Dear Writer’s Voice Coaches,
My 89,000 word YA horror novel, A WHISPER OF LIGHT, combines the supernatural tension and mystery of IT FOLLOWS with the themes of forgiveness and sacrifice from the musical LES MISÉRABLES.
Sixteen-year-old Felicity Phoebus does three things when a monster haunts her. First, she looks at it. That’s the scary part. Second, she paints the monster. That’s the agonizing part. Third, she gets up close with the monster and kills it with her painting. That’s the painful part.
Felicity fights for a life free from the monsters, but each haunting leaves her body scarred, her mind bleeding, and her hopes shredded. As long as her best friend, Ashley, keeps her sane and never knows they exist, she’ll keep fighting. Felicity’s the only one who can protect everyone and keep the monsters a secret. Then the monster Spine-eyes murders her mother and infests her abusive father.
Now with her carefully balanced life imploding, Felicity must face her real fear. All while living with her ex-meth addict uncle, Spine-eyes immune to her art inside her dad’s body, and more monsters haunting her. If she fails, Spine-eyes will destroy everyone she loves until they’re monsters too, only with human faces. And he’ll force her to live on, even when she can’t think a sane thought anymore.
To Felicity’s surprise her deepest fears may hold the answer to rescuing everyone and living the life she fights for, but it will take more courage than she knows to keep her hopes alive and earn her happy ending. A WHISPER OF LIGHT works as a standalone, but has series potential.
I’m a member of the Horror Writers Association, and I blog at YA Asylum and Midnight Society Tales. Thank you for your consideration.
The First 250:
My high school’s theatre yawns from its summer sleep as the stage curtain rises. The spotlights peek underneath the crimson folds and bathe me in rich, golden light. I love this moment so much, when all the crushing, chaotic noise around me fades and a new, undiscovered world opens feet away. I wish another world really did exist beyond the lights, a single step and I’m safe forever. My longing cuts so deep even breathing hurts.
That’s when the monster starts haunting me.
His presence hits me hard and quick as a punch in the stomach. One second, the air smells clean, and the next, smoke from a fire I know doesn’t exist pollutes the whole backstage. One moment, I feel nothing, then acid I can’t see burns every inch of my body. I glance at my hands, where my skin is somehow still on my arms.
Reality lies yet again. This shouldn’t surprise me anymore.
I walk behind my best friend, Ashley Santos, as she cuts through the crowd. I’ll keep us moving and hope it’s enough for now, but if the monster makes a move toward her, I’ll see him coming, I’ll keep her safe. Less than thirty seconds into a new haunting and this monster is a hundred times more aggressive than the last one.
“Everything’s okay, Felicity, I’m still here,” Ashley says over her shoulder to me. She wiggles her fingers behind her back, and I weave mine in hers, and almost relax.
The hauntings always begin this way.