Michael Landweber (mikeland on QT) has signed with agent Tricia Davey of Davey Literary & Media.
Forty-year-old Ben Arnold stands in front of a familiar refrigerator staring at a picture he drew when he was a boy. This is the kitchen of his childhood home – a place he hasn’t been for nearly two decades. A moment earlier, he was dying in a New York City hospital room alone, hopped up on a cocktail of pain medication and anti-anxiety drugs. In the kitchen, Ben no longer feels sick. Quite the opposite – he feels healthy and light, as if the concrete in his bones has been replaced by helium. But it is not until his mother, who he also hasn’t seen in twenty years, picks him up effortlessly that he realizes that his consciousness has been transported from his failing adult body and deposited back into his seven-year-old self. Ben tries to talk, but he can’t find a voice. He tries to move, but he does not control this body. Ben’s consciousness is merely a hitchhiker, riding shotgun to Binky, as Ben was known as a child. And Binky wants Ben to leave. Now.
Ben would love to escape, but he can’t. When he discovers it is June 6, 1977, he knows why. It is three days before his seventeen-year-old sister, Sara, was raped by a gang of classmates. Horrified, Ben knows he must warn Sara and stop the crime that destroyed his family. The only way to do that is to convince Binky to trust the voice inside his head – easier said than done, given that Binky doesn’t seem to like Ben much. But, even if Ben manages to win over his younger self, is anyone going to believe a seven-year-old who claims to see the future?
"We" (70,000 words) is a literary novel with a Twilight Zone twist that combines elements of The Lovely Bones and Being John Malkovich. As he struggles to co-exist with his immature and naive younger self, Ben strives to simultaneously redeem his past and alter the future, discovering quite literally how difficult it is for our adult selves to come to grips with our childhoods.
My stories have appeared in Fourteen Hills, Fugue, Beloit Fiction Journal, American Literary Review and The MacGuffin, and online at Pindeldyboz and Barrelhouse. I am an Associate Editor at the Potomac Review and the Associate Director of the Partnership for a Secure America.
Per your guidelines, I have also included the first three chapters of the novel below. Thank you for taking the time to review my query. I look forward to hearing from you.