Title: I’M NOT A ZOMBIE, BUT I PLAY ONE ON TV
Genre: MG Humorous Contemporary
Word Count: 30,000
My Main Character’s Most Fearsome Obstacle:
I thought my worst fear was being covered in cold, limp spaghetti, but I’d gladly swim in an Olympic-sized pool of the stuff to escape the nightmare that is this zombie sitcom. Eating brains and eyeballs is nothing compared to dealing with a demonic director, a humiliating stage dad, and a rabid, rival kid star. Being undead is killing me.
When Marty Ruckers' dad loses his job as a high school drama teacher, the extremely squeamish sixth-grader auditions for a Crunchy Clowns cereal commercial to help pay the bills. Instead, as if by some cruel cosmic joke, he's tapped for a starring role in the new zombie sitcom, Z Street.
With foreclosure on his family's home looming, Marty reluctantly takes the gig. Now the kid who can't swallow soggy cereal has to train himself to stomach intestines without hurling every take. But Marty has headaches bigger than scrambled brains for breakfast, including an obnoxious stage dad, a drill sergeant director, and a rival veteran kid actor, who sabotages all Marty's scenes. Marty's not sure he can adjust to life as a big star. In fact, being undead just might kill him.
First 250 Words:
Only three things grossed out Marty Ruckers: uncrispified food, guts, and girls. And no girl grossed him out worse than his kid sister, Prunie. Especially when she sucked pureed prunes through a straw, like she did right now.
“Dad, can’t you make her stop?” Marty begged, cutting his dry toast in half. “You know I can’t eat when she slurps prunes.”
Prunie grinned and took an extra slurpy suck. She may have been only three and three-quarters, but she knew exactly how to make Marty mad. In fact, she was an expert at it.
Marty’s dad looked up from his crossword in the California Sunny Times and said what he said every morning at breakfast. “Martin, you know your sister has preferences, just like you.”
“Yes,” added Marty’s mom, opening the jelly. “You like your food dry and crunchy, and she likes hers . . . pruny.”
Staring at his paper again, Marty’s dad said, “Hmm. I need a three letter word for ‘retch.’”
Marty sighed. It was true; Prunie had been prune-crazy ever since she was a baby. His parents finally limited prunes to one meal a day to save on toilet paper.
He, on the other hand, was the king of crunch; slick, slimy food made him puke. And Marty could think of nothing (short of being covered in cold, limp spaghetti) that he dreaded more than puking.
He grabbed a handful of dry, Crunchy Clowns cereal and ate it, one clown head at a time.
“Have you tried ‘gag,’ sweetie?” his mom suggested.