Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#32 January Secret Agent


(I just left it up because everyone seems to be enjoying it so much. *grin*)

TITLE: Always Read the Fae Print
GENRE: YA urban fantasy

Making out with my hot Dutch boyfriend at work? Awesome.

Spotting a fae sliding across the kitchen counter behind said hot Dutch boyfriend's back? Less awesome.

I tensed up like a steel girder as the fae's too-thin body crept past, but tried to keep Arjan from noticing. Mom always said the best way to deal with fae was to pretend you couldn't see them. An easy task in theory--Arjan's lips on mine made the best distraction ever--but even though the fae probably wasn't harmful, Mom's homeschooling had fed me enough horror stories about those bug-eyed jerks that I wanted to be prepared.

Also? I didn't want fae staring at my epic make-out sessions. Talk about awkward.

Reluctantly, I put one hand on Arjan's chest and disentangled myself. "I'm thirsty," I whispered.

"Oh. Right." Arjan's normally pale face was flushed. He licked his lips. "Could we talk about something?"

Uh-oh. Did my kissing need work? Could be: I'd never made out with a real, live, non-magical human being before Arjan. As far as smooching went, vampires usually settled for 'warm and bloody', and I'd never gotten far with that necromancer dude Aunt Ellen had tried to set me up with. Arjan had also brushed past my scars earlier--not difficult, given how friggin' huge they were--and that never failed to give me the jitters and--

Another movement from the corner of my eye. I tried valiantly to keep my attention on Arjan instead of five gazillion disaster scenarios.


  1. I adore her voice!! Great job, I really have nothing to nit-pick here :)

  2. While I like the voice in the opening sentences, I'm not a fan of the questions. Could be just me, but it seems a little cliche.

    The rest is fabulous. You're giving plenty of detail without telling us. I would definitely read on.

  3. I have to say that I was immediately smitten by the opening sentence. I laughed before continuing on, and I was not disappointed. I'd love to see the rest of the story. Great job!

  4. I really liked this. I was just confused about one thing: she is at work? and in the kitchen? Is it that her mom is at work?

    Either way, this has great voice, and I loved the flushed hot Dutch boyfriend.

  5. I also enjoyed the voice. I didn't mind the questions because I liked the humor they added.

  6. This was wonderful, especially that second-last parg.

    My only suggestion would be to replace 'less awesome' with a stronger word. After all she tells us about the fae, 'less awesome' just seems much too weak. You need something like earth shattering, or catastrophic. Something much more powerful than 'less awesome.'

  7. Love the title! :)

    You've got a great voice! I think you could maybe tighten up a bit here and there. For example.. 'Could be. I'd never made out with a human before.'

    Overall I thought it was fun and would like to read more.

  8. I like this one a lot: the voice, as many have commented on, and how effortlessly we get the picture of who the MC is.

    When she pushed hot Dutch dude away, his response seems strange. She announces that she is thirsty and he asks if she wanted to talk.

    It's a very small detail though. It doesn't take away from the rest of the section.

    I would definitely read on, even though I am not a big fan of the genre.

  9. The voice drew me in right away. She's humorous yet real. And though I think you do it intentionally because it's part of her character, some of the sentences were too long and rambling.

    I'd read on.

  10. Love the voice.

    Her aunt setting her up with a vampire? lol.


  11. Great job! I'm absolutely hooked. The little details like her matchmaker aunt and her Hot Dutch boyfriend wanting to talk instead of make out has me dying to read onward!

  12. I loved it! Punchy and funny. It reminds me somehow of the cartoon Ugly

    I would definately keep reading.

  13. I think the voice and the writing are strong, but I'm not sure I'd keep reading.

    I think partly my response is a reaction to what others like here: the humor. I like some of it, but it also takes the edge off of what is supposed to be creepy and/or strange. If the MC is flippant about everything, then why should I care about it?

    The introduction of all the other fantastical elements at the end bothered me, mostly because I'm not sure why she'd care so much about Arjan noticing if we're in a world where faeries, vampires, and necromancers (for starters), all exist. Unless we're talking World of Darkness here, where normal humans don't know what's going on because their brains can't handle the stress/horror, then, again, I'm not sure why she's worried.

    But I'm in the minority here. Your writing is strong and most people are reacting positively, so I'd say job well done, even though I wouldn't read on.

  14. Hi Andrew. I think I get what you're saying about the seemingly incongruous juxtaposition of the serious and the flippant. It can be difficult for the reader to know how to respond. I have seen it done successfully by Christopher Moore. I have also seen it attempted in ways that don't work, or work only for a couple of chapters and not for the entire novel.


  15. I really like the voice here. I can understand where Andrew is coming from with the humor interfering with the creep-factor, but I think it works. For me, the flippant humor tells us a lot about the narrator. It shows us that although seeing these creatures is unnerving, it is also a perfectly normal part of this girls life. She's not really shocked or scared, she just doesn't want to come off like a weirdo in front of Arjan (who, I assume, can NOT see, and maybe isn't aware of, paranormal creatures). The details slipped in in the second to last paragraph, about the vampire and necromancer, are perfect--they paint a picture of this girl's world in a smooth, unobtrusive way.

    One small note, in the last sentence of the second to last paragraph (re: the scars), the phrase "brushed past" threw me off, and I had to reread to figure out that you meant that he had maybe felt them. "Brushed against" or even "felt" might be more clear. And now that I think about it, that whole sentence felt a little out of place.

    Great job, I would definitely read more.

  16. Ashley is right -- my MC is used to these things, but Arjan can't see fae and the likes.

    Thanks, everyone, for your in-depth thoughts. It's very helpful -- and I'm really glad so many of you like it! :)

  17. I enjoyed this, too and would read on. I didn't get the sense that the fae was that horrific that the MC's flippant attitude was out of place. My impression was that the fae was an irritant in her world but not a true threat of any sort. Is that wrong?

    My only comment is that Arjan's immediate comment after ending the make out session was "Could we talk about something?" It seems too abrupt.

  18. Congrats on the offer! When I was reading through the entries I must say this one grabbed me and made me want to read more. Good luck and can't wait to see this on the shelf!

  19. Saw authoress' tweet about your offer, and I just wanted to say congrats! I really liked this as well--definitely not surprised to hear your good news. :)

  20. Congratulations on your offer! I hadn't made it to this entry yet--I've been going through them pretty slowly this week--but I'm not surprised at all that someone snatched this up.

    I'd read on, so I hope to see it on the shelves someday.

  21. Congrats on the offer! Keep us posted on when it comes out. I want to see how it all turns out.
    Wishing you many sales.

  22. Congratulations, Corinne! Your voice is so strong it could probably bench press an elephant:) Best of luck with this.

  23. Thank you SO much, everyone. I'm still reeling from the news. This has been a super exciting week :D Hopefully I'll be able to make everything official soon. Waiting to hear back from other agents, first.

    Krista -- That must be one of the coolest things anyone's ever said about my writing. :D

    And Jessica, fae can be major threats, but generally only if you enter into a deal with them. So yes, you're definitely right, for now it's an irritant.

    As for later into the book - well. See the title. *g*

  24. I am so excited so for you! Seriously, I got chills when read the words at the top of the page. This business is tough. I'm thinking you deserve a massage and a bottle of champagne. Heck, where are you from? I'd love to deliver it and pop it with you. So, fellow writer, all the best to you.

  25. That's "when I read." I'm obviously so thrilled I can't type.