Saturday, February 1, 2014

SVS AGENT Round Entry 6: GAME CHANGER, Upper YA Contemporary

Genre: Upper YA Contemporary 
Word Count: 84,000

My Main Character is most uncomfortable with: 

Adam is used to ball-sweat-hot summers in his small town, but slipping on snow could tweak his knee and put a quick end to his college football future...and his escape to a better life. 


Dear Fabulous Agent,

With a girlfriend damn near close to perfect, an imminent college escape out of NowhereVille, USA, and a passing arm clocked at 42 mph, everyone wants to sack quarterback Adam Emerson. But he never expected his dad to do the blindsiding, let alone the most damage.

Three weeks before graduation, Adam’s widower dad dies, and Adam’s left to bury his college dreams and NFL future. In their place, he’s saddled with the family garage to run and guardianship of his little brother, Ethan, who’s hell-bent on self-destruction.

In no time, Ethan’s fighting and drinking jeopardize his custody. And the auto shop takes such a dive, Adam’s forced to sell his dad’s beloved ’57 Ranchero just to make payroll. His coach and friends suspect he needs help, but he’s been trained to be a leader. No amount of their pushing changes his determination to hide his growing failure or his decision to handle it on his own. His relationships, the family business and home, his brother—everything that once seemed stable, everything he couldn’t wait to leave—are on the line. It’s up to Adam to admit defeat or adapt his strategy before he loses it all. Either way, his life will never be the same.

First 250:

If she were an honest-to-god drug, Jenn Deel couldn’t have had me more strung out. Her freckled shoulders and cocoa-buttered curves even made me forget the fireworks my best friend Langdon and I had snuck over state lines for. Not the best use of fake IDs and money, but it was our last Labor Day hurrah at the river.

It was also the official end of another summer spent in the armpit town of Milton, where spontaneous combustion felt like a real possibility. Especially for me, working in my Dad’s shop through the whole thing, while Lang spent the season up to his ass in lemonade and air conditioning. He tutored Mandarin Chinese and Russian to kids two towns over and had no clue what a summer in coveralls and exhaust fumes felt like. That kind of ball-sweat-hot made so much as a toe dipped in the river water almost better than an orgasm. Of course, if Jenn and her lime green bikini slid into that water,  “almost” would’ve dropped straight over the edge. A guy could dream, but she was too busy threatening Lang with bodily harm if he didn’t put his cigarette out.

“This says the average temperature’s sixty-eight degrees in December. Sixty-eight, Adam! In December! Goodbye snow shovel and gloves; hello flip-flops and shorts. That’s all I’m packing.” Lang leaned against our cooler with an almanac of Los Angeles and aimed a smoke ring toward Jenn.

“You haven’t started yet, bro? I’ve had everything but my football packed since freshman year,” I said.


  1. I feel a "flurry" of excitement reading this entry! Please send 50 pages, a complete synopsis, and your query letter to rdugas[at]talcottnotch[dot]net.

  2. What a chill query! Please send the first 25 pages, synopsis and query to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com