GUTGAA Pitch Polish Blog Hop

Thank you to Deana Barnhart for organizing the Gearing Up To Get An Agent Blogfest. Check out her site for all the details.

Today is the pitch polish blog hop for those who did not get into the official one posted on Deana’s blog. I didn’t even submit mine because I didn’t have my revised edition ready, so I thought I’d try the blog hop instead.

Here is my entry.
Title: The Proper Way to Say Goodbye
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 72,000 words


Only one person knew Chloe was gay, and his love and support disappeared when he hung himself.

Chloe starts her freshman year of college with two big secrets. She hides her sexuality, afraid it may affect her friendships and jeopardize her mother’s job, and tells nobody of her brother Brock’s suicide.

She is stunned to learn her crush, and teaching assistant Sasha, was friends with Brock. As their relationship deepens, Sasha reveals the reason behind Brock’s suicide, that he was sexually abused as a child. Chloe refuses to believe it, until she reads Brock’s journals. But even they don’t explain what pushed him over the edge, and she continues the search for the answer why.

After finding Brock’s last journal, she is consumed with his plan to take revenge on his molester. But Chloe’s obsession comes at a cost, and she might have to give up everything she’s ever wanted—her girlfriend, her best friend, and her sanity—in order to discover Brock’s final secret.

1st 150 words

The biggest thing I had in common with my older brother Brock was that we both liked girls. And he often reminded me of that fact. His whispers still invaded my mind two months after he committed suicide. It wasn’t really Brock talking. I didn’t need a therapist to tell me that, but sometimes his words comforted me. Other times they annoyed me.

I slouched in my chair during Freshman Composition, my first semester of college. I couldn’t take my eyes off Sasha. Her long blonde hair. The way her red lips moved. Her deep, sexy voice.

Sasha… Sasha… Sasha…

I’d do her, Brock said in my head. A surprise considering he preferred silly party girls over professional educated ones.

Shut up, I silenced him, the blush creeping into my face. Good thing she was my teacher, and I had to watch her. What would she do if she could hear my thoughts?

So that’s it. I’d appreciate any comments you may have. And here are the other blog hop participants.

7 Responses

  1. I love your opening hook on your query. (You already know I love this premise!) I also love your first 150…great voice and you establish conflict right away. I wonder if the third paragraph of your query could be strengthened a bit? That being said, I can’t figure out how! Ha! I feel like the first few sentences of your query are so strong. But the sentence leading into that third paragraph could perhaps pack a bit more punch? Vague, I know. I look forward to following your progress with this Suzi!

  2. Rachel Schieffelbein

    I seriously love this, Suzi. Both the first line of the query and the novel are great! I totallly want to know what his last secret is and why she may have to give up everything. In other words, I’d read more!
    Well done!

  3. The opening line is stark and hopeless. It sets the tone for a YA contemporary that will be a rough ride. It’s fitting. Seems like your MC has a lot of challenges to overcome.

    The query looks great. I would add in the fact that Brock’s voice guides her and snarks with her. It’s a unique quirk and might make your manuscript stand out more.

    Kudos for fiction starring a gay main character. Seems like it’s going to be very heavy, but I’m intrigued by what’s going to happen to Chloe as she embarks on this path for revenge.

    –Slightly off topic, how did you get the linky list to work on wordpress?? Is it a benefit of a paid account or..?

  4. I agree — opening line of both the query and 150 words are powerful. Love your voice. But I’m thinking it’s older than YA — what is it called? New Adult, or something, which has nothing to do with how you wrote your query.

  5. I’ve already commented about the query before, but… Oh my gosh – your first 150 words are fabulous! I love the first line, and the flow is excellent. The only (extremely nitpicky) thing is if “the blush crept into my face” might be a pov issue? I only ask because to me blush is a visual cue. It easily could be changed to “a warm flush crept into my face” because that is something she can feel. Absolutely excellent, though!

  6. I was going to point out what Lara mentioned. Chloe can’t see herself blushing.
    Although this is not my type of genre, the writing is excellent.

    Hello through GUTGAA. I’ve been trying to get around and visit everyone who signed up for the meet and greet and the pitch polish blog hop, but there are so many it may take all month. Anyway, good luck this month.

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