Siobhan Manrique (smanrique on QT) has signed with agent Em Lysaght of Ladderbird Literary Agency.
Dear Ms. Lysaght,
I am reaching out to you due to your interest in middle grade fiction with a focus on friendship and elements of horror. Nightmare Nina is a chilling 36,000-word upper middle grade suspense novel featuring the intersection of sibling dynamics and the Southwestern supernatural.
After a year of mental health struggles that she'd rather not talk about, twelve-year-old Nina tries to reconnect with her perfect fifteen-year-old sister, Luna. In the secrecy of a remote Arizona campsite, the sisters embark on a trip with their parents, hoping to restore a sense of peace and normalcy in their family.
The sisters' every attempt to reconnect is plagued with fear when the ghost stories their father recites at the campfire seem to take on a life of their own. Nina's beloved teddy bear vanishes overnight. Hikes in the forest unearth a strange symbol. Swims at the lake offer a glimpse at shadowy strangers. Right when Nina thought she could have a fresh start and not be the freak for once, she finds herself face-to-face with the embodiment of that obnoxious moniker her classmates and sister love to lob at her: Nightmare Nina. And although she stopped caring about herself long ago, this time Luna is right beside her in the dark. The sister who previously scorned her could be her only hope. But in skinwalker territory, the lack of trust between the sisters could cost them their lives—and their bodies.
This novel follows a conflicted sister relationship as in Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones and deals with wicked doppelgangers as in Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The potential audience would be older middle grade and young adult readers. This narrative would also appeal to readers interested in family and sibling relationships in the contexts of coming-of-age and mental health issues.
I am a Venezuelan-Irish middle school English teacher in rural Arizona. Having grown up in the Navajo Nation, I have an affinity for tribal folklore. I earned my B.A. in English and Certificate in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. My poetry, nonfiction, and short fiction have appeared in Talking Writing, Full House Literary Magazine, Two Sisters Writing and Publishing, and others. My latest short story is forthcoming in Button Eye Review.
The first three chapters are provided below. I appreciate any time and attention my submission receives.