Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SVS Agent Round 12: PROMPOCALYPSE, YA Disaster Thriller

Genre: YA Disaster Thriller
Word Count: 68,000

Is Your Main Character hot or cold? 

No matter how much Sam might aim for a calm, cool personality all it takes is a spark to get her emotions flared up. With a tendency to rely on instinct and intuition instead of ice-cold logic, Sam’s spontaneous decisions have a tendency to combust into four-alarm fires. Whether she wants to admit it or not, Sam is fiery and stubborn.

What she hasn’t realized is that the fires in her heart show up for a reason; it’s a burning signal when something needs to change. Now, she just needs to learn how to harness those flames.


Dear Agent,

There are 300 active fault lines running beneath Houston's streets and skyscrapers. All it takes is for one to crack on the worst possible weekend:  Prom.

Seventeen-year-old Samantha Haley’s world imploded the day her father incorrectly, and very publicly, predicted a massive earthquake. Once a renowned seismologist, Dr. Joe Haley is now a social and academic pariah and an embarrassment to the university attached to him. When the politics of calling a false alarm affect all of the wrong people in all of the right places, there’s nothing left for the family to do but flee. And in one unexpected move from California to Texas, Sam loses her friends, her groove, and her identity, and is left struggling to find her way in a new school.

But, Sam gets more than she bargains for after she saves an elderly neighbor from a sinkhole and coverage of the rescue goes viral. Students and faculty are impressed and Sam finds herself quickly shoved onto a new social ladder. Not everyone is happy though and suspicion and gossip are swirling about a girl who moves in the middle of a school year. And navigating the challenges of a new school isn’t easy. Especially when your dad, who instigated the mother of all dumpster fires, is still playing with the matches – and threatening to destroy your world. Again.

Dr. Haley has begun to piece together evidence that an earthquake is imminent on Prom weekend – in Houston of all places, and no one will listen. No one wants to listen. Not the Mayor, whose own daughter is in the running for Prom Queen, certainly not the state politicians who know earthquakes are bad for business, and most of all – not even Sam herself, eager to keep the past right where it belongs.

The problem is…this time, he’s right

With fast-paced storytelling, PROMPOCALYPSE will engage readers drawn to survival and disaster thrillers like THE RIVER by Gary Paulsen and TRAPPED by Michael Northrop.

First 250 words:

I’ve been preparing for the end of the world since I was six-years-old. While normal kids were busy stuffing their backpacks with Lunchables and PopTarts, mine was loaded with survival rations. Water purification tablets, whistles, flashlights. A Swiss-Army knife until it got me expelled for a week in the third grade. Even a trap for hunting. Not that I actually relish the idea of eating squirrels.

Too bad you can’t pack friends in a backpack though and bring them with you. Ghosts of friends maybe, but bits of data in a phone are poor substitutes for the real thing.

“That you Sam?”

“Yea, Mom.”  

I found my mother in the kitchen wearing floral oven gloves that almost matched the 1980’s wallpaper, looking for a spot to set down a hot baking sheet. At least eight dozen cookies fought for position on cooling racks, some losing and ending up slumped over the sides, breaking under their own weight.

To be fair, I was the one who had asked for cookies instead of a birthday cake. But, Mom likes to multi-task, which means yes – while I do get cookies, her rationale is to make a few dozen more.

Just in case.

This advice has plagued me since childhood.

“Honey, are you sure there’s no one you want invite over tonight?"

“Mom. No.” Not anyone here at least. I gripped the undersides of the dining table for support. The heavy oak pushed back against my palms with a comforting weight. I knew every scar and scratch of this Amish behemoth.


  1. This is freezing my insides! Please send query, synopsis, chapter summaries and first 3 chapters to nicole [at] goldenwheatliterary [dot] com.


  2. You had me at the title. Love PROMPOCALYPSE! Please send the query and the first 50 pages as an attachment to mention "REQUESTED: Sun vs. Snow" in the subject line

    Looking forward to reading!

    Jennifer March Soloway

  3. This looks super fun, I'd love to read more! Please send your query, plus the first 50 pages attached as a word document to Be sure to include #SunvsSnow in the subject.


  4. This sounds so good, it's giving me chills! Please send your query, first 50 pages, and synopsis in the email body to whitley[at]inklingsliterary[dot]com. Thanks!

  5. It's snowy and cold and I can't wait to curl up and read this. Please send the full manuscript to andrea[@] and put Sun vs. Snow in the subject line. Thanks!