Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

SvS 8: Having It All – YA Historical February 22, 2016

Filed under: contest,Literary Agent,Publishing — chasingthecrazies @ 5:54 am
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Genre: YA Historical

Word Count: 87,000 words




Would my Main Character use hot or cold to battle her biggest obstacle?



Cold, definitely. Cold means blizzards and ice storms and polar vortex winds. Cold means time spent in libraries and bookstores, exploring floor-to-ceiling shelves crammed with knowledge and enlightenment. Cold means fireplaces and cozy reading nooks and hours upon hours devoted to scholarship.



Cold means staying indoors.



Cold relieves ongoing pressure from Dad, invitations to kayak, hike, swim, bike, run. It minimizes Mom’s nagging, repeated calls to “get some fresh air.”



It is no accident the world’s most prominent universities – our most respected sites of scholastic excellence – are located in cold climates.


Cold breeds focus.



It will safeguard my academic success.







Sixteen-year-old calculus prodigy Shayna Morgan has her sights set on MIT, but in 1986, the Math Department admitted a grand total of three girls. When she applies next year, Shayna wants to be one of them.



Her plan is simple: study. All of the time. She shuns parties, dating, Duran Duran concerts, the mall, friendships, and sometimes, basic hygiene. The plan works—until her family moves to California. There, Shayna meets home-schooled neighbor Heather “Johnson,” who turns out to be Heather La Mére, a glamorous teen celebrity in hiding. The two form an unlikely bond as Heather introduces Shayna to a world beyond the Pythagorean theorem, and Shayna offers Heather a vicarious glimpse into high school life.



When paparazzi blow Heather’s cover, she confesses her dream: she wants to attend public high school, and she needs Shayna’s help. But Shayna’s focused on solving a near-impossible math proof for her MIT application, the Mandelbrot Set. And with paparazzi still swarming, she can’t afford to earn a national reputation as a cover girl’s friend. With the solution to the proof just out of reach, Shayna must decide: should she focus on her dream—and retreat back into a world of derivatives and the quadratic formula—or fight for the friend who brought balance into her life?



Set in pre-TMZ 1987, HAVING IT ALL will appeal to young adult fans of stories featuring strong female friendships, like SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson and OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord.




First 250 words:



I’d been a California resident for roughly three minutes when the most famous teenager in America smiled and waved at me.



At me. Shayna Morgan.



From Wisconsin.



I didn’t recognize her, of course. Not because of her Jackie O sunglasses or that ridiculous baseball cap. And no, not because I was too busy admiring my brand new apartment complex.



Because I wasn’t.



No, I failed to recognize television star Heather La Mére because I was the first-ever sophomore elected captain of the Madison High School Mathlete team, two-time state champion in Number Theory, silver medal winner in Algebraic Expression, and the proud owner of three graphing calculators, two Isaac Newton biographies, and one antique, stainless-steel protractor.



I didn’t exactly spend my days reading Tiger Beat magazine. If I did, I might have recognized the girl Teen People rated “Third Cutest, 1986.” Or I might have suspected the baggy, acid-washed overalls and the ratty Culture Club t-shirt were very deliberately masking a lean, toned figure. I might have realized her shoes —blindingly white, canvas Keds —were just a part of the disguise.



But these details failed to trigger even the slightest suspicion. Until that moment, my social circle included Math Team members and the founder of the Madison High Astro-Physics Club. To put it mildly, no sane person would ever predict a cover model would reach out to me.



But she did.



To my absolute horror, she did.



9 Responses to “SvS 8: Having It All – YA Historical”

  1. I see the light! (and feel the warmth). I would love to take a look at the full manuscript. Please feel free to send it along to as a word attachment. Please put the query in the email and Sun vs Snow in the subject line. Thanks!

  2. Rena Rossner Says:

    Sounds funny and sunny! First 50 pages to rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com please!

  3. Penelope Burns Says:

    I’d love to read this in the shining sun! Can you send the full manuscript to penelope.gsliterary at gmail? Please put “Sun vs. Snow” in the subject line. Thanks so much!

  4. Even though I trained to be a musician and can only count to four, I want to see more of this! Send 50 pages to carlie @ ckwebber .com with the subject line Sun Vs. Snow request: TITLE OF WORK. Thanks!

  5. Oh, California in the summer… I’d love to read more! Please send the first 50 pages (rounded to the nearest chapter’s end) along with query and synopsis to with SunvSnow in the subject.

  6. I always love a good female friendship story! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc attachment to patricia[at]marsallyonliteraryagency[dot]com, and make sure to put “Sun vs. Snow Request” in the subject line. Thanks so much!

  7. Victoria Lowes Says:

    I love, love, love this and I’m dying to read more. Can you please send the full MS to lowesqueries [at] thebentagency [dot] com?

  8. Don’t let the sun set before you send me the first 100 pages and a synopsis to!

  9. klcarleton Says:

    I’m loving the sunny 1980s Cali setting as much as this mathlete’s dedication! Please send the first fifty pages, along with a detailed synopsis, to kirsten [at] prospectagency [dot] com. Look forward to reading more!

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