July 9, 2012

Contest and a major flub up

Good morning bloggers. How goes your writing endeavors? My latest news is about an amazing contest. And when I say amazing, I mean there are 10 agents coming by kind of amazing. The beautiful Michelle Krys is hosting Christmas in July along with her equally beautiful and talented friend Ruth Steven. If you aren't following them then you should. I'm not going to go into all the details about the contest, all I'm going to say is it's going on right this second. It will end today at 3pm EST. Query + first 500, top 30 go before some amazing agents!!! What are you waiting for?

Here's the part where I hang my head in shame. You won't believe what I did. I'm so embarrassed! I have worked on my query for over a month. I've had it critiqued by many colleagues several times. So what did I do? I decided to change a sentence last second- in the inbox of the email- and with my coffee deprived morning eyes I didn't catch my typo!!!!! After I clicked send I copied my new query over to a document and saw the error! This is the part where I rushed back to the sent email, crying, "No, no, no, no. Please God tell me I didn't do that!" But alas, I did.
The hook line of my query was ruined. This is how it was originally-

When she's kidnapped and raped, she fights with everything she has.
I decided last minute to change it to-

When she's kidnapped and raped, she fights with every ounce of her soul to stay alive.

But what I sent was-
When she's kidnapped and raped, she fights with everything ounce of her soul to stay alive.

Do you see my humiliation now? Feel free to send hugs and chocolate my way. I'm pretty sure I blew it with the contest. There are too many talented writers out there with perfect entries to ignore my flub up. So, to make myself feel better I will post my intended entry for all of you.

Here is my query and first 500 words.

Amber Mauldin: PERFECTLY BROKEN (YA narrative memoir)

Fifteen-year-old Amber Harville is a spitfire of a girl who’s as quick to throw a punch as she is to steal a kiss. When she’s kidnapped and raped, she fights with every ounce of her soul to stay alive.
Her captor’s first mistake was choosing her as his victim. His second was letting her go.
She rushes to the police and three days later he’s caught. After meeting with her lawyer, she discovers her evidence was the key to capturing a serial rapist. Although revenge is never far from her mind, going to court becomes about so much more. It is now about protecting all his future victims.
While preparing for trial, she struggles to deal with the damage left behind. Amber puts on a brave face for the world, but the invisible scars leave her incapable of being touched. The one boy who tries almost gets a cheek full of knuckles. With the guidance of a youth pastor, her 'Sunday only' faith is challenged, and grows to a relationship full of healing.
A summer foreign exchange program comes at the perfect time. With the court date months away, a trip to Spain is exactly what she needs- a break from the pressures of the trial. The last thing she ever wanted was a gorgeous Spanish boy to awake her stone-cold heart. Now torn between staying in Spain for the school year with the boy she loves, or returning home to testify, she has to decide what is more important- protecting her heart or protecting other women from a monster.
PERFECTLY BROKEN is a YA narrative memoir complete at 68,000 words. Fans of THE DEVIL IN PEW NUMBER SEVEN by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo will be drawn to this story for its intense nature and compelling faith.
Statistics say one in five American women experience sexual assault in their lifetime, but over half of those crimes go unreported. I hope my story will help encourage more to come forward and seek justice. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. As per your guidelines I have pasted my first 500 words below.

I know at any moment he’ll kill me. His scorching breath is on my neck. His odor is imbedded in my nose. It’s only been minutes since he crawled off me, but the rape keeps replaying in my mind, torturing me over and over again.
My head is twisted in an impossible headlock and he’s holding me so tight I can barely breathe. I could probably see down my back if only my eyes would open, but they aren’t something I control anymore. Instinct has taken over, shielding me the only way it can- by keeping me from seeing what this man has done to my body, and no doubt what he intends to do next.
I tried to escape at first, I fought like hell, but he was too strong. As soon as he got his death grip on my head, he’d won the battle. When he growled, “One more move and I’ll break your neck.” I believed him.
There is a professional way about his strength. He knew exactly how to subdue me, and quickly, like he’d done this before. With just one hand on my head, he’s managed to lock me in place. My entire body is stiff, laid across the front seat and he’s driving with his other hand as if this were easy. Methodical, calculated, professional. Military crosses my mind.
He has had me in his clutches for at least an hour. Or maybe it has been ten minutes.
Time seems to stop right before you die.
Why am I still alive? He’s already raped me, what more- I stop myself. I won’t go there. I won’t think about how he plans to kill me. And besides, I refuse to die in whatever way he has chosen. I am certain I won’t live much longer, but there is one thing I can do, if escaping is out of the question. I am ready. I will not be going home to my family tonight, but I will send them my killer, my rapist, or rather his DNA buried beneath my fingernails when they find my dead body. I am prepared to strike at the first sign he is done with me. I know the moment I claw his face off he will end my life. So I wait, patiently, for him to try to kill me. I will put up one last fight; one he will not easily walk away from. 
The car stops. This is the moment.
He lets go of my head and snarls, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you.” Then he reaches across me and thrusts open the door.
I see my escape and move so quickly I topple out backwards onto the curb.  
Daylight is almost gone, granting me just enough luminescent to see my surroundings. I’m stunned. I can’t believe he let me go.
His eyes are on me as if he’s waiting to see what I’ll do.

Rocketing up, I bolt in the opposite direction like my feet are on fire.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've done things like that. I entered a contest recently and edited my first page, but forgot to change one of the words. It read it instead of its. I didn't make the cut, but I have a feeling it was more because the agent wasn't interested in the query (which has garnered a number of requests), and not because of the typo. You still have a chance if the agents like the rest of the query.

Johanna Garth said...

Oh, that is so frustrating. I'm sorry that happened but we've all been there. Maybe the query will peak the agent's interest despite the mix up.

Jade Hart said...

Oh hunny. my heart goes out to you. your first 500 are so strong and perfect though, that they might overlook that typo. some agents down even look at the query until they've read the first 500. don't stress. so proud of you. x

Morgan said...

I've TOTALLY had those moments!!!!

But everything looks great. Jade is right, a lot of agents skip and look at the sample material first. Your talent shines through :)

elizabeth seckman said...

Hugs Amber. I do things like that. Have no fear, when the time is right, God will open the right door.