Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Writer's Voice Contest

I've always been a serious believer in the power of words. Obviously. I'm a writer.

*sips tea and settles in to rocking chair*

But, for serious y'all, words are powerful, and saying things out loud tends to make them happen. I keep telling my husband this because he has a way of speaking things into reality like no one I've ever seen before. It's a sight to behold.

Not long ago, I was discussing an idea with my friends while I was watching The Voice, saying how cool it would be if there was something like the show but for writers instead of singers...

LO AND BEHOLD!!!!

The lovely people over at Cupid's Literary Connection, Brenda Drake Writes, Love YA, and Mother. Write. (Repeat.) are doing EXACTLY THAT THING!

See? Words = Power.

Not only that, but I totally snagged a spot and I'm ENTERED as #44. I can't wait to show off the query and first 250 words of my 65, 000 word Urban Fantasy THE SHIFTING DARKNESS. So here it is...

QUERY



Twenty-four year old Sidney Lake doesn’t know if aliens or the Men in Black exist, but she does know the supernatural world is alive and kicking right under the noses of busy New Yorkers. For Sidney, hunting down the monsters with her partner Graham Williams is as commonplace as buying a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper from the cart on the corner. 
When a strange corpse is found on an abandoned subway platform and a board member conjures a demon he can’t control, it’s Sidney’s job to keep those caffeinated New Yorkers focused on their morning crossword puzzle instead of what’s going on around them.
While investigating the origins of the John Doe from the subway platform, Sidney gets attacked by two creatures that are supposed to have been extinct for centuries. Before she can manage to put a bullet through its head, one of the creatures sinks its teeth into her shoulder. Sidney wins the fight, but now her own humanity is called into question.
She turns to her boss, mentor, and sometimes lover, Mitch Harris for help and comfort. Mitch doesn’t have all the answers, but he knows someone who might. Mr. Dimitrius has information about what and who Sidney is, but it’s vastly different from anything she could have imagined. 

FIRST 250 WORDS:

She smelled it before she saw it. Like always, the stink of the crime scene crept ahead of the gory view itself and Sidney Lake knew this one was bad. The meaty smell of torn flesh, the copper scent of blood mixed with the tinge of electricity buzzing from the third rail of the subway tracks below, the stink of an opened bowel swirled with the filth of scavenging rats. It all made Sidney very glad she hadn’t had time for breakfast when she’d gotten the call.

“Sorry about the late hour, Sidney,” Dr. Tom Fellows said. The New York City Medical Examiner lifted the yellow tape marking off the crime scene and Sidney ducked under.

“It’s not late anymore. It’s early,” Sidney said, and gave him a half smile to let him know she didn’t mind.

Tom would have made a good linebacker thirty years ago, if he’d been taller. Instead, he’d chosen the lab over sports. Now his shoulders had a curve to them that never seemed to go away. A result of decades of being hunched over a table dissecting human cadavers for a living.

She never saw Tom so happy as when he’d discovered something incredible in the lab, Something no one else had seen before, which happened often in their line of work. 

“Been down here too long.” The medical examiner removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Despite his tiredness, he was buzzing with that energy he got when there was something big going on. 

“What have you got?” Sidney asked. 

36 comments:

AG said...

Go Sarah! Go Sidney! Hooray for The Shifting Darkness!

AngiNicole said...

Love it! I hope you get lots of votes! (because then I could read all of it!1)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Good luck!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Thanks ladies! I've got my *fingers crossed*

allaboutthewriting.com said...

Oooh, this is really intriguing! Fingers crossed for you. And of course you know I love all the coffee references -- that makes it a winner for sure!

@BookEmDonna

Krista Walsh said...

I'll be most disappointed if I don't see this book available on amazon or at my local chapter of Chapters. It's a fantastic story, incredibly well written, and it should be recognized as such!

Leigh Ann said...

Yessssss. Sidney is such a I-don't-give-a-you-know-what-about-blood-and-guts FREAKING FABULOUS LADY! And heck if your first 250 didn't end in the perfect spot to give me grabby fingers!

Nice job, my friend. ALL the luck to you. <3

Sarah said...

Yay, Sarah! Hope to read more someday soon! Good luck with the contest!!!! =D

beccaweston said...

Holy cow - talk about awesome imagery in that first paragraph. Nicely done. Good look in the contest!

Megan said...

Love this! Totally want to read more--your query's great. Also, dying to know what happens on the next page!

Alaskan Ninja said...

(Derek Chivers)

So good!

I'm a little ashamed of how long it took me to mosey over here after you secured your spot (I AM subscribed to your blog, after all), but I was attempting to comment on everyone in numerical order. I gave that up when they boosted the participation by 33% and rushed right over.

Given that I'd never actually seen your query yet, or read a sample beyond your blog posts, I wasn't even sure if you would be my style... needless to say I'm now firmly TEAM SARAH. Good sell, good sample. Best luck lady.

Darci Cole said...

Amazing! I just finished eating lunch and your opening paragraph seriously made me queasy - and I'm not one with a weak stomach. Seriously SO cool. I love the combination of modern NY and mythology! Your query and 250 both rock my socks.

Good luck! #128 :-)

A. E. Welch said...

Good luck from one Writer's Voice contestant to another!

Marieke said...

This sounds awesome! Good luck!

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

This sounds fantastic Sarah! I can't wait to read it in PRINT! I think you've got this in the bag!!!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Phew! I sure hope so! I'm sweatin' bullets over here... or maybe that's just the pregger hormones, LOL!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Thank you!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Thanks!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Haha, good! I know I've done my job when the stomachs start to churn ;o) Thanks, and good luck to you as well!

Sarah L. Blair said...

Wow, are you going to make TEAM SARAH t-shirts? Make sure they have extra glitter, haha! I'm flattered! Thank you <3

Carrie Butler said...

Oo, I would read this. :D Good luck!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Excellent voice in both your query and your first 250! This is a really strong entry! Good luck to you! WVC #28

cheesegirl21 said...

You will totally win! Can't wait for the book to be published so I can finally own a copy!

Brandi M. Lynch said...

Sounds gritty! Love your imagery, particularly the blood and electricity line! Good luck! Brandi #199

Jaye Robin Brown said...

This sounds like a really fun story. Love stories that show a hidden part of a community.

Best of luck! #195

Cherie Larkins said...

Best of luck to you! :)

TYHatch said...

An interesting idea.

Good luck!

Tina (#194)

Scott Wilbanks said...

After wandering through several YA and MG entries, it was great to stumble across this. Sounds like a really fun premise, and I loved the description of the crime scene!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Best of luck!
Carolyn, #157

valerierlawson said...

nice entry. congrats on winning a spot and good luck in the next round.

Sarah L. Blair said...

Hang on... do you know something I don't?!

Stephanie S. said...

I would read this, hands down!! Loved it. If you need a crit partner, let me know :-)

Stpehanie S. #191

Valerie said...

Sarrraaaaah! I want you--NEED YOU--as my cheerleader mascot on #TeamMonicaFTW!!

I love your MIB meets Law and Order SUV, gritty NY crime drama. Come be on our team, we need your creative mind, your quick wit and your cheerful personality to take us to the WIN! :)

Also, you make my heart "Thump" :D

Monica B.W. said...

Hi Sarah!! So I remember your entry and I liked it. Esp. the part where you let us know that her humanity is put into question!

What I didn't get, is how she smelled everything (the flesh, blood, etc) if she was outside the crime scene area? Like she hadn't even ducked under the yellow tape yet?

Loved the description of Tom, btw. I really love it when authors describe their characters well.

One of my concerns was that mention a demon in the query, and I've heard that's hard to sell. But maybe not in adult lit, though? So I'm not sure. As you guys know I specialize in YA, and in this contest I grabbed all the adult entries and decided to pick one. Yeah, just one--sorry. Because I think I can be a better YA coach than an adult lit. coach. Hope that makes sense!

And don't get discouraged. Your entry doesn't suck--AT ALL!! As I said, I liked it, and I had fun reading it.
Hope this helps!
<3
Mónica

KelsNotChels said...

#TeamCupidsLC wants YOU for our mascot.

In return, as I mentioned on twitter, I will write and perform a sarah-inspired RAP just for you.

My swag and mad skillz will blow your mind... IF-- you pledge your allegiance to TEAM CUPID!!

Scott Moon said...

Nice intro Sarah!