Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 11: GG: Found Family, YA Contemporary

Title: EXP

Entry Nickname: GG: Found Family

Word count: 52K

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary (#OwnVoices)


Query


Fourteen-year-old Sai is one of the highest-ranked gamers on the Shadows of Shinobi circuit…but he can't go out in public without having a meltdown.

As a teenager with Autism, Sai battles crippling anxiety and underdeveloped social skills. But when Team Komodo asks him to become the reserve player on their semi-professional eSports team, those social skills are put to the test as he turns online acquaintances into real-life friends.

Thankfully, each member of Team Komodo is just as much of a fringe-dweller as Sai. They include a transgender jack-of-all-trades, a dating sim addict, a hyperactive community college dropout, a fake psychic and a thorny military reject. To earn his keep, Sai begins analyzing the team’s competition to increase their chances of winning. But as the team climbs to higher divisions, they’ll have to face stronger opponents.

Every member of the team knows that they can't afford to let their internal struggles get in the way of victory as they brave a grueling series of tournaments. If they win, Sai and his teammates inch closer to breaking into the pro scene. If they lose, it’s back to social isolation and working dead end jobs. The team will have to beat both their opponents and neuroses in order to keep the family together and make their dreams a reality.

EXP is a Contemporary YA novel complete at 52,000 words. This “found family story in an eSports setting” features neurodiverse characters, LGBTQ+ characters, as well as characters of color and is #OwnVoices for all three categories.

I am an Autistic transgender person of color wishing to cultivate accurate representation of my neurotype in fiction. I have experience as a high school English teacher and I have worked closely with my target audience. I am also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


First Page


A dim, somber candle wavered in the summer heat, illuminating all Psy needed to know about his new employer. The low-level crime lord in his dirty brown robe gave an almost toothless yellow grin that looked orange by the light of the candle. The wood on the sliding doors rotted with mildew. Psy could smell the high definition of the effect. In this new expansion, Meiji truly outdid itself with adding in more sensory details to gameplay. It was hard to believe that this alternate version of Tokugawa Japan was constructed from ones and zeroes.

Psy fingered the sickle and chain holstered at his hip that his real self had tied to hot keys. In the world of SoS, he was a competent ninja and master poison maker. For a few hours, he could forget about the cold oatmeal and empty friends list he had waiting for him in the real world.

The candlelight reflected on the faces of Psy’s randomized teammates, the ones who would be completing this NPC slimeball’s mission for him. In addition to a Sumo and Assassin, there was a master and apprentice Monk duo. Psy narrowed his eyes as he thought of all of the times the master could legally switch out with the apprentice in order to train him. Did they have to keep summoning and sealing the same spirit over and over? He turned up his nose as the greenest envy washed over him when he imagined the apprentice learning everything his master knew while he was all alone.

1 comment:

  1. Wild Card! I'm a bit of a gamer myself and everything you say here sounds amazing and something that needs to be on shelves. Please send a query, synopsis and pages to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com. I look forward to reading!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

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