Jay Coles (jaycoleswritesbooks on QT) has signed with agent Lauren Abramo of Dystel Goderich & Bourret Literary Management.
Dear Ms. Abramo,
I am sending you this query for my young adult novel THE HEART OF OUR DARKNESS because I’ve recently run across your manuscript wishlist, and I think you’ll find interest in my book. This book means everything to me, as it is #ownvoices. Below, I have attached my query.
The hit 2015 movie DOPE meets S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS meets SUPERBAD.
High school senior and potential candidate for Harvard, Marvin Johnson, is a geek and so are his two best friends—Ivy and G-mo. Together, the three of them bond over 90s hip-hop and rap culture, their academics, and dreams of escaping the harsh poverty-stricken reality in which they were born into.
Their world gets a little mixed up, when they are invited to a drug dealer’s party and the scene turns violent. Following an epic gang battle and a police raid, Marvin’s twin brother, Tyler, who also attended the party turns up missing.
And no one knows where he is. Or maybe someone does.
Determined to find his brother with the help of his best friends, things take yet another turn, when Marvin risks everything and teams up with more drug dealers in hopes of finding his brother.
As it turns out, Marvin’s missing twin, Tyler, just may be the victim of a crime that may have been committed by a rival gang or the police themselves. The answer sends Marvin pursuing justice, which in turn finally allows him the means to break free.
Written at about 85,000 words, THE HEART OF OUR DARKNESS, purposefully abbreviated as THE H.O.O.D. is a Young Adult contemporary story about what it means to be black in America, about high school experiences that mean life or death, about love and loss, and most importantly about self-discovery and triumphing through tragedy.
I have written quite a number of books, but this particular YA novel is the book of my heart. THE HEART OF OUR DARKNESS (THE H.O.O.D.) was inspired by my own childhood upbringing and the Black Lives Matter movement. So, writing this book, I felt a pool of emotions—most of them still very raw.
Again, and as always, Ms. Abramo, I am happy to provide you with more of this project, if you find THE H.O.O.D to be a good fit for you. I am also willing to make any changes as you see fit, and continue making this a better book under your guidance, as I am already working on my next project as well. Thank you for your time and attention to this query. It means the world anyway.