Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trick or Treat w/Agents Success Story

Guess what? I have a Trick or Treat with Agents success story to share with you today!!

For those of you who don't remember, I came up with Trick or Treat with Agents last October as a fun way to get agents and writers excited about pitching. The entire contest was Halloween themed and a freakin' blast! The fabulous Pirate Brenda Drake and Witchy Deanna Romito were my fellow contest hosts. 

And today's story is about Dannie Morrin, a lovely lady that I became very close with after the contest. I loved her pitch so much that I literally begged her to let me read the whole thing. It's no surprise to me that she's landed a fabulous agent. She has signed with BATMAN....aka Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

So here was her entry:
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 (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.

Interview w/Dannie:

What inspired you to write IF? 
I'm a firm believer in authenticity and writing what you know. So I wrote Imperfectly Fine with those factors in mind. When I was in graduate school I worked on a treatment adherence research project for teens who lived with Cystic Fibrosis and I talked to these young people about their experiences with a terminal disease at a time when many people feel their lives are really beginning. Despite being the most common life-limiting genetic disorder in the world, CF is a disease people don't often know about if it hasn't touched their lives personally. Teens who live with disabilities don't get enough of a voice in YA literature. I figured it was time. 

If you had to cast your characters in a movie, who would play them?

Hmm. For my ideal cast, I would require a time machine. I'd first need to go back to 1996 and snag Mark Wahlberg right around the time he filmed Fear. The bad boy who doesn't care what people think of him and a dash of crazypants would make Mark the perfect Cole. Also, the accent? Gah. And don't even get me started on the Calvins.

I would have to go back pre-2010 for Skylar and cast Eva Markvoort, whose name you may not recognize. Eva was an extraordinary young woman who lived with cystic fibrosis. Although she was absolutely nothing like Skylar in personality, she was an aspiring actress and a CF advocate in Canada. I think she would have had a blast playing a character like Skylar, whose perception of their shared disease is incredibly different from her own. 

For Noah I would want to cast someone completely unknown because I would want that person to come into his own the way Noah does. Or the way he will once I get my manuscript in shape!

In one word, how would you describe your querying process? BANANAS

What advice do you have for writers in the query trenches? Enter contests and participate in the online writing community. Even if you don't land an agent that way, you will learn more about yourself and your writing than you ever can from form rejections.

And finally, tell us something fun about yourself!
I somehow managed to hide an enormous tattoo from my parents for the past three three years without really trying. Actually, my Mom may not know about it still. Well, I guess she will now!


  1. What an intriguing and important story. Thanks for sharing, Kimberly! My son has a friend w/ CF and he is such an inspiration. I love that there will someday soon be a voice for these kids in print. Congratulations on the signing as well!

  2. Thanks for hosting my first interview, Kim!! And for picking me as a Trick for Treat contestant. And for just being generally awesomesauce!