Title: ESSEX HILL
Genre: YA paranormal
Word Count: 68,000
My Main Character's Greatest Fear:
The live lobsters in the tank at the Sea Witch restaurant used to terrify me. Don’t lobsters look like something out of a B-movie about aliens from the planet Crustaceous? But that was before I met Bridget and William, the 300 year old ghosts in my grandmother’s old house. They don’t just move stuff around and yell ‘boo’— I could totally handle that. Nope. They make you re-live their memories of blood, witches, and curses, then nag you about fixing their love lives, until digging in the middle of the forest for dead bodies seems like an awesome idea.
Geeky seventeen-year-old Nora Adams knows nothing about being in love or being a witch, but try telling that to Bridget and William, the two scary Colonial-era ghosts in her grandmother’s house. ESSEX HILL, which could best be described as “Gilmore Girls” set in The House of the Seven Gables, is a YA Paranormal novel now complete at 68,000 words.
When Nora and her mom move from New York City to her grandmother’s house in the quaint village of Essex Hill, Massachusetts, Nora expects to find knick-knacks and dust bunnies. Instead, she discovers witchy psychic powers and two murderous 300 year old ghosts with relationship problems who won’t leave her alone.
She hopes reuniting them in the afterlife will fix everything like some sort of magic duct tape, but it doesn’t look good. William was far from an ideal boyfriend — he killed Bridget for being a witch. He’s had eternity to mourn for her, but Nora doesn’t have that kind of time to unearth the dead bodies and buried secrets from the woods behind her house, accept her supernatural inheritance, and figure out her own socially awkward dating life.
We believe Essex Hill will appeal to readers who love the regional gothic setting of Beautiful Creatures, the humor of balancing normal teenage humiliations with a newfound supernatural heritage, like in Hex Hall, and the dark legends of Colonial America popularized in the new Fox TV series, “Sleepy Hollow,” which has already been renewed for another season.
Redacted, a former magazine editor for arts publications, is now Director of Media Relations at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan. She grew up in the Salem, Massachusetts area on the land of John Proctor, the real-life subject of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible.
Redacted was Associate Director of Artistic Programming at The New Victory Theater in Times Square, a performing arts venue dedicated to engaging and entertaining young audiences and teens, where she worked on new play development.
Thank you for your consideration.
First 250 words:
Nora remembered the very last thing her father said to her before he died. The third to last thing was that he loved her. The second to last thing was that he wanted her to take care of her mom. The absolute last thing he said, on the floor in a bath of his own sweat, jogging shorts hiked up past his knobby runner’s knees, was to listen to her grandmother. “Her predictions are usually right,” he said, before his face turned the color of a radish and the air could no longer fight its way out of his lungs.
She never told her mom what her dad said about her grandmother, not even after the funeral. Nana and her mom were like oil and water— if you mixed some lighter fluid in, too. Volatile would be a nice way of putting it.
Honestly, she didn’t think much of her dad’s new faith in Nana’s amateur sooth saying. For years he teased her grandmother like the rest of the family. “You’d be better off buying fortune cookies in bulk,” he would chuckle.
But one prediction that Nana said over and over again through the years was that Nora and her mom would someday come to live with her in their family’s rambling old house in Essex Hill, Massachusetts. “Soon it will be Nora’s time and you’ll both come to me,” Nana would say. Not likely Nora thought. Essex Hill was a small, weird town famous for absolutely nothing, other than a complete lack of public transportation and decent bagels.