Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Secret Agent #13

TITLE: Overhead
GENRE: YA Science-Fiction Romance

My nametag pin would probably make a fairly effective weapon. It was quite pointy. And the employee handbook was pretty damn heavy. Yes, if someone tried paying me again with flesh eating currency, I would be more than ready.

I prided myself in being something of a ninja-action-hero, thanks to my work at The Wyborg Supercenter #5279 customer service desk. Pre-Contract human high school would have never gotten me thinking about all the common objects that could be turned into weaponry, and it was a skill that was decidedly to my advantage to have. Once everything went back to normal, I decided, I would consider joining the CIA.

I was busy wondering whether I would be able to snap off a leg of the desk in a pinch, when two customers approached my desk.

“Ingrid,” said one member of the alien pair. They glittered in the shadowy fluorescent light like disco balls, which made it rather difficult to listen to what they had to say.

“Can I help you?”

“Ingrid, could you explain my wife that this,” he bent over, and placed on the desk an old toaster oven, “is not a communication device?”

“It’s a toaster oven, miss,” I said. I was fascinated by the way their hands appeared encrusted with some deep blue stone.

“But what does it do?” the other crystalline being asked, stroking the side of the oven like a puppy. Was it difficult for them to bend their fingers?

“It…it makes toast, miss.”


  1. Ooh, i like this. I chuckled at the last line of dialogue.

    I think you're missing a "to" in the "“Ingrid, could you explain my wife that this," line.

    Also i think this line:

    I was busy wondering whether I would be able to snap off a leg of the desk in a pinch, when two customers approached my desk.

    Might work better in the MC's thoughts. More of a could i snap off this table leg if i needed? instead of just telling us she's wondering.

    Otherwise, though, great job. It's funny and i'm hooked. I would definitely keep reading.

  2. I thought this was funny, but was a little confused by the worldbuilding elements. It sounds like the main character has been taught about fighting at The Wyborg Supercenter, yet it appears he or she is answering simple questions about common objects like toaster ovens? It just seemed contradictory to me.

    Like Sarah said, watch out for "telling" phrases like "wondered" and "fascinated." For example, change the sentence that starts with "I was fascinated" to something like, "My eyes kept darting back to their deep blue stone-incrusted hands. What a lovely color!" That shows Ingrid's fascination rather than tells.

    Good luck with this!

  3. I would definitely keep reading!

    I have a fascination with opening lines and I LOVED yours “My nametag pin would probably make a fairly effective weapon”. It’s funny, shows what the MC thinks about, and grabs my attention. Love it.

    Truth be told, I’m not a fan of SciFi that much. Well, not in my reading anyway. But because of the humor and attitude of the MC I would consider reading this book. There are so many things I like about this opening. 1) The Walmart-esque store where aliens go and the purchase human items. This cracks me up. 2) A MC who thinks of all the ways she can make things into weapons. 3) Explaining what toaster is to a pair of aliens.

    Would love to see more of this.

  4. I agree with the other commenters - really fun opening, great voice. I'm also not a big sci-fi fan but I'd read more :)

  5. Your genre might not be the right choice. I don't know that YA gets that specific about romantic Sci-fi, and I'm not getting that vibe anyway, this is more like a quasi-hitchhikers guide to the galaxy world teen edition. Not a bad thing, but maybe just say YA Sci-fi and ditch the romance.

    All the right elements are here but I'm not totally sold. I'd read on to get more of an idea of the world. Good luck to you!

  6. Cool! Great in and out. Funny stuff. Nice to see something called a sci-fi romance that doesn't take itself too seriously. Not sure about the title, but I'd definitely read on.

  7. The first line hooked me. Loved it! I would definitely keep reading this. I want to know more about what's going on.

  8. The last like of the first paragraph made me laugh out loud, so I'm already in love with your MC. Sort of reminds me of a female version of Chuck for some reason.

    I'd read on to learn more about the world.

  9. And by "like," I meant "line." *Sigh*

  10. Really fun. I'd read on.

  11. This was a light, easy read. You obviously write well, but I'm not completely hooked. If I saw this in a bookstore, I might turn the page to see if I find something more compelling on the next page.

  12. I love your writing! The humor and voice really sucked me in!

  13. Really like this! Love the MC's humor and would read more.

  14. I love the line: "I was busy wondering whether I would be able to snap off a leg of the desk in a pinch, when two customers approached my desk." Awesome.

    And, of course, the whole exchange about the toaster is fabulous.

    I'm totally hooked.

  15. The second paragraph just lost me. So, there's a chance all this is just temporary? I think instead of talking about how the MC would want to join the CIA, I would like to get more info about what in heck is going on here. Even one line would help.

    And agree that the leg of the desk thought should be also told in the same fashion as the first paragraph. Keep the MC going until the aliens show up confused about the toaster.

    I love that the aliens are petting their toaster! Ha!