Thursday, May 3, 2012

"The Writer's Voice" Blogfest Entry (#54)

(For those of you doing the Dust It Off Bloghop, click here to go to my post!!)


Huge thanks to Cupid, Brenda, Krista, and Monica for hosting such a fun contest! For the details, click here on Cupid's blog


PHOBIC, a YA Horror


Query:

Fifteen year old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed any repairs since it was built in the 1800’s, it has a staircase that leads to the ceiling and the lights flicker in response to things she says. The kids at school torment her because of her creepy house, but it’s a good thing they don’t know Piper’s real secret:  Her mother is in prison for murder.

Sick of being pestered, Piper opens a forbidden door in her house to prove she’s not afraid of where she lives. Soon she begins having flashbacks of the original residents from 1875, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper in, not only to their story, but into her house. She doesn’t realize how far the connection goes until her house gets axed by a bully during a prank, and the damage injures Piper instead.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.


First 250:

When I was six years old I found the man my mother murdered stuffed in a trap door under our kitchen. The smell gave him away.
Police swarmed the house, which—uncharacteristically—made no creaking groans of protest at having that many outsiders in it. It was almost like the house knew Mom’s secret and wanted her to get caught.
Now, nine years later, I hold my clarinet in my hands and stare past the music on my stand. I should practice, but I can’t concentrate. My scholarship audition—my chance to get out of this house next summer—is tomorrow, and I wish my mom could be there.
I didn’t mind that she wasn’t at district solo competition last year, when as a freshman I beat a senior. Or that Mom isn’t around to show me the kind of mom-stuff other girls learn. I’ve got my older brother, Joel, but he knows as much about putting makeup on as I do. And when I got my period I wasn’t about to ask him how to put in a tampon.
I still see traces of my mother everywhere I look. If I didn’t know she was in prison, I’d think she was the one haunting my house, offering hollow wails in the early hours of morning, that stretch when day is breaking but dark things still have time to creep.
It’s why I like to practice in her and Daddy’s bedroom. I like to think that even from prison, my mom can hear me play. 



48 comments

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love your query! This sounds awesome. Good luck!

Amy said...

That's a great query - and Piper sounds kick-ass ;)

Kyra Lennon said...

WOW, Cortney! I just bounced up and down with excitement reading that, I need to read it right now!

Anne Pfeffer said...

I love this concept -- it's almost like the house is a character in the story! Good luck with it!

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

Wow, that is quite a first line you have yourself! What a unique premise :) Best of luck in the competition!

Candylynn Fite said...

Oh, I love it! Killer first line. (No pun intended!)and "The smell gave him away." It's great. I'm not sure what the competition is all about, but best of luck!!! This sounds like a super fun read. :))

Adam Oster said...

Good Luck!

Elizabeth Briggs said...

YAY CORTNEY! I'm one of the lucky few who has read this book, and it is amazing!

Tracey J said...

Congratulations on making it in. Good luck.

E. Arroyo said...

I was hooked with the first sentence. Just my 2cents but I was hoping to get more info on the haunted house and murder. I skimmed the info on her brother and her past there in the middle. I don't think you need the word "here" in the last sentence. Just food for thought. I love horror and love where you seem to be going with this. Good luck!

Melanie Stanford said...

Sounds awesome. I'm not into horror but I'd read this right away! Congrats on making it in. I totally forgot this morning so hopefully I'll be able to get my entry in tonight.

Tara Tyler said...

holy schmoley!
i had to skim cause it was so scary! you have a really great horror here! ah!

Kelley Lynn said...

Congrats on getting in Cortney!! yay!

And talk about refreshingly different! Yay for YA Horror. LOVE this idea.

Matthew MacNish said...

Hi Cortney, I'm stopping by from the Writer's Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! I'm following your blog now too, so: nice to meet you.

Morgan said...

LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!!

It's amazing, Cort. Good luck!!! :D

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

Hi! I love stories with creepy houses and ghosts. Your first line is really compelling. Best of luck!

aberthot said...

OMG this sounds AWESOME!!!! I want to read it! Good luck!

Brenda McKenna said...

Creepy + living houses + mysterious crime = awesome. I'd read for sure!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Great concept and opening lines! I enjoyed reading this! Good luck to you in the contest! Thanks for stopping by my blog as well!

Jenn said...

Wow, what an awesome and totally compelling opening line! :)

beccaweston said...

Gah! Helluva a hook and helluva opening line!

Cortney Pearson said...

You guys! I can't thank you enough for your awesome comments!! :D

C. Issy said...

Oooh, nice concept. The last paragraph of your query really hooked me and that opening line is killer! Good luck!

T. Drecker said...

What a creepy concept - great! I love the opening line. It's so awful (that's meant in a good way :) )

Anne Pfeffer said...

Woot, woot! 24 comments! Let me be the 25th. I've read this whole manuscript, folks, and it only gets better!

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Spooky! Good luck!

Carrie-Anne said...

I love the concept of this book! Ghost stories always appeal to me.

Jenny Morris said...

GAH. This is SOOO good. I love a good horror story!! One of my characters is named Piper. ;0)

Nazarea said...

Love your concept, and your first 250! Good luck!!!
Nazarea~ TWV #86

Colene Murphy said...

Oh, this sounds wonderfully original! Good luck!

Avery Marsh said...

If I'd picked this up in a book store, I'd had have to keep reading after a first line like that. And I'm not that into horror. ;) I love the voice, too. Good luck in the contest!

A. E. Welch said...

Love horror, good luck in the competition from one contestant to another!

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

This is fantastic! I would love to read more, so I hope you go far in the contest!! Good luck!!

Carrie Butler said...

What a concept! :D Good luck!

Mason T. Matchak said...

This sounds really, really good, and I swear, from the first line I want to know more and see how it ends. Good luck!

Anne Pfeffer said...

On my short list of Entries That I Would Pick if I Were A Blogger God...

C.G.Ayling said...

What can I say? the start is horrible! But then this is a horror story... :)
Nice powerful writing, good luck!

Melodie Wright said...

Great concept - I love stories about haunted houses so you hooked me right away. Good luck!

TYHatch said...

A very cool concept!

Good luck!

Tina (#194)

Carolyn Abiad said...

Best of luck!
Carolyn, #157

valerierlawson said...

gripping first sentence and great concept. good luck with the contest!

Becky said...

WOW what a concept, I'm so in! Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

How did I miss this one!! I loved the query and the 250 was excellent! I would read this book! CONGRATS to you!!!

Suzi said...

This sounds so cool. I don't know how I missed it. Especially since I've been reading your Dust if Off stuff.

Saw the news on Twitter. Welcome to the team!
#97

CUPID said...

Hello!!

I WANT YOU as my alternate! There are so many great things about this and I kept coming back to it again and again. There is something I'd like to talk to you about that held me back just a bit, so I'm excited to work with you as I will all my other entries.

I just love the whole house is alive thing and I love that she learns about a love affair from the past. SO thrilled about this!

I WANT YOU! YA! YA! YA! :D

Elizabeth Briggs said...

Yay!

Cortney Pearson said...

Eeee!!! Hooray, thanks Cupid! :D

Tamara said...

Congratulations on getting picked! I'm going through Cupid's list now, and this is definitely one of my favourites!

Good luck!