Title: EMILY IN MY HEAD
Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal
Word Count: 55,000
Here is how my MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed:
Why did I let Nate talk me into coming to the swim club’s Halloween party dressed up like this? “Coach out of hell” sounded good when we were planning it, but now I feel ridiculous. I’m wearing typical swim coach attire—shorts and a T-shirt with our club logo on the back, plus red devil horns. Two stopwatches dangle around my neck, and the front of my shirt says “fly or die.”
I turn around and stare. There’s Greg, and he’s wearing exactly the same outfit as I am. Except for him it’s not a costume. He’s my coach.
Twelve-year-old Clare is a competitive swimmer who dreams of making the elite team. When she hears a strange girl’s voice on Halloween night, she suspects her brother is playing tricks on her. But Emily is inside Clare’s head—and Emily is aquaphobic.
Even though Emily’s waking moments are unpredictable and freak Clare out at first, they gradually become friends. Clare senses she can help Emily return to her own life if she can find out where Emily came from. Still, her search for clues takes a backseat to swim practice as she strives to qualify for the elite team.
During the next swim meets, Emily’s fear of water overwhelms Clare, triggering false starts and a threat from her coach not to nominate her for the team. With the nomination deadline looming, Clare has to deal with Emily’s panic attacks, prove herself in the water—and help Emily find the way back where she belongs. Or else she will find herself off the team and with Emily stuck in her head forever.
First 250 words:
Chapter 1 – Thursday, October 31st
Five minutes into tonight’s practice, and we’re all as red as the Canadian flag on the wall. The heating equipment acted up overnight on Wednesday, and the water in the lap pool still isn’t back down to its regular temperature. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable swimming in my entire life, except maybe when they made me wear water wings at kindergarten day camp and I tried to practice my backstroke flip turns anyway.
The second they’ve finished warm-up, the boys start splashing the water from their bottles at each other to cool off. Katie would’ve joined them in a flash and gotten me into it too. But Katie moved away, and my bottle’s filled with diluted cranberry juice, which doesn’t mix well with pool water.
Behind me, the other girls hang onto the lane line, their heads together. “Do you think seven-thirty’s too late to go trick-or-treating?”
“Not on my street. My mom said we could stay out till nine.”
I haven’t even bothered with my usual scary costume. Halloween’s no fun without my best friend. Last year, Katie convinced me we should dress up as spider queens with lots of little plastic spiders fastened all over our costumes. I don’t mind spiders, unlike most of the kids in my class. And it turns out, more than half our neighborhood. We laughed our heads off at everyone shrieking as soon as they saw us. Best Halloween ever.