Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Penelope and The Birthday Curse.

This is the third novel I have written and the first one that I placed with a literary agent.  But back then it was The Christmas Curse.  It differed from the current version in two aspects.  Penelope was the only young adult in it, and of course it centered on Christmas.   I learned some valuable lessons.  First, novels for Young Adults should have young adults.  Second, don't write a story around a holiday.  The problem was no one was interested in Christmas until it was upon us and then it was too late because they were looking for stuff for next year. 

So I rewrote the story into The Birthday Curse.  It was actually an option I had planned when first writing but somehow got off on the holiday path instead.  I reworked characters and added three more kids.  Ruthie the fourteen year old fortuneteller. Wendell the twelve year old bookworm turned sidekick.  And Orson a nine year old terror.

Here is a cut from the book.


“Has anyone seen my son Orson?” A woman with a pony tail poking from the top of her head and too much lipstick shouted. “I can’t find him.”

“Jeanette, how nice of you to join us.” Mother glanced up the stairway and raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure your son is exploring the Manor.”

When the Biscuits had arrived earlier, Orson said nothing and only leered at Penelope, like a wolf stares at a rabbit. She glanced out a window. “Maybe he wandered outside into the freezing cold.”

“Dean,” she said to the man standing behind her, “say something.”

Her husband was a slim man with ferret like features. He stared down at his feet. “It’s snowing outside, too.”

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