Monday, July 25, 2022

July 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #1

It's time for the Pass or Pages feedback reveal!  We're so thankful for our awesome agent Ann Leslie Tuttle for taking the time to critique these entries.  And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week.  You are awesome!

Entry 1: Blink and You're Gone

Genre:  Women's Fiction


I am writing to share with you my 77,000-word novel, BLINK AND YOU'RE GONE, which is upmarket women's fiction with a speculative twist.
Nothing to See Here meets Sorrow and Bliss in a raw, emotional novel about a woman's struggle to find love and acceptance when her daughter is born with a unique ability—she can shift locations in a single blink.[ALT1]

Laila Allen was an awkward only child who grew up desperate to meet her Jewish mother's high expectations, fearful of failing to fit in. Now, in the wake of childbirth, Laila struggles to distinguish between the onset of postpartum depression and her conviction that there is something abnormal about her daughter Jade. Under pressure from her husband, she is ready to accept responsibility when they are confronted with the reality—Jade can shift locations in a single blink.[ALT2]

As Jade grows, they must adapt fast to keep her safe and help her to master her bizarre condition. Yet, nobody, not even Laila's own mother, will believe that Jade is capable of "shifting." Laila craves external acceptance, while her husband is keen to ensure they appear normal, but this comes crashing down when another child, Devan Shah, proves his abilities live on television. Suddenly, the world believes. 

Laila now has the opportunity to gain the public recognition she desires by positioning herself as the UK's leading expert on shifting. But this new career and fame risk coming at the expense of her marriage, shattering the stable family life she had so carefully constructed. What's more, Jade and Devan are getting older and closer, and they have very different ideas about how to leverage the spotlight their abilities give them…
BLINK AND YOU'RE GONE explores a unique childhood ability in the vein of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here, combined with plot twists akin to Elizabeth Day's Magpie. Themes of maternal love, loss, obsession, mental health, and the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship are all examined through a close POV and non-linear writing style that should appeal to the readers of Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss and Donna Freitas's The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano.[ALT3]


Ann's comments:
[ALT1] You repeat this below and might be more compelling if you could frame the ability in a larger context, e.g. one of themes explored below to show how it brings what she wanted but at a high price.
[ALT2] Minor point but repetitive here.
[ALT3] You’ve cited 4 comps here.  I’d suggest 2.  And isn’t it Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason?

First 250 Words

Remember, you'll go crazy on day three. 

The crumpled sheets scratch my shoulder blades as I shift, shaking off the errant thought. My sweaty limbs are resting loosely, my joints sticky, my legs akimbo.  Even this simple movement takes effort as if I am sinking in sludge. I am entirely spent yet happy. Blissfully happy.

Literally insane. It happens to everyone.

It is the jarring voice of my friend Jackie, who recently took the opportunity of a casual coffee to pass on words of unasked-for wisdom. That's not to say I wasn't appreciative. On the contrary, I drank up every piece of advice she had readily, terrified, praying that within her unsolicited musings were the tiny nuggets that would get me through the upcoming ordeal.

I don't know why I've snagged onto that particular comment now. When I should be experiencing nothing but pure unadulterated joy. I guess when you haven't slept for thirty-six hours, your brain can do funny things.

A plump nurse smiles as she walks over, her arms full. Seth stands shyly behind her. His thick, dark hair is unkempt, without any wax or paste to control it. He is wearing his old, square glasses, smudged and wonky on the bridge of his nose. For my normally commanding husband, the effect is unusually boyish.

I smile back at the nurse reflexively, mirroring her expression in a daze. 

"You're doing well, Laila," she says as if I have asked for reassurance.


Results:  [If you receive a "Pages!", click on the agent's name at the top of this post for submission instructions.]

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