Kimberlee Turley (clutzattack on QT) has signed with agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary & Media.
In December 2009, I was shopping at Target and fell in love with a pair of late 19th century inspired boots and knew my next novel was going to have bustles and corsets. I love gaslamp fantasy/steampunk because it lets me mix historical and speculative fiction together.
My goal has always been to write the best story I could. Getting an agent or finding a publisher is a nice social acknowledgment of that achievement, but it’s only one way to define success. My husband loves frozen yogurt, but his real goal is to be his own boss.
I write for the love of story telling---and to keep the voices out of my head.
I spent just over a year querying my first novel and have put it aside with plans to rewrite it as MG.
When I do personalize I might comment on a book they recommended on their blog that I read and loved, or if I read an interview about them I’ll mention the source and the particular fact about the agent that resonated with me most.
Also, avoid querying agents who attend conferences in the summer. They are always swamped and will give less attention to reading than other seasons of the year.
When eighteen-year-old Gracie Heart gets caught stealing a ride on a circus train, she expects to get in trouble. Instead, she is given a job as the magician's assistant. Jack, the circus’s magician and knife thrower, is charismatic and genteel, but his aim isn’t perfect…hence the position opening.
After each performance, Gracie finds threatening notes hidden in her costume. At first she thinks she’s being haunted by the ghost of the last assistant, but Gracie soon realizes she’s the one writing the notes to warn herself: she’s next.
Each time Gracie steps inside the magician’s vanishing closet, she is transported from the late nineteenth century to Laputa, a futuristic world of gemstone-powered technology. While there, she discovers the last assistant’s death might not have been an accident, and that the computer keeping the world in existence needs “heartstones” to keep the time compression fields from collapsing. Every living person has a heartstone and Gracie’s is highly desired by Laputa’s dubious ruler. The problem is, each time Gracie steps back through the closet, she forgets everything.
Gracie suspects Jack and his identical twin know something about her reoccurring déjà vu and the cryptic notes, but she’s not sure which brother she can confide in. She has several reasons not to trust either, and even more cause to believe one of them holds the answer she needs to save herself from insanity. Unfortunately, there seems no definite way to tell them apart.
A second death on the circus lot makes one thing clear: if Gracie can’t figure out the mystery of the notes, her next venue might be the afterlife.