Thursday, 17 May 2012

Onwards and Upwards

Ok, So I didn't make it through to even the sub's bench on the Voice, but just like ABNA, I made some excellent friends and learnt so much. To cheer myself up, I thought I'd dig up a bit of history. Like the great quote from an ABNA expert reviewer:
"This read perfectly, as a action adventure story should. The plot pacing moved quickly, and the excitement of tournament was written so realistically that I could hear the hush and roar of the crowds as if I was there too.  I also enjoyed the main character, Archer, he was likable and very much the classic story hero."
And some of the stunning pix from booksignings I've done:
With Paul and Cara Lawrence at Happy Glastonbury (formerly Growing Needs)

Alex Rebecca doing their their crowd-pleasing, choregraphed fighting at Kenilworth Books
Good times!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Writer's Voice contest entry #130

Really pleased to have made it - my lucky number really is 13! Kudos to everyone who got in (Glad I don't have to do that every day/week) and commiserations to those who didn't.

Middle grade historical fantasy

Plot summary from query

Archer doesn’t belong. In case he has any doubts, Edlyn will go to any lengths to show him that he never could.

At fourteen, Edlyn’s gang jump Archer in the woods, tie him to a tree and try to teach him some respect. It nearly costs Archer the affection of his only friend Patricia, but no one likes being called treacherous, do they? On the plus side, he gains a couple of loyal friends. During the trio’s first road trip, a band of fierce renegades learn a thing or two about courage and audacity, and a charismatic Celtic drummer band turns the incident into a song.

At sixteen, Archer competes with his friends
in a graduation competition to see who is worthy of being crowned May King and Queen. Although Edlyn tries hard to sabotage Archer’s chances, they both get through to the final round. There’s a gleeful moment when Archer takes to the stage as Robin Hood, attracting plenty of female admirers, but it’s Patricia he wants to kiss.

When Archer carved the yew stave given to him by Oxford’s master bowman, drops of his blood awoke the powerful tree spirit. The stave was from the same tree Edlyn tied Archer to years earlier, and the enchantress wants revenge for Edlyn’s thoughtless cruelty. While everyone else enjoys the Beltane feast, she entices him into the ceremonial bonfire. Archer is faced with the ultimate dilemma - does he defy her and risk his life to save his nemesis, or simply walk away?

Although it has a distinctly medieval feel, ‘ARCHER’ is set in a modern-day, alternate England where teenagers enjoy archery and jousting instead of football and Facebook. With echoes of the film ‘A Knight’s Tale’ and the series ‘Merlin,’ this story will appeal to young teens, fans of Philip Pullman/Rick Riordan, and adults who enjoy historical adventures laced with humour and a dash of romance.

250 word extract

‘C’mon Archer, you can do it!’
‘Go for it Finn!’ 

Sitting astride his stallion Apollo, Archer grinned as people in the crowd shouted encouragement. He spotted his friends; they were Finn’s friends too and obviously didn’t know who to support. Some of them looked worried, but Fletch didn’t care, holding up victory fists to both contenders in turn. The buzz of excitement was affecting everyone and Archer felt the familiar thrill of blood pumping through his veins. Months of effort had gone into the preparations and people had travelled from miles around to celebrate Beltane, the Festival of the May.

‘Good luck, mate.’ Tybalt, Archer’s Second, held up his shield. ‘May the best man win.’
‘Man? Don’t you mean Junior?’ Archer was secretly delighted by the idea, as he slipped his gauntlet through the shield straps and took the reins.
‘No, Archer. Today, you and Finn are men.’ Tybalt handed over the lance, then, with an anxious look in Finn’s direction, walked to the dais to prepare for the tributes.

Looking down the tilt at his opponent, Archer felt the warmth of brotherhood. No, Finn was more than a brother, they did not argue as siblings did. Professor Niall had pronounced them the only pair ready for the joust – all the other boys had settled for the rings.

Archer shivered, despite the sunshine. This wasn’t the same as an ordinary practice. The enthusiasm of the crowd made it more exciting than anything he had ever done in his life.

Details for the Writer's Voice

Whoops - accidentally deleted this post. Basically it was telling people about the amazing Writer's Voice contest.
These are the details:

“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of  Cupid’s Literary Connection,  Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.). They’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of them will serve as coaches and select projects for their teams based on their queries and first pages.

Here’s the timeline:

May 3
Everyone submits their entries
May 3-10
We select our team members from “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest
May 10-17
We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries
May 17
We post our team members’ entries on our blogs
May 21
Agents vote for their favorites

The Genres

To enter “The Writer’s Voice,” your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres:

Adult Fantasy
Adult Science Fiction
Adult Romance
YA fiction (all subgenres)
MG fiction (all subgenres)