Dear Competition Agent,
When a smart, imaginative eleven-year-old tries to make sense of a seemingly callous world, he discovers that dark family secrets are being kept right under his nose, and the most shocking, most heartbreaking is about him.
Blake Payne goes queasy at the sight of blood, thinks he might be in love with an older girl who uses him as a decoy in her schoolyard trafficking business and has riled his steely mother by getting suspended from school. He wants to repair his image. He wants his mother to like him again. Mostly, he wants to understand why his parents suddenly take off in different directions (which has never happened before) leaving him with his ailing grandparents. Piecing together disturbing things his snarly older sister says, Blake is sure it has something to do with an uncle he’s never even seen.
Blake means to get to the bottom of the mystery but life keeps getting more complicated. His normally down-to-earth grandfather starts asking crazy questions--like is the kitchen floor bucking under their feet. His Grandma is snappy all the time. Even Nelson, Grandpa’s sad-faced dog is behaving skittishly. What Blake finds out will change his life forever. What happens to his Grandpa will put his own problems into perspective. How his mother comes out of it will be almost as big a shock as where his mild tempered father fits in.
At 53,000 words, THE UNLUCKY PANDA is a YA novel in the realistic vein of stories like Kimberley Willis Holt’s WHEN ZACCHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN and the Scandinavian cult-classic, MY LIFE AS A DOG. Although this is a first novel I have written four non-fiction books, one published by McGraw-Hill and three published in the"for Dummies" series by Wiley. Per your guidelines I have pasted the 250 words of my new work at the end of this post. The whole book is available immediately. Thank you for your consideration.
THE UNLUCKY PANDA
Blake Payne rocked. In the physical, nervous sense. Gripping the sides of his chair, his eyes set straight ahead to delay the sickening moment when he would see the outside door open and his mom come marching in, he swayed forwards and backwards. It was like he thought he might somehow wind-up the plastic, stackable, bad kids’ chair. He might set it into motion and then it might take off with him. Idiotic. It wouldn’t happen. Aside from the limitation of it being a chair and not a helicopter or space rocket, and the whole sequence of events being a stupid and utter fantasy cooked up in his brainless head as a distraction, it would also be a piece of good luck.
For once Blake didn’t really care what he looked like. He rocked like a mental case. If any of the sour faced secretaries in their open plan office, or any a** kissing student bringing a note from class, or any older girl clutching her stomach and pretending to be on the brink of death, saw him, he couldn’t care less. The rocking was better than slamming his fist into a wall, or screaming, or, the mosthumiliating thing he’d done recently, crying.
His mom would be here soon. Leaving her limp, gray-skinned patients, she was on her way. Had she told her staff sister the truth he wondered--that she was going to her jerk son’s school to sign him out on suspension? Blake seriously doubted it.