Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #20

GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

I'm on my way to meet a ghost.

Oh, yeah. I'm not exactly your run-of-the-mill sixteen-year-old. I see ghosts. You do, too, but you just don't know it. Ghosts appear to be normal, living, to everyone except seers, people like me.
Anyway, I've got an interesting relationship with the ghost I'm meeting. PSAT analogy time: ex-con is to parole officer as Kayley is to ghost Gregory. And my parole-officer-like ghost can throw temper tantrums with the best of them. There's a reason I'm meeting him at Disneyland.
I take the Harbor Boulevard exit and park in the Downtown Disney lot. It'll be crowded at Disneyland, what with it being a Saturday and the summer, but it's better for us if it's crowded. When there's a crowd, no one pays attention to anyone.

I grab my camera (all the better for my cover) and hop out of my lime green VW bug. I beep the doors locked and then text Gregory:

just parked car
I get a text back:

meet me same place as last time. hurry -- perv keeps looking at me.

I start sprinting, drawing startled glances from the fanny pack and sun-visor set milling about in the parking lot. My feet pound the pavement and I wish I'd worn sneakers instead of sandals. I race up Harbor Boulevard, side-swiping cheerful, chatting families, and almost knocking over a toddler in my haste to get to Gregory.

Gregory, like all ghosts, has every limitation of his human body.


  1. I would keep reading to see what this "Gregory" is like. The idea of ghosts appearing to be normal is nothing I've ever heard before.

    One thing: the PSAT and the SAT no longer have analogy sections.

  2. Interesting premise and great opening. I like this, it caught my attention and gave just enough information about the main character. I'm curious how Gregory is like a parole officer to her, and would definitely keep reading to learn more.

  3. I'm interested in this premise too. I would keep reading. However, Gregory's text, that some perv is looking at him, makes him sound nervous (at least to me) and her reaction is confusing. Is she running to protect him? Scared that he'll be mad at her for being late? It was just a little weird that he's her parole officer, but he's the one in trouble. However, maybe all of that is explained on the next page (you can only do so much with 250 words!) So - love the premise, little confused, but still hooked.

  4. You start out by talking to me, the reader, which automatically makes me not like it. Sorry, but that's my pet peeve. I'm not part of your story and your MC shouldn't be talking to me. She should be living in her own world and intereacting with other characters there. So, I wouldn't read more, but it's a subjective thing. I know lots of people have no problem with it.

  5. I like this, good first line, makes you want to see where things are going and what sort of relationship the speaker has with this ghost. Not sure about the part where the MC says "you do to" it might be better if she said "everyone does" (see ghosts) or something.

  6. I love the idea, I think it's great high concept, but I felt like there was too much telling in the first few paragraphs.

    I'd sliminate "Ghoses appear to be normal, living, to everyone except seers, people like me." Show us that instead. Show us Gregory, what he looks like, how other people react to him, how his chest rises and falls, how he blushes when he gets embarrassed, you know what I'm saying.

    I'd also delete "Gregory, like all ghosts, has every limitation of his human body." That's definitely a crucial detail that we need to know, but show us instead. Have him get a cut, or get poked in the eye, see what I'm saying?

    Love the idea though, I'd definitely read a book like this.

  7. Love the opening line. I am a bit confused though by Gregory's text and then her reaction. His comment sounds almost sarcastic, but her reaction makes it sounds life-threatening. Great premise.

  8. You have a great premise here and I really liked it. I'm intrigued by the limitations of Gregory's human body.

    I have to agree with Barbara though. I'm not a fan of being talked to. I'm the reader and if the author addresses me, it takes me out of the story and makes it harder for me to immerse myself in the story.

    You have something great here-Good Luck!

  9. The PSAT analogy time line is funny and the piece has a nice tone. I'd agree that it's a great high-concept idea.

    It feels disjointed though, like one more round of editing might help.

    Good luck with it.

  10. While I don't mind being talked to by narrator, I'm wondering if you'd consider opening with "I see ghosts"?

    Fun/funny setting.

  11. I'm not so drawn in by this. From an agent's point of view, this is fine, solid, passable. But it's not remarkable.

    The voice is fun--it's got attitude- and the writing is solid. But with so many ghost books already out there, I'm not seeing enough here that's different enough to make it stand out amongst the competition.

  12. I like the way you got so much information about the MC in the first two paragraphs. Personally I don't mind being talked to. I am curious about Gregory and would keep reading.

  13. I like the first line! It's catchy.
    I'd read more.

  14. Two things intrigued me here. One -- ghosts have physical bodies? Weird. That's not my usual understanding of ghosts, so I want to know more. Two -- the ghost is her parole officer? (I loved the" PSAT analogy time"). The perv thing was also curious. Are there perverts who stalk ghosts? Or maybe the perv doesn't realize Gregory is a ghost in which case, there must be something interesting about Gregory.

  15. I like your take on the paranormal. Very fun! I'm hooked!