Dear Ms. Gref:
Gail has spent her whole life waiting. She's a fourteen year-old with a useless talent and an immense need for fulfillment. When she hears about the Community and gets an opportunity to go, she takes it. They embrace her--tell her she is just like them. Talented. She’s gifted, lucky, part of an important group with a wide range of abilities.
Like every other Talented, Gail feels the Community is the only place where she is needed. But then she meets another Talented who hasn’t joined yet, another kid. He's been around for a little longer, and with his help, Gail discovers why it’s every Talented’s goal to join the Community. They have no other choice. Refusal is suicide.
When she discovers they have controlled her life from the beginning, even taking her from her parents, Gail is done waiting. She attempts an escape from the Community's network with the help of her new Talented friend. They have many secrets, which Gail is only beginning to uncover. The Talented boy might have the knowledge to save her, but his bitter past keeps attracting more trouble.
Gail must decide whether to continue on her own journey for fulfillment or put herself in danger by helping the Talenteds in their fight against the Community. In the process, she will discover what it really takes to be fulfilled.
TALENTED is a 79,000 word MG light science-fiction. Conceived as an adventurous super hero tale, it has retained its adventure while evolving into a deeper story of disappointment, trust, and strength. Things even un-Talenteds have to deal with.
TALENTED was a Quarterfinalist (top 250 of 5,000) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. My short fiction has also been published in teen literary journals such as Flip the Page of central Ohio.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I stepped over to the bathroom curtains and pulled them tightly shut, blocking out the black void that was the starless night sky. It was a rule here, no daytime showers, but I hated the feeling of showering at night. I stood in front of the shower reluctant to turn it on. I was shivering from the bathroom fan blowing and the cool winter chill.
“Gail, why isn’t that water running?” Ruth asked through the door. It was her way of warning me that I better hurry up.
I cranked the water on and stepped into it. It was freezing. Our building had no hot water--one of its many flaws. I stood to the side, trying to let the water pass me, but it was no use. We never had gotten the money for all the extra things that needed done. No one cared enough, I guess.
I paused, listening to the water as it hit the rigid plastic curtain.
I’ve been taking showers since I was eighteen months. I was three when I stopped taking them cold. I don’t remember the transition, but one day I was somehow able to step into a warm shower. Just by thinking about it. I looked at the water again, and drip by drip, it turned warm. With the effort it took, though, I wondered if it was really worth it.