Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pitch Wars Selection

Phew...what a crazy few weeks it's been. I don't have the final number count, but I do know we had well over 1000 applicants for Pitch Wars. Y'all are rockin these contests! Thank you for helping make Pitch Wars so awesome!

I also want to thank everyone who pitched to me personally. I seriously think I had some of the most well written pitches we received (YAY!), ultimately making my job SO much harder (Boo!). In fact, I had an incredibly hard time getting it down to my top 10 picks. I so wish I could have picked more of you. Please know I have high hopes for ALL of you. YOU are talented. YOU have what it takes. NEVER give up. Just keep reaching for the stars!

Without further ado, the following are my final Pitch Wars picks.

Melissa Hurst (YA SciFi)- THE EDGE OF FOREVER. Dual POV's are very hard to pull off, but Melissa's dual POV query was outstanding. Her premise and writing are solid. SOLD!

Dannie Morin (YA Contemp)- IMPERFECTLY FINE. This girls' query and opening pages blew me away. She had me crying within the first five pages. In fact, it was so solid that I wasn't sure there was anything to actually coach.

Tamara Walsh (YA SciFi Romance)- AGAINST THE FALLING MOONS. Tamara's premise is really interesting, but I think it was all the swoon worthy romance that had me paying attention. 

Be sure to thank Brenda Drake for organizing such a wonderful contest.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter Holiday Giveaway

It's time for another giveaway and it's going to be HUGE people! We have 4 autographed copies of some of the best YA books that are currently out on shelves right now. One winner will win this fabulous prize just in time for the holidays. 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl will premiere on the big screen in the year 2013, so we have a little movie schwag thrown in as well. Poster, bracelets, book marks. 

Kimberly Derting was recommended to me by Molly Lee (my agency sister and co-host on this giveaway) and I could just HUG her for recommending this fabulous author to me. I've apparently been living under a rock because I don't know how I wasn't a huge fan of Kimberly's until recently. The Pledge is the first in a dystopian type series and an exciting read. Kimberly is also very well known for her The Body Finder series. Not only are her books terrific, but she was super sweet in person. You'll find even her signed note on the inside makes you think!

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Cinda Williams Chima and her Demon King Series. The final installment of the series, The Crimson Crown, to me, is the crown jewel of this prize. Cinda's descriptive writing and imagination come to life in all of her work. 

I would like to thank Y'allFest for the opportunity to even have these autographed books in my hands.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and I'm going to put that to the test. 

Our Holiday Prize....

*drum roll*

To enter to win this fabulous prize use the rafflecopter widget below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pitch Wars Agent List- HOLY COW!!!

Pitch Wars ... the agents!

Are you ready for this? We have 16 incredible agents vying for our Pitch Wars team manuscripts. We're so excited to see what pitches they fall in love with, and what teams will win the coveted Pitch Wars Most Requested Manuscript title. 

And, in no particular order, here are the agents...

Louise Fury

L. Perkins Agency
Twitter: @louisefury 

Louise is seeking teen Sci-Fi and Young Adult horror.  She's also on the hunt for deep, dark contemporary YA and select Middle Grade fiction with a literary feel--it must be realistic and thought provoking and the characters must be authentic and original. Louise loves horror and romance, especially Regency and Victorian.

Jessica Sinsheimer
Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Twitter: @jsinsheim 

Jessica is seeking Literary, Women's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Fiction.

Natalie Fischer Lakosil
Bradford Literary Agency
Twitter: @Natalie_Lakosil 

Natalie is looking for commercial fiction, with an emphasis in children’s literature (from picture book-teen), romance (contemporary, paranormal and historical), and upmarket women’s fiction. Specific likes include historical, multi-cultural, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, gritty, thrilling and darker contemporary novels, and middle grade with heart. 

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg 
Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
Twitter: @BookaliciousPam

Pam represents young adult and middle grade children’s book authors, and adult romance authors.                                                              

Jordy Albert
The Booker Albert Agency
Twitter: @bluedragonfly81 

Jordy is on the look out for Romance (contemporary,     historical/Regency, and paranormal). YA contemporary/historical or  dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy with romance elements. She's also open to YA GLBT within those genres. She'd love to see unique, well-developed plots featuring time travel, competitions, or travel.

Andrea Somberg 
Harvey Klinger Inc.
Twitter: @andreasomberg 

Andrea's looking for the following categories: Fiction; literary, commercial, womens fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, middle grade.

Jennifer Mishler
Literary Counsel
Twitter: @literarycounsel 

Jennifer is seeking Young Adult Fantasy, Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Literary, and Young Adult Historical. 

Suzie Townsend
New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
Twitter: @sztownsend81 

Suzie represents adult and children's fiction. In adult, she's specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8).


Victoria Marini
Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents, Inc. 
Twitter: @LitAgentMarini

Victoria is looking for literary fiction, commercial fiction, pop-culture non-fiction, and young adult. She is very interested in acquiring engaging Literary fiction and mysteries / suspense, commercial women's fiction (romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy), and Young Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller and horror ).

Kerry Sparks
Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, Inc. 
Twitter: @Kerry_Sparks

Kerry is looking for Young Adult and Middle-Grade fiction, both commercial and literary. She tends to shy away from werewolves, zombies, faeries, and the like, but she’ll read anything with a fresh voice and compelling characters. She is particularly keen on contemporary YA, quirky MG, books with a strong cinematic element.  

Drea Cohane 
The Rights Factory Literary Agents

Drea is currently seeking: fiction, memoir, crime, non-fiction and YA. Her roster consists of British, American, and Canadian clients. International talent is welcome. 

Katie Shea
Donald Maass Literary Agency 
Twitter: @AgentShea

Katie specializes in fiction and memoir, especially women’s fiction and commercial-scale literary fiction, and realistic YA.  She is most interested in coming-of-age stories and stories of unique relationships.

 Elise Capron
Dijkstra Literary Agency
Twitter: @EliseCapron 

Elise is interested in serious character-driven literary fiction, well-written narrative nonfiction, and short story collections. (Note: She is not interested in Fantasy, young-adult/middle-grade, picture books, romance, and sci-fi.) She aims to work with writers who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience.

Jodell Sadler
Sadler-Caravette Children's Literary 
Twitter: @picturebklunch

Jodell is interested in YA, MG (especially funny) , fiction and nonfiction, book proposals, and picture books. She will also coach writers wanting to self publish.  She simply loves a well-paced story that moves her between joy and tears.

Brittany and Michelle are teaming up to look for Adult, YA, and MG manuscripts. 

 Michelle Johnson
Twitter: @MJsRetweet 
Michelle’s published one novel, The Footloose Killer, and edited several others for publishing houses and private clients. She also is a Script/Story consultant on an independent film in Halifax, NS, Canada, and enjoys working closely with writers to help them develop their voice and craft.

Brittany Howard
Twitter: @brittanydhoward

When reading, Brittany  loves to be introduced to new and interesting people and places. She looks for strong voice, good storytelling, and fascinating relationships between characters—romantic or otherwise. More than anything, she loves when a book surprises her.

There's just one more day to get your applications in for Pitch Wars. Make sure to check out this post here to get all the details.

Monday, November 26, 2012



Thanks for stopping by. So you're all here to find out about me, what I'll be looking for in my Pitch Wars submission pile, and if I'll be a good coach for you.... *gulps*  This little cat is kinda how I feel right now. (Please like me)

Since no one can resist those eyes, we can get to the good stuff. My name is Kimberly Chase. I live in Charleston, SC with my husband, son, and two dogs. Some of my random favorite things: Cookies, Books, Shoes, Chocolate, Airplanes, Movies, Traveling, Running. 
I'm short with an embarrassingly high-pitched voice. (Like when telemarketers call they ask me if my parents are home!)

Okay, I have to follow that little tidbit up with something cool. I have an Aeronautical Science degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and hold all of my Pilot's licenses.

I'm represented by the fabulous Brittany Howard of the Corvisiero Literary Agency. My young adult science fiction novel is currently out on submission. 

I'm a member of TwitWits, an online writing community, and I'm an active CP for agented and soon-to-be agented authors. I also host contests and giveaways on my blog, so some of you may know me from the recent Trick or Treat with Agents contest I put together.

I love working on queries and pitches. I know that's weird...but I like helping writer's showcase the best of their work in a way that will hook the reader. (aka Agent) I will also provide a personal response/feedback to everyone who pitches me in this contest!

All genres of YA, BUT only if they have some sort of romantic element. 

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical, Magical Realism, unique Paranormal, Dystopian, Contemporary, Thrillers, SteamPunk, Romance, Gothic, etc. If I've forgotten your exact genre, no worries as long as it's YA and has a little love, I'm open to it.

ALSO- If you were one of my YA Trick or Treat with Agents picks, I WANT YOU!

So you really like me, yes? And I'll see all of your fabulous YA pitches in my submission pile, right? If I don't see your pitch, this is how I will feel:

Submissions start today (11/26)! The cut off time to get your applications (query & first five pages of manuscript) in is 8PM EST on December 5.

Send your applications to Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their category.

For additional information about this contest go HERE (link to your post announcing the contest)

· This is open to finished manuscripts only.

· You may only enter one manuscript.

· Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Kimberly Chase: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript

Query letter here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.

REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen!

Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just click on our pictures below.

Our mentors ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


We're extremely excited to announce an upcoming event where agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents.

Here's the deets...

·       The teams will consist of 1 agented author or industry intern or editor (coaches) and 1 aspiring author.

·      November 26: The coaches (listed on the linky below) will post on their blogs what genre/category they want to coach. They'll be very specific genres. Aspiring writers will hop around and decide which coaches best fit their manuscripts.

·        November 26th through December 5th at 8PM EST: Aspiring writers will submit 3 "applications" to their choices for top 3 coaches to the contest email ( That means, participants will send three separate emails to the contest email addressing each one of their three top choices for coach.

·       December 5 through December 10: Coaches will read the applications and pick teammates.The coaches don't have to pick from their applications. If a coach passes on an application, it is then up for grabs and another coach, if they haven't connected to their applicants, can snatch it after notifying the applicant and if the applicant chooses the coach.

·       December 12: Teams will be announced. On the announcement post there will be instructions on how the winners must send their work.

·      December 12 through January 16: Each coach will read their teammate's manuscript and give general notes on any issues they find. The coach will help their teammate get his or her pitches ready for the agent round.

·       Note: The material for the agent round will be a 3 sentence pitch and the first 250 words of your manuscript. Coaches will read manuscripts and query letters only once and give notes. It is up to the writer to use the notes from their coaches to get the manuscript and query letter in as best shape as they can to send to requesting agents. The coaches will critique the three sentence pitch and first 250 words. The coaches will read them as many times as they deem necessary. In no way will writers expect the coaches to read the manuscript and query letter more than once or the pitches more than twice.

·      January 20: Coaches will submit shined pitches to the contest email.

·      January 23 and 24: Agents will read and make requests on the pitches they like (it is likely that not all participants will get requests).

·       January 25: We'll announce the team with the most requests and who will take home the winning prizes (an amazon gift card for each).

·       This is open to finished manuscripts only.

·       You may only enter one manuscript.

·       Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest.


Subject line: Pitch Wars Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Kimberly Chase: GONE WITH THE WIND)

Name: Your Name

Genre: The genre of your manuscript

Word Count: The word count of your manuscript 

Query letter here  (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.
First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.


REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches.

Our mentors ...

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Word Battle Part Deux

Word battle distinguishes the differences between words that are often confused with one another. Go here for Round One:

Round One: Advice vs. Advise
Advice is a noun meaning  an opinion given with the intention of helping. A suggestion. A recommendation. Example- I am seeking your advice because you are more experienced in such matters. 

Advise is a verb meaning to give counsel or advice. Example- The meteorologist advised listeners to stay indoors because of the extremely cold temperatures.

Round Two: Ascent vs. Assent
Ascent is an upward movement, physical or abstract. The act of rising. Example- The plane began its ascent to 10,000 feet.

Assent means agreement or acquiesce. Example- He gave his assent to his daughter’s engagement.

Round Three: Capital vs. Capitol
Capital is where the seat of government is. Example- The capital of the United States is Washington DC. Capital can also mean wealth.

Capitol (usually capitalized) is the actual building in which the government and legislature meets. Example- We will travel to the Capitol this weekend.

Round Four: Desert vs. Dessert
Desert to abandon (verb); a hot, sandy place (noun). Example (verb)- Steven deserted the army when they wouldn't allow him to pierce his nose.

Dessert is the sweet course of a meal. Cake, ice cream, etc. Example- For dessert, I made chocolate chip cookies.

Round Five: Wreak vs. Wreck
Wreak means to cause damage. Most commonly used as the idiom To wreak havoc. Example- The tornado wreaked havoc with their plans for a vacation at the beach. It is only possible to wreak damage, destruction, etc.

Wreck means to damage severely, destroy. It's used most often to refer to traffic accidents, and simply means a thing that has been ruined or broken. Example- The tornado wrecked half the town.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat Agents Revealed

JEM, our 80's pink-haired rock star, is Brittany Howard with the Corvisiero LiteraryAgency.

Our black and white Harlequin masked agent is Ammi-Joan Paquette with the Erin MurphyLiterary Agency.

The Gryffindor clad Hermione Granger is none other than Jordy Albert with the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Batman, our comic hero, is Thao Le with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

The Jabberwocky, our scariest costume, is Ali McDonald with The Right's Factory.

Now, let's give a big thank you to our five fabulous agents, without whom this contest would never have happened. Thank you all for your participation and for picking such great costumes!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Time to Trick or Treat!

It's time to go trick or treating! Can we get our bags filled with treats?
Trick or Treat entrants, thank you for joining the fun! We received such quality entries that choosing our top 36 was very difficult. In fact, we've added a lucky #13. We've tried to give our participating agents some great choices based on their wish lists and we're hoping to see lots of incredible matches made this week.  

Congratulations to our finalists and good luck! 

* * * Reminders * * *

ONLY PARTICIPATING AGENTS MAY COMMENT IN THIS ROUND. We want our awesome costumed agents to be able to read through the entries with ease.

Agents will request "candy" in the comment section. Any kind of sugar candy (Skittles, Starbursts, etc) means you've gotten a partial request and chocolate candy (Snickers, M&Ms, etc) means you've gotten a full manuscript request. Agents can comment on as many entries as they like. AND multiple agents can request on the same pitch, so you might find your bag full of treats!

Costumed agents will be revealed at 6PM EDT on October 31st.

Anyone who receives candy, should email into for further submission instructions. You will then receive an email on the 31st with the correct submission guidelines to follow. DO NOT contact the agent without getting the guidelines first. (not that you really can since they're in costume)

If you are another amazing agent who has happened upon this contest and would like to make requests, we welcome you to take a look. However please wait until the contest has ended, midnight on October 31s

If you want to tweet about the contest, use the hashtag #AgentTreat And be sure to follow @brendadrake @kpchase817 @writeforapples

Trick or Treat #K1 - THE FATAL CROWN

Title: The Fatal Crown 
Category: YA 
Genre: Fantasy 
Word Count: 73,000

Seventeen-year-old Taela isn’t a murderer but when her sister is arrested for treason and executed, she vows to kill, Hawke, the man responsible, even if he’s the kingdom’s only hope for salvation.  Learning that innocent men are being turned into drone soldiers for the king’s army, Taela rethinks her vendetta and makes a truce. Their fragile alliance will be put to the test when Taela discovers the truth about her sister’s death, and it forever ties Taela’s destiny to the very man she wants to destroy. 

Question 1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you relate most to and why?
I would dress as Batman because he, too, lost his parents and seeks revenge.  He is a man of principle and, like me, won't let those who destroyed his family get away with it. 

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka unique/marketable)?
My manuscript is a tasty treat because it features a distinctive voice with plenty of action and tension.  It also has a strong female main character the reader will want to root for.

First 200 Words:
Taela wasn’t a thief, not usually, but sometimes folks had to do unpleasant things for the sake of the people they loved.  Like keep secrets or steal from their own families. 

Or even commit murder. 

She slipped into the cool darkness of the storage shed and quietly latched the door.  She took a deep breath to calm herself.  At least, after tonight, it would finally be over.  She would fulfill her promise, no matter what it cost or how much it frightened her.  

Ribbons of moonlight shone through the slats of the old wooden structure, falling across the crates, casks and barrels stacked around her.  She had to be quick.  She rummaged through a crate, grabbed a handful of dried apricots and few shriveled potatoes and stuffed them into her pack.

Standing on tiptoe, she reached up to the top shelf for the stoneware crock that held last season’s summerbeans.  It felt smooth and cool in her hands.  She slid the container to the edge and eased it off the shelf, but it was heavier than she expected.  Before she could get a good grip, the crock slipped, fell to the dirt floor and shattered with a crash. 

Trick or Treat #K2 - IMPERFECTLY FINE

Title: Imperfectly Fine 
Category: YA 
Genre: Contemporary 
Word Count: 55,000 

After witnessing her rockstar father's murder, a sixteen-year-old orphan with cystic fibrosis must do the one thing she never suspected: survive. Skylar faces a choice between self-destructive escape and embracing her terminal imperfections. A choice made easier by alluring and lethal Cole, but more complicated by Noah, a fiercely loyal friend with an enigmatic past and an infuriating tenacity for hope.  

Question 1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you relate most to and why? 
Like I even need a Dumbo costume when I get to "dress up" twice a day with my nebulizer, this breathing treatment mask that makes me look like I'm part plastic elephant. I kick Naughty Pirate Wench ass without even trying. 

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka unique/marketable)? 
My manuscript gives voice to over 30,000 American children, teens and young adults living with cystic fibrosis, the world's leading life-limiting genetic disease. In a twist on the "dying young" archetype, Skylar outlives the people she loves only to face survivor's guilt on top of her own mortality. 

First 200 Words: 
I'm a friggin' miracle.  

Dad says so twice tonight. First, as I pin the white stephanotis blossoms to the lapel of his tuxedo, then at the reception during our less traditional father-daughter dance. It's his wedding day, not mine. 

In his mind, my craptastic lungs, toothpick frame and piss-poor immune system make me miraculous. In reality, my broken breathing, salty skin, and spectacular lung infections are symptoms of cystic fibrosis. My body produces thicker mucus than normal. So I get sick. A lot. 

And I'll probably die before I'm thirty. 

Miracle, my ass. 

For now, I pluck a gazillion bobby pins out of Angela's hair. Elaborate, blonde curls tumble down the back of her white linen suit. She does a final makeup check in the honeymoon suite's fancy-pants, gold mirror before we head back to the reception, so she and dad can make their grand exit. There are rumors of a confetti cannon. Dad likes to put on a good show. 

“Skylar, you're absolutely sure you won’t come to Mexico?” Angela asks. 

Not this again. I'm stoked for them, for all three of us, but I'm not down with witnessing two weeks of carnal wedded bliss after a ten year engagement.

Trick or Treat #K3 - ANOMALY

Title: Anomaly 
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 80,000

Fifteen-year-old Maya is the Yearbook Club nobody, the girl behind the camera documenting the lives of everyone cooler than her. A genetic glitch turns her into an unstable teleporter and she finds that being the main focus exposes nothing but trouble. When a series of bad decisions leave her friendless, boy-less, and strips her new-found ability, Maya must rely on her camera and her wits to prevent an international crisis at the G8 Summit in London.

Question 1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you relate most to and why?
I'm basically the female version of Peter Parker. I may not fly around in a red and blue suit, but it's just me and my camera trying to figure out boys, oh and this new teleportation ability.

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka unique/marketable)?
People pay hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office to watch movies about super heroes growing into their own skin. Readers who enjoyed Perry Moore's HERO or Holly Black's WHITE CAT, will see the flip side in ANOMALY, a story of a female character struggling to be a teen, but also trying to understand and control her unique ability of teleportation.

First 200 Words: 
I was born to stand out, but I always seem to fade into the background.
            The picture frame with the words Friends Forever etched across the border holds a photo of Rachel, me, and Michael sandwiched in a hug on the last day of freshman year. Michael’s arms are so long they easily wrap around both of us. It’s so obvious that he likes her, even though I know he’s too shy to admit it. I can tell by the way his fingers dig into the fabric of her cheerleading uniform, clinging, not wanting to let go. The way his eyes angle towards her face as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist. As if I don’t exist.
            I cover Rachel’s image with my thumb, and convince myself, for a moment, that it’s just Michael and me. I remember how he smelled that day—like charcoal pencils and fabric softener. When I pull my thumb away reality kicks me in the butt…again. Best Friend #1, the cutest guy I’ve ever known, is in love with Best Friend #2, homecoming queen. And then there’s me, Yearbook Club nobody, the girl behind the camera documenting the lives of everyone cooler than her.

Trick or Treat #K4 - ISSUE 339

Title: Issue 339
Category: YA
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 76,000

Comic book character and teen superhero Skye gets fed up watching the comics kill off everyone he loves, so he shoots his author. 

Now he struggles between his identity as a hero and his reality as a murderer as he's caught between his own suffering, and the suffering he's caused.

When the publishing company hires a new writer, Skye must decide whether one more murder will save his world, or damn his soul. 

Question 1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you relate most to and why?
"Jason Todd, hands down--that's Batman's second Robin, and man, he had it almost as bad as I do. DC comics killed him off with a brutal beating, and then resurrected him as a deranged freak!" 

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka unique/marketable)?
I'm well-engrained in the subculture of my target audience: comic book collectors, old-school sci fi nerds, and even table top gamers will love the nerdy references, hot action, and the thought-questions that appeal to geeks like me! The deeper questions of minority and female representations in comic books, sensualization of violence, and the author's role in fiction will also appeal to literary and up-market fans. 

First 200 Words:
Writer Greg Amadeus saw nothing wrong when he first glanced up from his laptop: breezy open window, shelves of brand-new action figures, angry youth in a ski mask--

Amadeus stopped typing. He looked again. A teen sat, as still as those action figures, on the rolley-chair on the other side of Amadeus' mahogany desk. Red ink marked over his left eye.

Amadeus jumped a bit and coughed, more annoyed than frightened. You know you've been writing comics too long when weirdly-costumed kids don't surprise you anymore. Amadeus closed his laptop. It occurred to him the kid had said something.

"Excuse me?" Amadeus asked.

"Why would you kill off a superhero's parents, and every girl he's ever loved, like that?" the kid repeated, whispering. His fingers clenched.

Amadeus chuckled, raising an eyebrow. "Back up. I don't usually have signing hours right now. But I do respect that you're a hard-core fan--that's Gavalon costume, you've got on--" He paused, a little disturbed. "I never published my Gavalon story."

"Answer my question, Mr. Writer."

Amadeus stiffened. "Your question. Yes. I'm sorry." He wasn't. He felt disrespected, but he'd tolerate the freak. "Skye: 339, right?" 


"Sold out in comic stores first week. Got us a movie deal! Here."