Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Writer's Voice Contest Entry - ONE


Hey, Sweet Readers! Well, I was lucky enough to nab a chance to compete for a spot in The Writer's Voice Contest Blogfest, which is being hosted, hand-picked, and coached by the incredible Krista VanDolzer, Brenda Drake, Monica B.W., and Cupid's Literary Connection.

Getting past that first stage was a matter of having the fastest clicky-finger, but getting to the next level depends on one of these amazing ladies choosing ONE for her team. For one of them to say, "I want you!" would mean she's willing to give up some of her precious little free time to help me shine up my query and first page to show to an incredible group of agents a couple of weeks from now. It would be a big deal -  it would be a sign that they believe in ONE, out of all the amazing entries out there

And, sweet readers, you know how much I believe in this MS, and how much I'm hoping the perfect agent will believe in it too. Querying it has been tough, tougher than I ever would have imagined. The truth is, ONE has been querying for months, and it's almost at the end of its road. I'm crossing my fingers that this contest is just the boost it needs to finally land in front of the right pair of eyes.

So. If you all would cross your fingers along with me, and send some good vibes ONE's way, I - and all my darling characters - sure would appreciate it. Thanks. 

****


Title: One
Genre: YA (superhero) Science Fiction
Word Count: 76,000


Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly, or even drift along like a freaking ghost - too bad all she can do is float up and down. When almost everyone else is a Super, with at least two powers, or a Normal, with none, being a One is the worst kind of in-between.

All Merrin has ever wanted is to land an internship at the Biotech Hub. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all to find the key to fixing herself.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other. Merrin’s over the moon - Elias is as good at kissing as he is at helping her fly. Better yet, her mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list.

But when the Hub kidnaps Elias, Merrin discovers The Hub’s sick experiments don’t heal Ones - they get rid of them. If she stands up to the Hub, she not only risks Elias’s life, she’ll also destroy her chances of ever finding a way to fly solo – of ever being more than a One.


Most nights, and some mornings before sunrise, I sneak to the back of the shed and I practice. I push myself off the ground, telling my body to go weightless, and hover. An inch, two, six, a foot. I stay there for seconds, then minutes.
I can’t generate enough tension between my body and the air to take a step - can’t even make myself drift. I’d give anything to be able to float along like a freaking ghost.
It’s the same for all of us.  Ones start with an ability everyone thinks will turn into a superpower. A really fast runner might have muscles that can’t take the strain. Or a kid who can stretch an arm out really far will wait days for it to pull itself back into place. They put up with getting teased at Superhero High, waiting for their Second – in those cases, enhanced muscle power or elasticity - to show up. While they do, that One power starts to fade. There are still shimmers of it, but after awhile the kid quits trying and the One fizzles into nothingness.
Then their parents ship them off to Normal High, like mine did.
Here’s my secret: I never quit trying.  
For a long time, I tried to move. Once I tried so hard my muscles strained, then burned, then ached, then trembled, and I hovered there behind the shed, weeping and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, until Dad came looking for me. Then I collapsed on the grass. 


90 comments:

  1. I love this. I love this so freaking much I want to have superpowers to see it succeed. GO ONE GO <3 *waves pompoms*

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  2. I still get shivers reading this. I LOVE this opening! (And the whole thing!)

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  3. This is a great opening! And your query rocks my socks :-) Sending you happy-agent-vibes!

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  4. OOOH! New opening! Love it! I think this works really well! GOOD LUCK :)

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  5. I loved the voice of your query and wanted to read more! good luck!!

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  6. I'm here to stretch my cramped cheerleading muscles and tell agents and coaches alike that YOU WANT THIS!

    As if it's not enough that the story is sweet, suspenseful, well-written and all around amazing, Leigh Ann herself is also the bomb. That's about as accurate a statement as I can make :))

    GO ONE GO!

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  7. Hi Leigh Ann, I'm stopping by from the Writer's Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! I'm following your blog now, so: nice to meet you.

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  8. LOVE.<3 Your opening is perfection--I'm so insanely intrigued and somehow you made me love Merrin in 250 words. Good luck!!

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  9. Yay Leigh Ann! I am so rooting for you!!

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  10. Oooh...I love superpowers! I hope you have the best of luck in this contest--I would read more! :)

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  11. Good luck in the contest. :)

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  12. I've had the honor of reading ONE and it is one of the best stories I've read - published or otherwise. I loved Merrin from page 1 & felt her struggle through every page.

    Go ONE go! Get the attention you deserve :)

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  13. Yay Leigh Ann- you made it. I was about to post the contest on the WrAHMs site, but I blinked and it was over ;)
    Love your first 250!

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  14. So happy you made it in! I love the new query. I'm definitely crossing my fingers for you because I love ONE!

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  15. So cool to meet you, and high-fives on making it in, too! Love your beginning!

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  16. This is basically one of the awesomest things I've pretty much EVER read :D LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE and seriously Elias and I are meant to be, just putting that out there :D

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  17. Good luck in the contest Leigh Ann - ONE looks awesome!

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  18. Yay for ONE! Sending sparkly luck vibes!

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  20. Fellow Writers Voice entrant checking in - howdy!

    I remember this one from other contests - such a great concept! And the query has me chomping for more! Good luck in the contest!

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  21. Look at you, miss popular! Well good, I hope this is the chance for ONE to get the attention it deserves, right? My WIP is a superhero piece, so I've been paying attention. Good Luck!

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  22. That is ONE awesome query! Lol. Okay, maybe I'm not THAT funny. But seriously...I WANT TO READ THIS NOW. Romance and Superheroes?! That's a combination that you don't see everyday in YA. Plus you have a kick-ass first page. I hope ONE finds a home and soon. I'll definitely buy it once it hits the shelves. :)

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  23. ONE is one of the best books I've read, published and not, this year. Lovable characters, excellent pacing, amazingly unique plot--it's incredible, and I consider myself so lucky to have read it.

    I love it so much, and Leigh Ann is one of the hardest working writers I know. You guys will be lucky to have her (and ONE) on your team!

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  24. I'm not part of the contest or anything, but just happened to stop by in time to see this. I love your query and your first page. Nice job! I'd definitely read more. :-) Best of luck to you!!

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  25. *hugs* Good luck Leigh Ann!!! You've earned it!

    Go ONE go!

    Rachel~

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  26. Good luck, sweets! ONE is amazing and I know the judges will be singing its praises. ;)

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  27. Good luck, good luck, good luck, good luck!! The Hound and I have EVERYTHING crossed for you.s

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  28. This sounds fabulous, good luck to you!

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  29. Just wanted to say that I really hope this one makes it in~ great job!

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  30. For shame! Why haven't I commented and told you how awesome this is. Can't want to start reading it.

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  31. Great query, Leigh Ann. I may have to have you...eliminated from competition. ;)

    Seriously, I'm totally having you eliminated.

    (Good luck!!)

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  32. GAH! This sounds so totally awesome. You are seriously talented, and good gravy how can I compete against this?! Best of luck to you!!!

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  33. Loved this last time I was up against it. The premise sounds so fun. Good luck!!

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  34. This sounds really good! Best of luck!

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  35. This sounds really excellent. Good luck to you!
    (It also somewhat reminds me of a short story I wrote once, which makes even more fond of it)

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  36. Best of luck! I've read a bit about this book on your blog and on other blogs over the past month or so and I've been dying to see it published so I can read it!! :)

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  37. 0_0 Forty comments. 0_0

    I just...I don't even....THANK YOU.

    Honestly, the fact that so many of you have come over to read my first 250 and cheer me on means THE WHOLE WORLD TO ME.
    (Yeah, I know a bunch of you have read the whole thing. That means even more.)

    I'm beside myself. Thank you. You all are amazing.
    <3 <3 <3

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  38. Wow, I LOVE this!!! Your query is so full of voice and character, your future mentor will have a hard time improving on it, I suspect. I already want to give Merrin a hug, and I've only read the first 250 words. Can't wait to read more once you're published :)

    My heart goes out to you about your whole query process - I came so close but didn't quite make it with FROM THE OTHER SIDE, so I know that disappointment. You're so courageous to keep on trying and entering these competitions (and I know you've done so well in them in the past!). This might just be THE ONE, you know (apologies for the bad pun, what can I say - it's late at night here *grins) :)

    Biggest hugs,

    Rach

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  39. Congratulations on making the list, best of luck with your fantastic entry ^_^

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  40. Congrats!! Great start and how unique!

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  41. First. YAY!! That you got in. Second. From the first time I read your query I knew it was just my kind of book. I love your idea and if I'm not mistaken you've change your first 250? I love this new beginning. It really gives a great feel for your character.

    Good Luck!!! I'm cheering for you.

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  42. Holy crap, I want to read this NOW! *makes grabby hands*

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  43. This sounds AWESOME. Seriously, best of luck! I hope ONE finds an agent and a home!! What a fantastic premise, and the writing backs it up.

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  44. W00t for superhero books. My first novel was about supes. . . still hasn't found representation, but I still hold a love for the neglected genre. I enjoy the concept of the Ones. Once again, good luck!

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  45. Good luck, one contestant to another!

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  46. Very cool! I love your voice and the concept. I haven't seen an equal ;o) Good luck!!

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  47. Stopping by to say good luck. I've read your 250 before - likely in another contest? Still really like it. Great voice and concept.

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  48. I have been DYING to read this ever since I first heard about it. I really, really, REALLY hope it's published SOON so I can!

    Seriously. ::grabby hands::

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  49. Fingers crossed. I'm loving the first 250!

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  50. I found your query & first 250 pages via a #TheWritersVoice tweet and I am so glad that I didn't pass it up. I am hooked and really hope you find the representation you need to get this published! The plot & vision feels so real - an amazing novel for sure.

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  51. I love this concept! :) Best of luck, Leigh Ann!

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  52. Loved your first 250!

    I'm querying a superhero novel (not the MS I've entered in TWV) as well and haven't had a great response either. I hope you get picked and then published so you can start the superhero trend.

    Good luck to you.

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  53. Cool premise - curious about the "one" thing. Also, a new blog follower!

    Lisa (#59)

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  54. Who doesn't want to be a Superhero? And to be able to fly - that would be awesome.

    Your query is well written. Enjoyed. :)

    Tina (#194)

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  55. Can't wait to read. Congrats and good luck!

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  56. Leigh Ann! SO sorry I'm late to this party. Best of luck and congrats on getting into this contest! An agent would be so lucky to get you. :)

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  57. Leigh Ann, you're such an inspiration. To create this great book with 4 little ones underfoot is ah-mazing! I've loved your story concept since I first heard about it. Awesome! Can't wait to hear that you've been chosen :)

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  58. I absolutely love this--best of luck to you!

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  59. Oh, wow. I'm kinda (no, a lot) late in reading this (I blame finals), but OMG. Your query and first 250 sound amazing! I love the new changes! But then again, I've always liked the premise of ONE. :) Good luck, Leigh Ann and I hope you get picked!! Always rooting for you. ;)

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  60. I remember reading the beginning of this somewhere else. It's so much stronger now! And an awesome premise to boot. I'm sure you'll find a home for this. :) Don't give up!

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  61. Oooh, I like this!! It reminds me of Sky High, which makes me smile because my daughter loves that movie, lol.

    Good luck to you!! I am sure you will do great!!

    Summer - #40

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  62. I've seen this before and I thought it was a cool concept. I hope you don't give up, because it's great, especially the first 250 words!
    - Carla (#152)

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  63. Stopping by to wish you tons of luck!! You've got a great concept that I'd want to read more of!!

    Entry #31

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  64. "I never stopped trying".

    I don't know what more any of us can say. Good luck.

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  65. I love your query and that they can only fly when they're together. That's so sweet. Good luck!

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  66. WOW. 70 comments. SEVENTY.

    You all have seriously blown me away. What a truly amazing community.

    Thank you for coming here to cheer on my superhero story. It means more than you'll know.

    My eyes are teary and my heart is full. <3

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  67. What a cool concept! I love superheroes. Also, I was totally hooked by the beautiful writing in your 250 - Merrin has a really strong voice. I would definitely like to read more. Good luck!

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  68. I was privileged enough to read One, and may I just say that it made my superhero fangirl heart oh so happy! It's unique, sweet, thoughtful, suspenseful, genuine, heartbreaking, and wonderful. And that is not even mentioning the kick-ass fight scene that is superhero to-die-for.

    I really hope that every one will get a chance to see Merrin and Elias realized, because we need more characters like them in the world!

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  69. Love your opening! This sounds cool! Good luck!

    Brandi #199

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  70. Very nice job and a super cool premise! ~Kathryn (#2)

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  71. I know I've said this before, but I love, love, LOVE it!! Sending bucket loads of good vibes and finger crossing your way. Except not literally on the finger crossing... because that'd be weird if you suddenly got bucket loads of fingers coming your way...

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  72. I've loved ONE since I first met it's query and first page before. :D

    We may have to delete words like "ghost" cuzzz they make me all twitchy, but I think this is such a fun concept!

    We've gotta get this ms flying, girl!

    I WAAAAAAAANT YOOOOOOUUUU! *big silly grin*

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    1. *GINORMOUS RIDICULOUS GRIN*

      Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

      I'd almost lost hope in my superhero story.

      Director Fury still believes in heroes, and I'm glad you do too!
      (Yeah, still geeking out over the movie. Sue me. :))

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  73. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CUPID EFFING ROCKS!!! *DANCES* *FLAILS* *COLLAPSES*

    Alrighty L, I'll stop stalking your blog now ;)

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    1. G!!! You were stalking my blog????

      *wipes a tear*

      *I* wasn't even doing that!

      <3 <3 <3

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  74. Woo-hoo! I've been waiting for this one to get picked, too! Congrats :)

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  75. YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! I was waiting for this to happen!!!! SO excited!!!!!! *gets out pompoms again* GO ONE GO!!!!

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  76. This is made of pure AWESOME!!! I'm so excited that Cupid picked you! How could she not?! Team Cupid is going to rock this contest!! :-D
    #115 Amy Rose

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  77. Congratulations. Go Team Cupid!
    #97

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  78. WOOHOO, I am SOOOO excited for you!!! You deserve this - go baby!!! :)

    Hugs,

    Rach

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