It wasn't good. I don't care about the contest because the prize was for pages to be sent to Rachael Vater, and she's already rejected my book twice.
I entered to get feed back and that's just what I got. One of the published authors who frequent the site judged my hook on whether it could grab him or her. Some things held it back.
I really do appreciate the chance so don't think I'm whining. I'm just concerned because . . . well take a look.
What happens when you take two happy, optimistic kids, and turn them into vampires? Ten year old Annabelle loves animals and has a strong desire to learn. She would much rather read her favorite books than explore. Her brother Roland is twelve and thinks reading is boring. He’d be happier exploring. It is the late 1600s and their family had just moved from England to the New World . Annabelle and Roland’s lives are shattered when the evil vampire Dominic kills their parents and leaves the children to die. His wife does not agree with his actions but has always been too afraid to rebel. Seeing the children’s plight, she acts on impulse and rescues them the only way she knows how, by transforming them into what she is and teaching them how to become children of the night.
Annabelle and Roland learn how to turn into bats and wolves. They struggle to control their cravings while mastering their vampiric abilities. Annabelle and her brother befriend the Mohegan Indians, free a witch from the Salem jail, hide from a ruthless vampire hunter and struggle to keep their existence as vampires a secret in their colonial town. They grow from inexperienced young children to confident teenagers while facing Dominic’s wicked servants. Each vampire, witch and werewolf that tries to kill them is tougher than the last until finally, after years of apprehension mixed with fear, they confront the master vampire who slaughtered their parents. Future uncertain, the teen vampires must try and stop Dominic before he destroys everything they hold dear.
Notes—My first thought to your opening question was “Happy vampires?” This could be fun, though—you’ve put young adult vampires into a time we don’t read too much about. I was a little concerned Dominic turned the kids at such a young age, and wondered if it couldn't’t have happened to them when they older? Older kids might be better able to survive/blend in—just a thought. As for the description of the two kids—can you dig a little deeper than simply giving them the opposite interests? Also, their interests don’t come into play in your synopsis—perhaps they do in the text, but since you make a point of telling me Annabelle likes to read, I thought that might come up later on.
I also wondered about the available books in this time—not light reading for a ten year old. As for the rest, it seems episodic—attack after attack—each stronger than the last. Why is Dominic sending creatures to kill them? And I don’t get a sense of what they “hold dear”. Are their friends in peril? Again, my first thoughts were that this could be fun—the setting is unique, but I need to see a story arc.
OK, me again. I noticed that she/he didn't see that it was Eliza who turned the kids. At first I thought I didn't clarify that well, but there it is in the first paragraph.
I'm concerned though. She/he mentions that the kids should be older. Aprilynne said the same thing. Do I loose the happy little bats and children learning to be young vamps? The kids at the school loved those things. I really believe in my gut it should stay that way.
Also, in my query/hook I mentioned the ageing of the children at the middle of the book. The guys at Absolute Write told me that detracted from the hook. Now I see where it would help. It's a major part of the book, watching these young kids change into teens overnight. It relates with the same growing pain problems pre-teens go through all over the world. I want to mention it but how?
In the book I cover how Annabelle could have gotten a hold of books
during those days. Her father was a bookbinder. Maybe I should mention that?
Episodic. That's what Adam said after reading the book. Maybe it is. Maybe it wont sell because of that. How can I fix this? Should I throw the book away and rewrite?
Here's what someone else said in the responses...
lnhammer on April 25th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
I'm very intrigued by #61, but with reservations. It's that each opponent is tougher than the last thing -- like a sorting algorithm of evil. Rather than training them up, why wasn't a tough enough minion sent to take care of things first time through? It makes the plot sound very by-the-numbers.
Ouch! Very true.
Man, it feels like I almost have it. It's like my goal is just outside of my reach.
This, combined with my fear for Janeen's present physical health and mental welfare, has made my mood deeply concerned and very unrested.