Tori Kelley (torikelley on QT) has signed with agent Tina Schwartz of The Purcell Agency, LLC.
HEADBANGER is about a girl who is sexually assaulted, and can’t get help from the police because her parents are wanted criminals. It's a realistic YA, along the lines of HEIST SOCIETY meets SPEAK, but in the tone of TRUST ME I'M LYING, complete at 86,000 words.
As a survivor myself, I grew up in a military household with a bipolar mom and a disconnected dad, nobody was allowed to get help. Moving around aided us in hiding our secrets. I hope by sharing them in a fictional format, others will be encouraged to get help, rather than suffer alone as I did.
Seventeen-year-old Elton Morelli never thought her first job would be a home invasion. With thieving con artists for parents, Elton’s never been able to settle down long enough to have the things she dreams of like friends and an education. But as her senior year winds down, the chance for a normal life seems even farther away. Not that she really knows anything about normal, with her inconvenient panic attacks and chronic headbanging, Elton is mostly just trying to survive. When her mother pushes her to enter the Miss Palm Tree pageant for the prizes, Elton takes the opportunity to snag a college scholarship, opening the doors of friendship, and a glimpse at love with a nice boy. Things are finally looking up, until she’s sexually assaulted, and can’t call the police. To make matters worse, her parents have decided that the nice boy’s family is their next mark. Elton must decide whether to stay loyal to a family that uses her, or to break free, and build the life she’s never known she deserved.
I earned a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and opened Central Florida Mental Health because I, like Elton, needed a more stable life in order to heal from PTSD. I am an active member of SCBWI, attending conferences, the Osceola Writer’s League critique group, a volunteer librarian, and a mentee of award-winning author, Joyce Sweeney. My Dear Abby-style advice column, Talking with Tori, was published in the South Lake Press, every week for five years. My current work-in-progress is THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS about a bad-ass in denial of her illness.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you,