. Mom says she gave birth to me serenaded by the soothing tones of his love song, “The Twelfth of Never,” and I entered the world crying in perfect pitch with it.

My name is Presley. If I had been a boy, I’d most certainly be Elvis. Thank God for my chromosomes.

Not that I don’t love The King. I do. It passed into my DNA, straight from my grandparents through Mom, his biggest fan. She’s president of Michigan’s Elvis (Lives) Forever Fan Club, able to tell his life story, with exact dates of milestones, concerts, album releases. She never mentions his death, although she claims not to believe the Elvis sightings reported in supermarket tabloids, so I can try to pretend she’s normal. Except for the potato chip she bought on eBay for its likeness to Elvis’s facial profile. If you squint your eyes, the one burnt edge resembles his hair and those thick sideburns from the 1970s, when he was heavy and wore the sparkly one-piece outfits.

She had the potato chip shellacked, and she keeps it on a tiny foam pad in a little plastic display box on her desk at work. Which also happens to be at my school. She’s the secretary at Greenhaven Middle. And I’m about to tell her the music has to stop.


  1. Strong voice, great details, nice character. I zipped right through this and wanted more.

  2. First: I love the title!
    Second: I love the Elvis-as-my-mom's-obsession theme!

    The writing feels a little bumpy, choppy. I get that this is first person and a MG (upper? 12?) protag, but I'm not really feeling her voice.

    I get a little lost in the paragraph with all the details about her mom and the King. Nicely done with the specifics, but I would pare it down a little.

    Totally intrigued as to why the music has to stop, but that piece seems a little abrupt.

    Overall, very nice! Good luck!

  3. I think this is very original and a little humorous, but it feels a little bogged down in the third paragraph. Maybe omit one or two details--that can be added later in the manuscript.

  4. I really liked this. I didn't think it was choppy; it gave me the feeling of a younger person- talking in a steam of consciousness. I loved the whole Elvis angle, loving oldies and class rock. I liked that you didn't pick an extremely well known hit such as Jailhouse Rock or Hound Dog. I liked that you used that as the name of your story as well, tying us in right at the start.
    I want more of this story!!

    I almost thought this was autobiographical of my niece! She bears the same first name, is upper MG to YA age, and her mom used to think Elvis never died, because you know the letter rearranged spell -lives.

  5. Nice, strong voice. The Elvis details went on a little too long for me, but depending on what she tells her mom in the next paragraph, I'd keep reading.

  6. As soon as I saw the title I thought - Donny Osmond. Different generation, I guess.

    Anyway, I thought the writing was good and you created a voice for your character and set a tone for the story. The Elvis bit went on too long for me. I wanted you to get to the point sooner.

    I can't say I'm hooked because I'm thinking I'm going to get a story about a girl who is embarrassed by her mother's Elvis obsession, and that just doesn't interest me, so for me, it's a matter of taste. If it's about something else, you may want to make that more evident sooner.

  7. This is great! I love the title, the voice is perfect and you've set up great potential for conflict. Nice job!

  8. Wow! I loved this. It’s really well written and funny. I'm an Elvis fan too so can relate to the mother, but understand the embarrassment of the girl.

    Good luck with this. I would definitely read on.

  9. You have a great voice and I like the MC. I want to read more.

    My suggestion would be to trim some of the third paragraph to get more why the music has to stop which I'm sure is waiting page 2.

  10. I feel like I know more about the Mom than Presley right now. I am intrigued, though, and would keep reading because of the last line. Good job!

  11. I like this style. Upbeat (or uptempo) - even though the last line brings it down. Nice contrast. I'd read on.