YA suspense w/ spec elements. JAWS meets WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE.
I’m a Philly-based writer (married, no kids) and masters student who was previously agented for YA, now looking for new representation. One adult suspense novel and a handful of short stories published. When I’m not writing, I love to travel and engage in political rabble-rousing.
I like dark, quirky, and just plain weird–plots, characters, etc, and I award bonus points for scary. The novel I most recently finished is The Wanderground/Sally Miller Gearhart, which is for class, but I loved it for a few different reasons. I’m currently reading Dig/A.S. King.
I’m not a huge fan of erotica, hard scifi/high fantasy, or pure romance, and I’m not someone who enjoys reading books with an afterschool special-type of message.
At seventeen, Lemon Ziegler has been voted the unhappy new keeper of her family’s legacy: secretly faking lake monster sightings for the rest of her life to keep the tourists and their money descending on the rural town of Devil’s Elbow, Pennsylvania. She’s resigned to her fate, that is until a real monster leaps out of the lake and eats the family dog . . . and the boy who asked her to prom.
Lemon’s family doesn’t believe her, and with the safety of the town at stake, she has no choice but to come clean about her secret to her shocked best friends. As the monster’s taste for human flesh grows, she and her friends must find a way to quietly stop the killings without harming the fake monster’s reputation—if they can’t, they risk destroying the tourist trade Lemon’s family has worked for generations to build as well as serving up the town as a tasty smorgasbord.
Pitched as JAWS meets WELCOME TO NIGHTVALE.
If it weren’t for the dry suit squeezing Lemon Ziegler from toes to tonsils, hypothermia would have set in thirty minutes ago—and having her digits amputated didn’t sound like an awesome way to spend her last months of high school. She wiggled her toes inside the Old Lucy costume. Being the gooey human center of a neoprene and latex lake monster burrito wasn’t the most exciting way to spend her Sunday night, but at least things were quickly coming to an end: shadowy figures had just appeared under the lights on the dock about a hundred meters away.
Her throat was sand-papered nearly raw with the oxygen she’d been sucking in from the tank on her back. Pappap said she’d get used to it—the longer she was the super-secret Old Lucy impersonator, the more it would feel normal.
“Hain’t no different than takin’ a breath on land,” he’d said. Right. Breathing. Being trapped in Devil’s Elbow for the rest of her natural life. Being forced to lie to everyone except her grandparents. Yeah, maybe it would all feel normal eventually.
Lemon took a deep pull of air. Now wasn’t the time to wallow. She checked the silver dive watch strapped over the iridescent scales on her wrist and calculated how much time she had left on her tank. She cleared her mind and concentrated on the visualizing the routine, exactly as Pappap had taught her. Nothing too showy. Just give them a taste, just a glimpse. And let them hear Old Lucy roar.
She ducked behind the boulder at the edge of the island and clicked open the lower part of the face mask. The sweet almond perfume of blooming forsythias hung just heavy enough to temporarily mask the odor of sweat-embedded latex of the monster suit. Light drizzle pinged off the surface of the water and smacked her chin. She spit out the regulator and sucked in a jet of cool spring air. Another deep breath, and she ululated the Old Lucy cry, complete with the long, eerie end note that hung over the lake as heavy as the mist.
I have a short story to be published in the spring 2020 issue of Aji magazine that is based on a visit to the incorruptible body of St. Catherine in Bologna, Italy (which is–shockingly–NOT paranormal or horror in nature). Despite my long-form work, most of my short stories are more contemporary and aimed at adult audiences. My one published novel (published with a micropress) is an adult psychological thriller.
As noted, I was agented for quite a few years, and that was primarily YA horror or thriller manuscripts. What’s next for me is a series of oddball novels set in the fictional world of Devil’s Elbow–because rural towns are scary and weird (I grew up in one).
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