Monday, July 21, 2014

IWTN Entry 30: The Monster's Den, Adult Literary

Title: The Monster's Den
Word Count: 58,000
Genre: Adult Literary


Charlotte Weston is a mildly successful poet, working nights in a hotel lobby to pay the rent. She is Critical. Focused. Driven. And she is the granddaughter of one of the nation's most notorious serial killers.

It's been many years since Peter Murray was tried, convicted, and executed for the brutal murder of eight teens in the 1960s. Charlotte and her brothers never knew the man. Her mother and uncle never speak of him. However, when the remains of an old victim are discovered just outside their small New York town, questions are raised. It looks like the work of Peter Murray and long brewing resentment returns. After all, small towns don't forget.

Matters are not helped when Charlotte meets her brother's new boyfriend, a reporter who happens to think Peter Murray was innocent. He convinces her to humor his theory, conducting new interviews and going over old testimony. His conviction astounds her, but Charlotte is convinced that she knows the truth. It's written in her bones. There is evil in her blood, passed down through the generations. Peter Murray was a murderer. He had to be. And if he wasn't, then she must question her own sense of hate, wondering if it had been bred or learned. This is a story of family. History. And the lies that bind us.

First 250 Words:

 I took my life today.
 No razors or pills.
 Not with drowning or thrills.
 I took my life today,
 And I gave it away.
 Not simply to feel,
 Or to know what is real.

 Unable to breathe,
 Unwilling to see.
 I shake and I curse,
 Knowing only the worst.

 I took my life today,
 And it is as they say,
 All is still. All is stone,
 While I wait here alone.

 With a heart pumping ash,
 The veins hard and cracked.
 With dried up old skin,
 And hair that grows thin.

 I took my life today, for if I hadn’t
Someone else would have tried,
 But really they’d do it for them,
So they would no longer fear
 What lay deep inside
 That old monster’s den.

 -Charlotte Weston, "Blood Oath"

Sometimes I forget. The misplacement of identity is not uncommon. You stand around thinking I am this. I am that. I am the present. The now. I am hungry. Happy. Stupid. Clever. Important. Useless. We define ourselves based on how we feel in the moment and in doing so it is easy to forget that there is more. There is history and experience. We inherit from those before us, and those before them. We consider ourselves to be the center around which the whole big world circles, but we—we—are small. We are fleeting. And we are who we will always be from the moment our first breath is drawn. 

When I was nine I saw a photograph of my mother in a magazine.


  1. I'm intrigued by this concept, though I don't know if this sample is really showing me what to expect. But I'd like to see the first 50-75 pages at

  2. I would love to see the first 50 pages. Please send as a word doc attachment, with the query letter pasted on the first page, to

  3. I'd love to take a look at THE MONSTER'S DEN! Please send the first three chapters as an attachment to Include the query letter in the body of your email and mention "In With the New" in the subject line.

  4. I love the concept and want to read more. Please send me a query, synopsis and the first 100 pages to