Genre: MG Arthurian retelling with a sci-fi twist
Word Count: 60,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with:
Sun, I despise the sun. The big ball of heat roasts the moat, and everyone of Camelot's privys plop into that foul, brown water surrounding the castle. The stench makes you want to wear a perfumed cloth over your snotbox, but you can't because only girls wear perfume. So best breathe by the mouth and pray that a steamy onslaught of stench doesn't crawl through an arrowslit into your bedchamber.
Twelve-year-old Prince Arthur dreams of wielding The Sword in the Stone, so he can dash to “ye old pawn shoppe” to swop the blade for a guitar. But for this to happen, Arthur must first lead Camelot’s pages to victory in paintegg combat against Prince “Big Ears” Elgbert of Cornwall. Even though the Cornish hench-hen is a year older and renowned for foul play in the annual tournament, Arthur is determined to succeed. Because this year, if the captain of the winning team doesn’t get gobsmacked by an egg filled with paint, he’ll be awarded a rare attempt to brandish the legendary sword. If Arthur prevails, he plans to fulfill his lifelong ambition and become a wandering minstrel.
But before this year’s champion can claim his prize, Saxons threaten Cornwall. Camelot’s King Luther mobilizes the army to help his beleaguered ally. Unknowingly, this leaves Arthur and the pages of Camelot pitted against a second invasion. Mechanized, headless knights driven by little green men from the planet Leprechaun land on Stonehenge in a giant, flying round table. But instead of attacking, they start abducting Camelot’s subjects, including Arthur’s sisters in a quest to uncover practitioners in the medieval science of magic. If Arthur doesn’t find a way to stop the conniving Leprechauns, they may have to change the name of Camelot to Camefew.
First 250 words:
My sister Fay guided me through a secret tunnel—which stayed secret thanks to her making me wear an executioner’s hood with eyeholes facing the rear.
Rats squealed as she maneuvered me through another puddle. They must have recognized Fay, because they scurried ahead faster than a fox leaving a henhouse with takeout. A rumored shortage of rat tails, the key ingredient for casting spells in Fay’s also rumored magic practice, kept Camelot’s rodent community on high alert.
Inspired by my blindness, I sang until ribbed to stop. “Ouch.”
Fay’s—pointier than a rat’s nose—elbow, disliked my singing Three Blind Mice. The mice’s bigger cousins, fleeing us, despised her carving knife. And nobody fancied my dream of becoming a minstrel.
“Why drag me along?” I asked.
“So the cow slayer doesn’t catch me.”
I yanked my makeshift blindfold off. “How? I don’t have a sword.”
“No worries. I can run faster than you. Besides, you’re madder than a bag of ferrets, if you think I’ld let you carry a sharp object in the dark.”
Great. Hoodwinked into missing Saturday Night Juggling to become beast bait.
Soon afterwards we reached a ladder leading to the surface and climbed into a tree hollow. Outside the gnarly hole, Fay’s breath fogged. “We’re here.”
I scratched my head beneath branches besieged with mistletoe, gongoozling at a moonlit meadow ringed with giant rocks. “Where’s here?”
“Road apples! Stonehenge takes three days by horse.”
“Great tunnel, don’t you think?”