MG Fantasy Adventure
Hello, I’m Patricia! I’m a Filipina-American poet and fiction writer based in Columbus, Ohio. I write primarily for children and teenagers, and (other than poetry) I write exclusively fantasy or fabulist fiction.
In 2017, my short story “A Roundabout Way” won the Katherine Paterson Prize in Middle Grade Fiction. In 2019, my debut picture book, LEAF MAN, with husband-illustrator Chris O’Leary, was published by Albert Whitman. (Chris drew the cover illustration above.)
I’d love to exchange chapters with one or two experienced MG or YA writers (any genre) for general feedback, but especially, for pacing advice. I’m happy to reciprocate and feel that my particular strengths are big-picture comments regarding characterization and worldbuilding. Also, since I’m rewriting the second half of my MS, I’m gearing up for NaNoWriMo and am looking to build a mutual support team (cheering, commiserating, chocolateering, etc.).
I’m a high school English teacher, a perplexed mother of two teenage girls, and a kickass tomato gardener.
Miscellaneous: Gryfytherin (53% Gryffindor and 47% Slytherin, according to the BuzzFeed test); In search of large fluffy forest spirits (Totoro) and large runts (the BFG); #Hazel-rah for president; All roads lead to Middle Earth.
Scrappy, no-nonsense girls. Quiet, thoughtful girls. Goofy girls. Smart girls. Brave girls. Girls who trust their guts, speak their minds, share their hearts, brush off their knees.
Lyrical writing that is restrained, accessible, jaw-dropping.
Some favorite recent MG works: WHEN YOU REACH ME, SAVVY, GOBLIN SECRETS, the PENDERWICK series, THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE, WONDER
Some favorite recent YA works: feed, THE HATE U GIVE, SPEAK, Hunger Games series
Adult speculative fiction: Kazuo Ishiguro, Guy Gavriel Kay, Ann Leckie, Ursula LeGuin, Brandon Sanderson, George Saunders
Forever Loves: Diana Wynne Jones, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robin McKinley
A matter-of-fact girl must team up with a fugitive goblin to stop a vengeful engineer from destroying a book of magic that can heal their Splintered continent . . . and reveal her family’s secret history.
CHAPTER 1—THE GIRL
Another fire, noted the girl.
In her orange coat—threadbare, with sleeves two seasons too short—she was the only spot of color in the empty, gray street. The news bulletins, dumped carelessly at the street corners, announced the morning headlines: “FIRE FLARE HITS GOBLIN TREASURY” and “CHIEF RECKRAGE BLAMES GENERAL HIST.” As the girl swept past, the newspapers scattered like panicked beetles before her, and in the distance, a bell began to toll. She hurried forward.
She would have been on time had the small square of white not caught her eye. It was an envelope, so bright it seemed a tiny window had opened up in the lonely street. When the girl tried to pick it up, it wouldn’t budge. She wondered why someone would glue an envelope to the ground (not suspecting, of course, that it really weighed 323 pounds). She gave an insistent tug and felt a strange tingling in her fingertips. Suddenly, the envelope came up quite readily, almost obediently. Turning it about, she saw a single word: Penrod.
Her eyes widened. She was about to pry open the envelope when the bell stopped ringing. The girl uttered an unprintable word, stuffed the envelope in her coat pocket, and raced toward the brick building down the street.
And that is how Sally L. Penrod arrived tardy, for the third time that month, at the School of Last Resort for Delinquents with a 323-pound goblin in tow.
I am also working on a collection of fabulist short stories inspired by Western fairy tales and Asian folk stories.
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