Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #29: TOUCH

YA paranormal romance
90,000 words


Sixteen-year-old Tessa Chase knows way too much about what others are feeling—an unfortunate side effect of being an Empath.

It’s been five years since Lily’s suicide and Tessa must deal with the ramifications of being the crazy girl’s sister. She would give anything to be normal. Tessa is sure she’s insane when she can suddenly see people that no one else seems to notice. And everyone else does too when they witness her talking to herself one too many times.

After a forced stint in 72-hour lockup, Tessa decides it might be safer to take refuge with the invisible beings that happen to be angels. At least they don’t stare at her like she’s about to crack. John, the angel whose ethereal appearance, sharp tongue, and touch sends her spinning, leads her on a fascinating journey of discovery and of ways to harness her ability. Tessa learns that she is capable of more than she can even imagine and some good may come of being the town outcast.

First 150 Words:

My mother stared at me from her tent with her hands on her hips. She had that pucker between her brows again, the one that showed up more and more often when she looked at me.   I thumbed at my long sleeves, restless and irritated, with arms folded across my chest, as if that could possibly shield any of what I felt.

My mom’s voice came like a hammer breaking glass. “Tessa, what are you doing over there?” She was looking at me with that same crazed expression she wore in the picture on her website. Like she was afraid that if she blinked she would miss something important. I didn’t like that look because even though it appeared that she could actually see me, or at least understand me, she couldn’t. Through her artistic eyes, she saw what she wanted to see: her plain daughter with the dishwater hair and hazel eyes that weren’t remarkable to anyone.


  1. I really like the Empath angle and the familial relationships you've established here; Tessa seems like a compeling character. You might want to more clearly establish the stakes in the query, and, just a tiny grammatical thing: "Tessa is sure she’s insane when she can suddenly see people that no one else seems to notice. And everyone else does too " Should be "everyone thinks so too" or something to that effect. I do like this though! Good luck!

  2. PITCH: Very well written, but it doesn’t give me a sense of the stakes or of Tessa’s goals. What is she after, other than normalcy?
    FIRST 150: This is also well-written, with the great descriptions and telling signs about the mother. However, it seems to be all about the mother, and I’d like more weight placed on the main character. She’s restless and irritated, but why, exactly? Where are they? Is their tent in the woods, the desert? I think more could be done here to pull me into the story.