Hi, I’m Sarah! I’m looking for critique partners/beta-readers for my WIP first novel, a YA urban fantasy based loosely around the Perseus and Medusa myth. Think Clash of the Titans but modern, centred on two best friends in rural northern Ontario. It’s about 4 years in and 5 drafts out, and I am hoping to query starting in 2021 (if all goes well!)
I work full time as a post-grad civil engineer in training in Toronto, Canada, but I love to read and write in my spare time. This novel has been a labour of love and a major learning experience. I came up with the idea about a decade ago and it’s been through many (major) iterations since then.
I am looking for someone to give me some constructive, unbiased feedback before I start digging through the query trenches. I have a little bit of experience reading and exchanging manuscripts and I would love to do a full novel swap.
When I’m not writing, you can find me making costumes in my basement dungeon. I love to sew!
My dude, I will read whatever you throw at me! My sweet spot and go-to fiction is straight-up urban fantasy (Kelley Armstrong/Jim Butcher, anyone??) but high fantasy, horror, contemporary, thriller, and any kind of crossover goes too. I gravitate towards books that get me excited, as in screaming out loud in my chair because that twist was SO good.
I have no experience critiquing picture books or early readers, unfortunately, so I would be the best fit for a YA or maybe MG.
The forest is screwing with Callista’s head.
She was fine in Toronto. She thought she was done with hard parts – the worst of her mother’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia, her embarrassing, awkward high school self. That night before grade 11 when she should have kissed Shawn, but didn’t. But now that she’s back for the summer in her northern hometown of West Gate, Ontario, it’s all tumbling back. The silver lining is Shawn. Because, now, finally, he is single again. So they can be together, right?
Disembodied whisperings, flashes of extreme pain, freak time lapses. They all started when she reconnected with him. Not to mention his owl-eyed likeness, hidden in her shed, that she can’t remember painting. Something is wrong. Something she can’t remember. Something that happened between her and Shawn the night she almost kissed him but didn’t. The night her mom was diagnosed.
Something that takes hold when she goes missing the forest.
Filia’s best friend has disappeared, and she can’t handle it.
Seriously, she would rather screw around with her ex-boyfriend than handle it.
But now more people have disappeared and she keeps finding herself in the centre of it after she – almost – ran over the body of an old high school classmate.
Turns out her connection with the killings and disappearances may be more than coincidence. It may connect to the notes on Perseus and Medusa left behind by her dead father. Notes on the return of an ancient greek monster. The deeper she digs, the more she realizes the truth. There’s a thing – a Gorgon – killing people in the woods, and she might be the only one who can stop it.
I watched the stupid slogan sign grow larger as we approached in my mom’s red SUV. I felt more nauseous with every bump the wheels hit along the worn-out highway.
West Gate. The North Entrance to Adventure. Pop 6000.
I tried to forget the forest when I moved to the city. It was easy in Toronto. I lived each day in a world made up of concrete and high rises. The city welcomed me inside its urban bubble of hipster cafés and multiple transit systems and its feeling of progression until I came to expect it, assume it all as the way life is everywhere. It was so different from the tiny town I grew up in, situated in the middle of the vast boreal forest of Northern Ontario. The woods surrounded it like some monster’s maw. I had fooled myself into believing that when the forest had faded into the back of my mind, my hometown would disappear with it. That for some reason I wouldn’t have to come back. Or, if I did come back, things would have changed.
Now, the closer I got to home, the more absurd I felt for letting myself believe I had escaped. Because the forest was still here, same as when I left. Omnipresent and wild and waiting to swallow me again.
I want to write a sequel to Gorgon, if it goes anywhere. I also have about 25K words of a high fantasy I’m writing (think steampunk Iceland) that I’m hoping to work on once I’m done with this novel.
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