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Ask Daphne! About My Query XXVII

valentine-patent-bow-pumpValentino pumps (perfect for Valentine’s Day, so long as it’s not too cold and/or snowing) for A.L.S., who’s sharing her query with us today. The usual rules apply: be constructive, use good manners, remember to wash your hands and face, and bring enough to share with the whole class. Ready?

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

Sometimes there’s nothing scarier than the truth.

Sixteen-year-old Thia Tromboli is a perfectionist who has an obsession with Valentine’s Day. Because it’s the day her father left their family four years ago, Thia has a compulsion to make every Valentine’s Day better than the last.

But this Valentine’s Day, everything starts out wrong and only gets worse. It begins with a rumor circulating the school hallways that Thia’s mom was seen kissing a married man after a PTA meeting. What makes it more complex is that the married man in question is the father of the boy Thia has a crush on, the boy she’s determined to land as a boyfriend. Today.

She has less than twenty-four hours to get to the truth behind the rumor before Valentine’s Day is over and all her well-laid plans are ruined. As she pieces the facts together and has to face the truth about her mother and the men in her mother’s life, she uncovers a sinister side to one of her mother’s admirers. Once the secret is out, Thia only has two choices: run or die.

V-Day is a 58,000-word YA contemporary novel.

I graduated with a BA in Writing (emphasis on Children’s Literature) with a minor in Publishing and Printing Arts. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since 2006.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

A. L. S.

Actually, this is pretty strong! I like where it’s going and what it tells me about the story — the only thing I’m uncertain about is the detour into a darker plot that comes with Thia’s discovery of “a sinister side to one of her mother’s admirers.” I feel like this lines takes the query from a description of a cute, funny YA novel to more of a thriller — which can be fine, if that’s what this is, but maybe it can be seeded sooner.

Maybe I just have a soft spot for Valentine’s Day stories. What do you guys think? What would you change or improve?

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