Thursday, June 7, 2018

QK Agent Round 8: Swimming With the Amoebas, YA Horror


Entry Nickname: Swimming with the Amoebas

Word Count: 63K

Genre: YA Horror


Sixteen-year-old Maxine Spielman has no boobs, a fact which may ultimately save her life.

On the first night of summer, wearing a borrowed sundress and bra stuffed with toilet paper, Maxine and her friends break into Splash, the new waterpark scheduled to open in just two days. Unable to get her manufactured cleavage wet, Maxine retreats to the locker room as the others enjoy the water. It’s here that Maxine discovers the lifeless body of a park employee. He’s sitting upright against the newly painted lockers in a puddle of his own blood. When she steps closer, he lunges at her, crying for help.

The next day her friends are dead, killed with the same lethal quickness as others in their small community. The doctors say it’s meningitis, but Maxine isn’t so sure. She knows all of those infected had one thing in common: contact with the water at Splash.

Maxine concocts an elaborate scheme, tricking the head of the water department to tell her the truth - Splash is using water from the contaminated Pearl River, and that the river is a breeding ground for Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba.

Ridiculed by the police, Maxine confides in her cute neighbor, Nathan, and tries to convince him not to take his kid sister to Splash on Opening Day. But Nathan, too, quickly dismisses her warnings as paranoia.

To save her town and the boy she’s fallen for, Maxine must shut down Splash. And she only has twenty-four hours to do it.

Complete at 63,000 words, SPLASH is a YA horror novel that will appeal to fans of Jonathan Maberry and Amy Lukavics. As a trained microbiologist, member of the Horror Writers Association, and SCBWI, I wrote this novel with plausible details and a diverse cast in a fictionalized version of Flint, Michigan, my hometown.

First Page

Whoever came up with the high school end of year survey should be shot. Buried. Dug up and shot again. I mean, you make it through the whole year without suffering any permanent damage to your social standing and WHAM, out comes this survey so you know exactly where you rank at the start of summer. To make matters worse, it has the exact same question about me as last year.

Will Maxine Spielman get boobs this summer?

I pretend to stretch so I can watch the ruffles puff out on my cami. It's the fancy one with the extra ruffles right where it counts. But they don't move much despite my best efforts. Defeated, I lean back on my stool to minimize any skin contact with the gross black surface of the lab bench and turn my attention to Mr. Johnson.

Who needs boobs anyway?

"Come on folks," Mr. Johnson says and raises his arms for quiet. Two large pit stains in the shape of crescent moons darken his shirt. "I know it's the end of the year, but we can't get through sophomore biology without at least one class on the higher vertebrates. Now Aiden, give me one of the defining characteristics of mammals. What produced the milk you had on your cereal this morning?"

"A cow?"

"Yes, Aiden, very funny. But what specifically do cows have that, say, a salamander does not?"

"A mammary gland," he groans.

"That's right! Mammals have mammary glands."



  1. I would love to see more of this!

    Authors can submit their query and pages to me through the form at this link: :)

  2. I don't know if my original ask went through so checking. Please don't post twice but I'd love to see more. Please send pages as a MS word attachment to mgya@lkgagency.comThank you.

  3. I'm intrigued! I loved to see the first 3 chapters. Please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/1067. Thank you!