Monday, October 30, 2017

NoQS Minion 5: If Darkness Should Take Us, Women's Fiction w/ Speculative

Genre: Women’s Fiction w/Speculative Elements
Word Count: 122,000

My MC and MA are dressed as Che Guevara. 

The neighbors say Bea has the best party costume. She sports the military fatigues, the unruly hair, the trademark beret. And they’re applauding. Nice. But here comes that thieving teen Chas, striding across the road, a rifle over his shoulder, a cigar in his mouth – where did he get that in this bleak world? Then he slaps a beret on his head. He can’t be Che Guevara, too! With a sneering smile, Chas waltzes up to Bea’s fifteen-year-old granddaughter and plants a kiss on her lips. Bea is ready to pounce.

My Query:

Dear Agents and Editors,

Grandma prepped for apocalypse, but when a solar pulse destroys modern life, traumatized teens may be her undoing.

Bea Crenshaw has seen disaster coming for years. She’s amassed secret stockpiles of food and gear and dug a hidden cistern that holds enough water to carry her family through a long Texas summer. She thinks she’s ready for the worst, and it comes with a poison-spewing train wreck beside her Austin subdivision. While ash is still clearing from the air, the sun strikes Earth with a massive electromagnetic burst.

Left alone with four grandkids, Bea struggles to protect them from toxic surroundings, encroaching marauders, deadly disease, and countless other threats — all without power, cars, phones, or running water. Worse still, she has no idea if her husband and adult kids will ever return. Her one source of news is a radio ham who tells her the entire U.S. grid has been fried.

Bea shares her stockpiles with starving neighbors but insists they farm and collect rain in exchange for rations. Her work brings her close to an old flame, Jack Jeffers; loss and longing drive her back into his bed. But desperate hookups among teenagers lead to a disastrous pregnancy, an exploding house, and an armed showdown. If she can’t get her crops, her unstable heart, and her failing memory to behave, what remains of Bea’s family will end in the Texas dust.

My speculative women's novel, IF DARKNESS SHOULD TAKE US, portrays a family's fight to survive unparalleled catastrophe. The carefully laid plans of a powerhouse contemporary woman steadily unravel, leaving her straining to hold her grandkids and community together with little more than tenacity and abiding love.

First 250 Words: 

The day came when Nature lashed out against us. Because no matter how desperately a mother loves you, she can only put up with so much. 

I understood where Nature was coming from. My family never listened to me either. That’s why I didn’t tell them about the guns I bought.

On a Friday in early October, the young adults in my family went to the Oklahoma-Texas game up in Dallas – a big football rivalry around here. They dragged my husband Hank the Crank along, leaving me in South Austin with my grandchildren.

At the time, I was glad to see Hank go. He’d been making me crazy since he retired: hovering like a gnat; micro-managing my coffee-making; griping at me for reading instead of waiting attentively for him to spout something terse. Lord, I needed a break from that man. The three-day trip to Dallas seemed perfect.

That afternoon I brought my grandkids home from school and sat down in Hank’s rocker, which the rest of us were forbidden to use. But he wasn’t home, so too bad for him. I checked paperwork on my laptop while the kids played X-Box games.

Twelve-year-old Milo jumped in behind me, hollering, “What’s a deed?”

“Nothing!” I snapped the laptop shut.

“Nana’s got a secret!” Not much gets past Milo.

I wasn’t a built-in-babysitter grandma and only saw my four grandkids together on holidays. For weeks I’d been excited about spending time alone with them.

A cruel trick sometimes, getting what you ask for.

1 comment:

  1. I'm SHIVERING for this! Please send your query, 1-2 page synopsis, and the first ten pages to queries at azantianlitagency dot com with "NoQS: TITLE by Name" in the subject line. Thanks! I look forward to reading on! -Jennifer Azantian