Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NoQS Minion 2: HAUNTING, MG Contemporary

Genre: MG Contemporary
Word Count: 35,000

My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:

My MC's most fearsome obsession is her desire to contact ghosts. Her dedication to the task has caused her to isolate herself from others and stunted her personal growth. More importantly, it’s a moot effort – the MC strives to make the ghosts away, but the ghosts never existed in the first place. All along, they were something else.


Eleven-year-old Sophie Santos wants the ghosts to leave Mom alone. It would help if Sophie could contact them, but even her beloved Ouija board can’t make the ghosts speak. The ghosts torment Mom every night, leaving her with bruises and scrapes, but Sophie never hears anything more than Mom’s screams. If not for Mom’s fearful warnings and the wounds she bears, Sophie would doubt the ghosts even existed. Yet Sophie can't ignore the way the ghosts make Mom fearful of her surroundings, or the way Mom yells at her every time the ghosts act out.

Not keen on giving up, Sophie strives for new ways to exorcise the ghosts. Along the way, she finds pieces to a puzzle she didn’t even know she was solving: Life insurance policies in Sophie’s name. Searches on Google for “child deaths.” To save herself, Sophie must figure out the true cause of the ghosts and make it disappear. Otherwise, Mom will succumb to the voices in her head convincing her that there’s only one way to be free from them for good: to kill Sophie.

HAUNTING is a 35,000-word middle grade contemporary novel based on my childhood experiences as a girl living alone with her schizophrenic mother.

First 250 words:

There’d been a death in the family. Not my family, but the one that’d lived in our house before us. Or before them. Or before them. It was hard to know how long ago the ghosts had lived. Mom never gave me any details about them except their names.

But the ghosts always came. There seemed to be no escape from them. They were like a disease, seeping into the walls of our home and rotting it from the core, until we had no choice but to find another place to live.

So we were in the car yet again, boxes shoved in the back seat, heading to another place to rest our heads. This was, what, the third one in a year? I couldn’t imagine this new place being any different than the others. Sooner or later, a ghost would stop by. They always did. Then we’d be forced to pack up once more and find a new home. A new place to rest our heads. A new place to be haunted.

Mom hummed along to the radio to some pop song. She was a lot more optimistic about this move than I was. I wished her happiness was more contagious, but I could only ever catch her fear.

“How are you feeling, Sophie?” Mom asked.

She wanted me to be excited. She wanted me to crave this new life, this ghost-free life, as much as she did. And I craved it, truly, but I also doubted it would ever truly come.


  1. Scream! Can you send to penelope.gsliterary at gmail please? With your query in the body and NoQS in the subject. Thanks!

  2. Letting out a shriek! Please send query letter in body of email and pages as Word attachment to Please put NoQS request in subject line.

  3. Screaming! Please send your full manuscript as a word doc to, with your query letter copied on the first page of the doc. And please put #NoQS in the subject. Thanks!

  4. Shriek! Please send the requested pages as a Word or PDF attachment to querysara (at) fuseliterary (dot) com, including "NoQS" in the subject line with your query letter in the email body. Look forward to reading!

  5. SHRIEK! Please send your 50 pages to Please also include a complete synopsis and use "NoQS: HAUNTING, MG Contemporary" in your subject line.