Dear Inboxing Agent,
When she looks in the mirror, 17-year-old Stacy can talk to
her 29-year-old self. She calls her future self “Older Me”.
Older Me has a lot to say. She's supported Stacy through her
parents’ divorce, schoolyard bullying and a broken heart. But Stacy is about to
find out Older Me has lied.
Older Me exists in an alternate dimension. She already lived
the years Stacy is experiencing. But she claimed she couldn't remember them.
When the truth is revealed, Older Me insists she’s hidden her past to keep
Stacy from making the same mistakes. But she lived the life Stacy wishes for:
Popularity, success and most of all, Mark.
Stacy can’t believe the bullying, derision and loneliness
she’s experienced is a better alternative. She’s ready to do whatever it takes
to find Older Me's version of life for herself--even if herself is the person she’ll hurt most.
LISTEN TO ME is a YA contemporary with a dash of magical
realism, complete at 89,000 words. The premise was inspired by the
www.dearteenme.com website in which adult authors write letters to their teen
I'm a long-time member of a writers critique group which
includes both published and repped authors. My former agent changed vocations
last year, so I am back on the submission trail. LISTEN TO ME is a new work
which my former agent has not reviewed.
As per your submission guidelines I have included the first
250 words of the manuscript below.
Thank you for your time.
LISTEN TO ME
As he sinks into the chair, he looks just like a doctor
should: greying hair, a well-trimmed beard with badger-stripes framing his
lips, and wire-rimmed glasses his wife must have chosen. They're too tasteful
for the polyester shirt and pants.
"How are you today, Stacy?" he says, too loud for
the muted tones of the room--all earthy browns and soft corners. He's made his
office look like a living room, complete with coffee table squatting between us
and lamps on the varnished surfaces. Too bad the door has a combination lock.
Kind of kills the good-time vibe.
He's waiting for an answer. I start to shrug, then freeze
until the razors of pain ease. My stitches are all out now, but the hard, pink
lines spiderwebbing across most of my upper body are a pitiful excuse for
healing. Underneath I am still many layers of mangled nerve endings and
Doctor hears me catch my breath and his eyes snap to mine.
All that beguiling disinterest is an act. He is measuring me.
"Pain?" he says, softly this time.
"Yes. But it's not bad. I just moved wrong."
It burns and crackles under my skin until I want to scream.
But I won't tell him that. For him I will be untouched. Ready to face the
I will get out of here today.