Rebecca Thorne (fornwalt on QT) has signed with agent Kaitlyn Johnson of Belcastro Agency.
My novel is called HARBINGER. It's about a girl named Kyra who loses her leg in a dragon attack, and then sets her sights on joining the Huntresses—warriors with solar-powered wings and a taste for dragon blood. She's desperate to regain her mobility with their wings, but must overcome bullying, intense physical training, and doubts of her own self-worth before she can earn them.
I'm a flight attendant, and was inspired to write about Kyra because of a little girl I had on the plane who'd lost a leg. She was so feisty and determined, and I was in awe of her. I wanted to present a character that reminded teenagers it is possible to overcome intense setbacks and achieve your dreams!
I spent about 6 weeks actually writing the book. I plotted it out in April 2016, tried a few (bad) versions in July 2016, and then took a couple months off. In November 2016, during National Novel Writing Month, I put my nose to the grindstone and wrote what became my real first draft. It was a MG back then, and I spent the next four months querying a truly bad version of that MG. DON'T QUERY BEFORE YOU'RE READY, my god. >.>
I changed HARBINGER from MG to YA in April, then by some miracle secured a winning spot in the #RevPit contest. My editor was also disabled, and helped me get my book in real, fighting shape. I queried again in June, and secured my agent in July 2017!
Nope. I mean, I took one creative writing class in college, it but was a joke. All of my writing knowledge comes from reference books (check out Jeff Gerke's "First 50 Pages". Omg, amazing), writers conferences, and online platforms like Twitter and AgentQuery. And, of course, the millions of words I've already written, coupled with the multitude of YA books I read in my spare time!!
You don't need a fancy degree. You just need an unwavering desire to succeed, no matter how long it takes.
I can write 70,000 words in a month. During those days, absolutely. I get up early, head to the local coffee shop with a few of my writer friends, and get to it. Then I break for dinner, and go back to writing from 7pm to midnight or so. Every day I'm off work, that's my routine. When I'm at work, I steal snatches of writing time.
And then I take a few months off, where I might not write at all. 😉 And that's okay too!
I sent out my first query back in December 2016, after interest in a Twitter pitch contest. The book was NOT ready to query, but after getting my first ever full request in January 2017, I panicked and queried about 40 more agents. Nothing came of those requests, and I had to find all new agents to query with the YA version in June. It was annoying. XD
Overall, though, I've queried 3 books in 3 years. That said, I didn't get a full request until HARBINGER.
Kyra Mavros was thirteen years old when she "lost her foot," which is a polite way of saying that a dragon ripped it off and swallowed it whole.
Two years later, she's sick and tired of the pitying glances. Determined to regain her mobility and protect others from a similar fate, Kyra sets her sights on joining the Huntresses: deadly warriors equipped with solar-powered wings and a taste for dragon blood. After all, you don't need both feet to fly...or hunt.
When another dragon devastates her hometown of Pythila, Kyra ignores the safety brochures that insist humans without wings should avoid the leathery beasts at all costs. She leaps into the fight and, with her quick wit and a little luck, sends the dragons packing. Impressed, the Huntresses whisk her to the floating city of Harbinger, where young nestlings must survive a grueling year of boot camp to earn their wings. But not everyone thinks Kyra deserves to be there, and they aren't above sabotage to get her expelled. Eventually, even Kyra begins to question whether or not she could repeat the victory in her hometown.
To make matters worse, the dragon from Pythila has nursed its wounds and is back for revenge. When the beast kidnaps her brother, Kyra must rise above her classmates' prejudice—and her own self-doubts—to rescue him...even if it means sacrificing her wings in the process.
HARBINGER is a young adult fantasy complete at 90,000 words, and has series potential. It was the recent winner of the #RevPit contest on Twitter, and has been professionally edited for an online showcase. My editor is also disabled, and has performed a thorough sensitivity read on the manuscript.
I am an associate member of SCBWI. I have also participated in National Novel Writing Month for nine consecutive years.
Thank you for your time and consideration.