Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

SVS 4: In Darkness We Rise – YA Gothic Horror February 9, 2015

Filed under: Blog,contest — chasingthecrazies @ 5:52 am
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Category/Genre: YA Gothic Horror

Word Count: 62,000



My Main Character would prefer to live in: 


I’d prefer to live in world where women are allowed to attend medical school instead of training at my father’s side to be a surgeon’s assistant. Sun or snow, it doesn’t matter if I have freedom to choose my own fate.






Seventeen-year-old Dilly Rothbart knows her father’s laboratory is off limits, but curiosity drives her to enter his hidden room. There, she discovers body parts in various stages of decomposition, strange whirring machines, and vats filled with putrefying liquids boiling and bubbling.


Horrified and fascinated, she delves into his notes, and discovers his research involves cutting skin samples from corpses to fix her reclusive sister’s burned and scarred face. Often discouraged by Victorian society for her innate curiosity, Dilly begs her father for a chance to assist him in his medical research. Only by helping her sister can she overcome her guilt over her role in her sister’s injuries. He agrees, but begs her to keep his work secret.


Then murdered women begin to appear on the streets of Whitechapel. And when their missing organs turn up in the laboratory, Dilly fears her father is the man the newspapers call Jack-the-Ripper. If she exposes him, her sister will remain scarred forever. But if she doesn’t, more women might die.


IN DARKNESS WE RISE is a YA gothic horror that takes place in 1888 Victorian England during the time of Jack the Ripper. Readers of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel, or The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, will enjoy IN DARKNESS WE RISE.




First 250 words:



It’s my fault she’s a recluse.


A familiar feeling of guilt washes over me.


The changes in my twin sister Deirdre are as tiny as the jagged stitches that run around the edges of the skin sewn onto her right cheek. The right side of her mouth droops more, and there’s a pale milky glaze covering her right eye. Neither Mother, nor Father seem bothered by these changes. The firelight casts shadows across the room and gives her the appearance of a ghoul as she tips her head to let her hair drape. She doesn’t wear her veil tonight but she never does inside the house unless we have visitors.


We never have visitors anymore.


I’m supposed to be reading aloud to Mother, but lose my place several times.  My eyes drift to the hidden laboratory door behind a wall panel, and my desire to find a way in intensifies. Father insists he’s searching for a way to fix Deirdre’s scars but I know it’s more. I’m determined to uncover his secrets.


Father’s lips tremble as he watches Deirdre play a mournful song on the pianoforte. Her sad voice makes my eyes fill with hot tears. They drip on the open page magnifying a drawing of Alice with a bottle in her hand. The words, DRINK ME on the tag stare up at me. I close the book and lay it down next to Mother who dozes on the settee, an almost empty bottle of laudanum clutched in her hand.



11 Responses to “SVS 4: In Darkness We Rise – YA Gothic Horror”

  1. Is it too late to ninja in on this one? I’d love to see the manuscript as an attachment, the query and synopsis in the body of the email. SVS Request in the subject line to
    Can’t wait to see this, thank you!

  2. Laura Says:

    Oh my word, this sounds absolutely wonderful. YA + Gothic horror + Whitechapel? Yes! Please send the first 5 chapters attached in a Word doc, the original query, and subject line with “Sun vs Snow” to

  3. Laura Zats Says:

    Nevermind me. Just a ninja in the sun.

    This is super creepy and just my style! Please send the first 100 pages and a query to laura [at] redsofaliterary [dot] com.


  4. Roseanne Wells Says:

    Sara and I had the same idea–drink with an umbrella! Pass me one of those with the manuscript and a synopsis to Attachments are fine as long as they include SUN VS SNOW in the subject line. Can’t wait!

  5. Peter Knapp Says:

    Sounds as brilliant as the sun. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript attached as a Word doc. Please send to queries [at] parkliterary com with “Peter Knapp” and SUN VS SNOW in the subject. Thanks!

  6. Melissa Jeglinski Says:

    I’m intrigued and buttoning up my coat in anticipation of taking a look. Would love to see the first three chapters and query as Word attachments. Please send to Melissa (dot) Jeglinski (at) knightagency (dot) net. Please remind me that this was a Sun Vs. Snow request. Thanks.

  7. Oo! This query is hot as a summer’s day! Please send the first 100 pages, synopsis and query to chquery (at) mcintoshandotis (dot) com. Please put Sun vs. Snow request in the subject line.

  8. I’d love to stretch out on the beach with more of this. Please send your first 100 pages as a Word document to amanda(at)lmqlit(dot)com.

  9. Sara Megibow Says:

    I need sunglasses! And maybe a drink with an umbrella? 🙂

    This is hot! Please send the first 50 pages plus the query letter to with “SUNVSSNOW” in subject line. Great work! WOW!

  10. Cate Hart Says:

    I absolutely love dark gothic and Jack the Ripper tales. I’d love to see the first 5 chapters. Please send the pages attached as a Word .doc along with your original query and a brief synopsis to Be sure to include “Cate: Sun vs Snow Request” in the subject line. Thanks.

  11. This sounds deliciously creepy! I would love to take a look at the first 50 pages. Please send the pages as a Word doc attachment along with your original query to Be sure to include “Sun vs. Snow Request” in the subject line. Thank you!

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