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Ask Daphne! About My Query XXIX

Rubber-Rain-BootsI’m going to get caught up this weekend, I promise. And next weekend, if the good lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise (but if it does, try these boots!), I’ll have scheduled posts for the two days I’ll still be in New York and traveling, and will be back to normal on Wednesday. Until then, this is a special EVEN MORE audience participation edition of About My Query. You guys get to read it first and add your thoughts, and then I will add my thoughts for improvement in the comments. Ready? Go!

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

We are seeking representation for our 95,000-word contemporary coming-of-age story, Newbie.

At Gordonstoun, the school famed for educating HRH Prince Charles and Tomb Raider Lara Croft, the Headmaster always tells his newest charges, “We don’t expect you to be good at everything, although one thing would be nice.” But when fourteen-year-old American Jack Gordon arrives at the prestigious Scottish boarding school founded on the ancient estate of his eccentric ancestors, he can’t imagine what that one thing might be. Turns out Jack has two gifts. He has a knack for finding the perfect song for every occasion: it’s as if his iPod is playing the soundtrack to his life. And he can see through the b-s of his classmates, his teachers, and everything else in the little bubble of entitlement that is Gordonstoun. That’s right, Jack Gordon sees everything clearly, except himself of course.

And who could blame him. With an older sister who’s the leader of the popular girls posse, the Parkside Piranhas, and a father who was a Gordonstoun athlete and scholar, Jack arrives at the school carrying more baggage than a hotel bell hop. At 4 feet 11 inches tall and 100 pounds, Jack has no hope of making his mark through sports. As for scholarship, Jack can barely spell rugby (much less play it). Fortunately though, at 21 seasons, 444 episodes and counting, everything Jack needs to know in school can be learned from watching America’s favorite cartoon family, The Simpsons. That’s good news for Jack as he has no intention of letting academics get in the way of his all-consuming quest to get his jaw-droppingly hot classmate Lucy to fall in love with him, or at least notice that he’s alive. If that isn’t enough for one self-proclaimed gamer and slacker to deal with, Jack’s been assigned to the Recycling Committee, which is a cover for a student-run alcohol distribution ring. The Headmaster has just discovered their base of operations and, while its no Armageddon, it may be the end for Jack. Jack needs to get his world under control or he’s going to be saying Goodbye to You and to Gordonstoun School faster than you can say haggis.

Newbie is the work of K.B. and J.B.. Nineteen-year-old K., a native New Yorker and former Gordonstoun Head Girl, is currently earning her B.A. in English Literature and Drama from the University of Bristol. J. is the mother of K. and her three siblings, all boarding school survivors. J. practiced law in Manhattan for over a decade. She splits her time between New York and Scotland where she has studied with Cynthia Rogerson, director of the Arvon Foundation center at Moniack Mhor, belongs to an Inverness-based writers’ group and is a founding member of the Highland Literary Salon.

Fledgling, the second book in the planned series, is already in the works.

We appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

K.B. and J.B.

I’ll be watching!

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