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Monday, August 27, 2012

QueryCon #11--Let My Life Be Proof

Genre: Contemporary YA novel
Name: Connie Michael 

LET MY LIFE BE PROOF is a 60,000 word Contemporary YA novel.  At nineteen, prodigy Emme Sawyer is the youngest girl to graduate from the University of Washington with a medical degree, an honor she’s achieved by giving up the carefree days of high school.  Soon she discovers that being a grown up is a giant bore.  Seeking adventure Emme heads for the Navy. 

Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan, Emme’s mobile hospital is bombed. With a reputation for overlooking regulations, Emme jumps at the chance to be closer to the action and joins up with a Marine unit in need of a medic.  Able to convince the C.O. she’s a medic, not a surgeon; she is placed under the protection of a former Special Ops sharp shooter and joins the team.  With the front lines blurred, Emme accompanies the unit on a mission into the poppy fields of Marjah.

When the bullets start to fly Emme learns that medical school doesn’t prepare you for war and being a girl doesn’t make getting killed off limits. Emme struggles against the cultural biases of a foreign land and the limitations her unit is put under while trying to push the Taliban out.  After her guard is killed by an IED, Emme shuts off her emotions—until her commanding officer, Raven takes the job of looking after her, arousing feelings she doesn’t want and isn’t supposed to have.  As Raven begins to reciprocate Emme realizes she missed out on a lot more than classes when she skipped high school. When Emme sustains life threatening injuries in an IED attack, and is shipped home, her life begins to crumble.  Faced with the nightmares of her deployment and unresolved feelings for Raven, Emme must choose to move forward in a world she no longer feels a part of or figure out how to get back to the men she left behind, risking never being with the man she has begun to fall for.

I am a member of YALITCHAT.org and volunteer in the Submission Mailbox.  Thank you for your consideration.


Unknown said...

Hi, Connie. I feel like I keep bumping into friends here. :-)

This sounds interesting. Contemporaries are realling hitting the market right now. I think I have an editor who might be interested in this.

Nancy Bell said...

The topic is certainly contemporary and will find a market in the US, I do have a couple of concerns. The second sentence in the first paragraph is a huge run-on sentence, which makes me wonder if the manuscript is also peppered with them. The last paragraph is too wordy and needs tightening. My other concern is the accuracy of the military plot. How hard (or impossible) would it be to convince a CO that she was a medic and not a surgeon, given the computer age and the high level of security needed in the theater of war. Would a medic be assigned a personal guard? Those would be questions I would ask the author. That being said, I would probably ask to see the full manuscript based on the subject matter.

Unknown said...

Hi Connie,

This plot is interesting, and we are looking for strong contemporaries with romantic elements, so based on your query, I would request the full manuscript. I did have a red flag go up about some issues of believability. I'd be looking to see that you did good research on the feasibility of a 19 year old becoming a surgeon, plus I'd want to see a very solid reason for her giving up that position and joining the military.


Connie said...

My apologies for the run on in the query. I do not believe my manuscript is peepered with them, I think it is more the challenge of the query. The medic vs surgeon line of the story has been revised and is not really a big part of the story any longer. I did quiet a bit of research on this story and learned that all medics are assigned a personal guard so that they do not have to worry about getting shot while doing their job. In the past medics wore large crosses on their helmets and jackets in order to designate who they were and the rules of engagement pretty much made them off limits. However in the changing face of war, against a country that does not follow the rules, the white cross has become more of a target and now they are dressed as other soldiers and assigned a guard.
I would be happy to send a manuscript if you would like.
Thank you for your comments.

Connie said...

Thank you for your comments. I did indeed do some research on the youngest student to graduate from medical school and the main character is actually completing her residency while in the Navy. She is based on the character of Doogie Houser from the 80's television show. Later in the story she does reference the fact that she missed out on high school and the traditional collge life and is looking for some excitment and something other that runny noses and broken arms. Of course that is kind of the premise of the story...that she got a lot more than she bargained for. The setting and the events of the story are based on an actual mission. I would be happy to discuss my book further with you as well as as send a full manuscript if you would like. Thank you again for your comments.

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abuckley23 said...

Hi Connie,

The query is good and it's totally a personal preference on my part to stay away from contemporary work but it definitely has potential. I did question the believabilty of her age and situation, I got a bit of a Doogie Howser kind of vibe.