Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Kyle

Name: S. Kyle Davis

Email: kyle(at)skyledavis(dot)com

Title/Genre: BLACKBIRD (YA Fantasy Thriller)

Pitch: Spy chick bypasses a top-of-the line security system to steal an object before the sorcerers do in this "Mission:Impossible w/ magic" tale

1st 250 words:

I couldn’t imagine a more appropriately-named metal club than The Hell Hole. I mean, the place smelled like rock and roll. Of course, the stench of sweat, cigarettes, and stale beer was a sort of welcome home to me. I grew up in the ass crack of the foster care system, so about half the places I stayed in smelled like that.

I sat with my back to the crowd, my chair leaning against a metal support pole. My too-short legs stretched to their limit, my red Chuck Taylors barely able to prop up on the rickety table at the back of the room. Behind me, a horrible industrial band covered old pop songs. Seriously, who wants to hear a growling industrial version of “The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing?

Answer: no one.

Thankfully, the pole blocked the worst of the noise, because otherwise, I’d hear every missed note and garbled word. You see, the club, being a reformed warehouse, really was a hellhole. Other than having enough floor space to cram in over a thousand people, there was only one reason anyone came here. The Hell Hole boasted 80 decibels at the back wall. The volume in the “sweet spot,” the center of the pit about four rows back from the stage, was loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss.

Of course, if you were stupid enough to brave the pit at The Hell Hole, then damage to your hearing was the least of your worries.


  1. This heroine is obviously tough and rumble, and I love her for that. YA definetly needs more of that. The writing style is very gruff and without any flourish, and that's great in that it matches the heroine nicely.

    The premise is great, if a little murky, and if I could read more, I would hope that the toughness of the MC lives up throughout the book, and that maybe a bit of tenderness can be shown in her character as well.

    Awesome work!

  2. The pitch wasn't exactly pitch perfect but it got me to read more. I was thinking a female Alex Ryder with magic, so cool. The thing that left me lacking in the pitch was the word object - too generic.

    I read on. The first 250 words don't really go anywhere though. I get the character, but no sense of the story to come.

  3. I got the impression that the MC was a guy, but I read your pitch again. Silly me.

    Though I like the voice, there's not a lot of action in this first scene. Have you experimented with a flashier pitch? Something to sink its claws into the reader and never let go? :) I'm interested in seeing why exactly this 'pit' is so dangerous.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Marie at the Cheetah