Name: Karen M. Krueger
Email: karenmkrueger (at) gmail (dot) com
Title & genre: WITHOUT A SONG—YA Urban Fantasy
Pitch: Tessa loses her ability to sing,goes to a world where music is magic,&discovers a secret that forces her to find her voice to save her life
Staring at the red velvet curtain in front of me, I click my heels together three times and think, There’s no place like the stage. My fingers twitch to open the curtain to get a glimpse of the buzzing audience as they fill their seats, but the stage manager already gives me dirty looks from the wing. I, uh, didn’t ask permission before coming out here for my pre-performance ritual.
Despite his glare, excitement bubbles up inside me like carbonation, starting in my toes—accompanied by the slightest bit of damp palms and nail biting.
I love it.
Smiling, I leave the stage and act like I’m heading back to the green room to wait like a good little singer. After a few steps I turn to see if any of the crew watches me. No one notices, so I sneak back into a dark corner of the wing, tiptoeing to keep my heels from clicking. I melt into the darkness, letting my black formal dress blend me into my surroundings, and push on the poofy skirt to make myself smaller.
With five minutes to go before the start of the competition, the crew bustles around, too busy to notice an out of the way corner. Once in a while someone will flick on a little light here and there, like fireflies moving around backstage, reminding me of the night when I was six and my mom told me her secret about music.
The only light came from the lightning bugs in our backyard.