Sep 20, 2009

Query - AM I WORTH IT? - young adult

Seventeen-year-old Dan has never been punished for what he did to Hannah last spring while drunk and high at a party. He barely knew Hannah and now her life is ruined and no one will listen to Dan, not the judge or the four shrinks he's seen since that night. It's up to him to create his own miserable existence – to make sure he's punished, but he's too much of a coward to do what he should.

Instead, he leaves behind his comfortable California life, his high profile parents, and every ounce of joy, to move to the North Suburbs of Chicago, before his senior year. Dan has a brilliant mind and a gift for music. He also has a carefully crafted plan to remain in his unhappy existence – number one on his list: commit social suicide by going from cute, popular, Jock to most valuable member of the Trivia bowl Team. Only now, for the first time he isn't hiding his good side, he's finding it.

His plan is failing. He's surrounded with people who care for him, maybe even love him. And he can't help thinking about Claire – beautiful, kind, funny and looking at him in a way he doesn't deserve. When she leans in to kiss him, he sees Hannah's face, terrified and streaked with tears and hears her voice screaming for him to stop, and he can't breathe. His greatest fear is he'll hurt someone else, and he's not getting close enough to find out.

Dan's slowly walking a plank and buying time in purgatory until the decision is made - either forgive himself or drown. He's knows what he deserves, but everything is off-balance now. He may have someone amazing like Claire trying to pull him from his miserable life sentence, but he can't stop asking, "Am I worth it?"

AM I WORTH IT is a 60,000 word young adult novel telling the story of a boy's ability to emerge from a sea of guilt and come out a better man.


When eighteen-year-old Toby Beckett chases his dog into Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, he discovers a Nikon with digital photos of a UFO crash and a giant woman. Both skeptical and thrilled, he heads to a Union Station coffee bar to show the photos to Burke Kerrigan, a former AP photographer, who just laughs at them. Toby falls for Burke’s beautiful sister Kate when she joins their table. Suddenly they spot the giant in the subway crowd. Leaping up, they trail her across the city until she reveals herself to be inhuman and disappears inside Buchanan House, an elegant condominium near the woods where Toby found the Nikon. Burke argues that the giant is a carnival freak who faked the photos to make money, but when they hike into Rock Creek Park, they find the UFO behind a damaged camouflage force field.

THE ACCIDENTAL ALIEN is a romantic, 85,800 word science fiction/fantasy novel about three couples who cross paths with a mysterious UFO that crashes in Rock Creek Park. Toby, falling for his friend Kate, discovers the UFO with her, but when her brother Burke gets trapped inside the saucer, no one believes them. Toby’s sister Lisa Mitchell and her husband Ian, constantly bickering with each other, move into Buchanan House and find they have a strange neighbor. Monroe Broussard, a friend of Toby’s who is struggling to return to law school after a hurricane kills his family, keeps seeing a door in the sky, but doesn’t know how to explain his vision to his fiancĂ©e. While the alien adapts to the city with frightening consequences, one person stumbles upon the UFO’s unique purpose.

As for myself, I was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in the area where the novel takes place. Right now I’m writing a sequel. A copyeditor has checked THE ACCIDENTAL ALIEN (_________name and credentials of copyeditor). I’m enclosing a SASE, synopsis and the first (__________per agent's submission guidelines) pages, which are disposable copy.

(Personalized paragraph about why I am contacting this agent). Thank you for considering my submission.