Tuesday, July 26, 2022

July 2022 Pass or Pages Entry #2

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 2: The Demon from Jerusalem

Genre:  MG Fantasy


Dear [agent], 

Eleven-year-old Gal doesn't hate her perfect twin sister Sheera—she despises her. After all, her sister is the reason their parents think Gal is a total loser. Who wouldn’t think that while comparing her sister's straight A's and crispy-clean clothes to Gal's F's and mud-coated sneakers? 

One day, during a school trip to the Western Wall, Gal scribbles a note wishing her sister were gone and slips it between the Wall's cracks. But the note transforms into an ancient scroll. It offers to grant Gal's wish if she enters the Western Wall tunnels.[ALT1]

Curious, Gal follows the scroll's orders and sneaks into a wrecked and empty room—a big no no for anyone who doesn't want to release evil spirits. By entering the room, she frees the demon of destruction, Asmodeus, who summons his army of demons to turn Jerusalem into a demon hive. 

The only way to stop him is to kill a bunch of nasty other demons and journey through Sheol, the subterranean underworld. But can the sisters set their differences aside and work together toward a common goal? 

THE DEMON FROM JERUSALEM is a MG fantasy, complete at 40,000 words. It will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson and Aru Shah.[ALT2]

Thank you for your time and consideration.[ALT3]


Ann's comments:
[ALT1] This seems the meat of the pitch but it’s buried.
[ALT2] Aru Shah is not the author.  Both claims are also pretty grand by citing two such bestselling authors.
[ALT3] Pitch reads more like back cover copy and is somewhat generic.  I’d also advise that the full manuscript is available upon request.

First 250 Words

The best thing about having an exorcist for a father is that demons no longer scare me—people do.[ALT4]

Take a look at my dad’s clients, for example. A man with eyes staring in different directions came over and told us that a chocolate demon forced him to buy all the chocolate bars in the local grocery store. Dad patted his back, offered him a bowl of Matzah balls (Dad thought there was nothing more calming than those soup dumplings), and opened his blue spell book. There weren’t real spells in his book, but I called it that because of the Biblical Hebrew and all the weird symbols and scribbles that filled the pages. Dad used it all the time to cast demons away. Sorry, not all the time. Once came a woman who wore fishbones as a necklace and insisted that evil spirits made her cats bark. Dad told me to keep an eye on his spell book while he performed a complex ritual in his office. 

So when he volunteered to chaperone my sixth grade field trip to the Western Wall, I knew I'd see Incantation bowls and palm-shaped amulets stuffed into my backpack instead of candy and chips. I barely had enough room for my beloved drone, and this toy could provide defense against the evil eye better than any other talisman.


Ann's comments:
[ALT4] Good opening line.  And there is a nice sense of voice in the opening pages.


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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