Monday, October 28, 2013

Trick or Treat K2- THE BARRENS

Title: The Barrens
Category: YA
Genre: Thriller
Word Count: 97,000

Pitch: Niko Molozov pines for life on the Surface, for a chance to feel the sun on her skin, to taste catsup again, to meet someone—anyone—under the age of thirty. When scientist Alec Perdue and his two teen sons join her father's subterranean bio-mine The Barrens, Niko thinks her luck has finally changed. But the Perdues have a sinister agenda—to steal the bio-mine's priceless pharma-crops and destroy the Barrens—and unless Niko can stop them, her life will be over before it even begins. 

Question 1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you relate most to and why? You’re telling me that if I wear a costume, you’ll give me candy, and that this is all because of Hallo-wand—sorry, Hallo-ween—some holiday I never even heard of? Wow, okay… well, if it can’t be normal clothes, then that rules out my rad suit and lab stuff, but I could borrow Sarah’s apron, and that chef hat someone gave her as a joke, and go as a cook, if you think that would work?

Question 2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (aka unique/marketable)? For my dark, twisty, psychological, thriller, I wanted to create the same kind of claustrophobic dread that director Ridley Scott brought to his classic film Alien, and when I heard about the famed Doomsday Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, I knew a bio-mine, deep underground, manned by a skeleton crew of six scientists would be perfect. Add one lonely, naive teen girl, two seriously messed up brothers, and a nefarious scheme to steal the biomine’s priceless pharma-crops, and you get a dangerous love triangle that explores meaty questions, like when do terrible wrongs justify the use of terrible force, and when does victim become victimizer.

First 250 Words: 
They say that when the wind blows you can either break like an ash or bend like a willow. I’d hoped there might be a third option—hiding—an alternative inspired by the lowly and unobtrusive crustose lichen.

It’s not working. The winds, literal and figurative, have me firmly in their sights. They rage around me as I stand on the landing pad, watching the Terrapeutics Corpe helicopter crest over the stand of scrawny jack pines, and tired birch. I hug my arms in close and hunch down, trying to make less of a target for the bitter May gales. It’s useless. Just like it’s useless trying to hide from the fact that in a few moments I will have to meet Janus’s replacement.

The copter lands in a maelstrom of dust and desiccated leaves. Before the blades stop spinning, my father has already ordered our security chief Duncan to advance on the craft. My father can’t wait to return to the Barrens. He hates the Surface, hates anything that takes him from his beloved bio-mine. Not me. I live for these rare opportunities to experience the sky unspooling around me, to feel fresh air on my skin, to smell the tang of pine or even the stink of marsh mud.

But not today. Today I’d stay Below forever if it meant I could avoid meeting this new bioengineer, and even more, avoid the reality that Janus is truly gone.

Behind me my father clears his throat. “What?” I say.


  1. Oooh interesting. *Hands some jolly ranchers*

  2. I'm intrigued. Let's go for M&Ms, shall we?

  3. Bam! That's the sound of a Mr. Goodbar in your basket.