RSS Feed

The Writer’s Voice #48

May 1, 2013 by Suzi

This is my submission for The Writer’s Voice. Thank you to these wonderful ladies for their hard work: Krista, Cupid, Monica, Brenda, and Kimberly.

Title: The Proper Way to Say Goodbye
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Word Count: 66,000 words
Only one person knew Chloe was gay, and his love and support disappeared when he hung a noose around his neck. And jumped.
Eighteen-year-old Chloe attends the college where her brother Brock spent his final days, hoping to uncover the reason behind his death. His whispers often invade her mind, and she can’t bear to tell anyone how he died. Or that she likes girls.
She soon finds Murphy—a boy who totally gets the wrong idea about their friendship because Chloe refuses to tell him the truth, afraid of losing his support when she needs it the most. And Sasha, her gorgeous young teacher, who reveals Brock was sexually abused as a child. Even after Sasha gives her his journals, Chloe still can’t figure out what pushed him over the edge.
Brock’s plan for revenge against his molester consumes Chloe, and her depression deepens. She pushes away the important people in her life and begins to stalk the one girl who might have the answer: Brock’s former girlfriend who is the daughter of his abuser. 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.
First 250 words:
The biggest thing I had in common with my older brother, Brock, was that we both liked girls. Two months after he killed himself, his whispers still invaded my mind. I didn’t need a therapist to tell me it wasn’t really Brock talking. I wasn’t mental.
Usually his words comforted me, but other times they annoyed me.
Like now.
Each step I took up the stairwell, my nerves grew exponentially. It’s only book club, I repeated.
Cricket’s got a crush, Brock’s voice teased.
I rolled my eyes at his comment and the stupid nickname he used to call me, but he was right. In a few minutes, I’d see her for the first time outside of class.
Beautiful long blonde hair, gorgeous full red lips, and a big chest to match. Perfection in every way. Unfortunately, she was also my Freshman Composition teacher. Teaching assistant technically, so she couldn’t be more than a few years older than me. Not that it mattered.
I could imagine the horror on her face if she found out I liked her. She wouldn’t laugh it off like she did with the guys in class who lusted over her.
A female student—yeah, that’d trip her out.
Nobody knew I was gay. Not here at college. Not at home. Brock took that secret to the grave when the noose snapped his neck.


  1. HI, Suzi,

    I see you have your query…. I like it, and I love the first page.

    Love Chloe’s voice. All the best with your submissions.

    I so enjoy your writing.

  2. Is this something you wrote? I really like it.

  3. Dani says:

    WOW Suzi! This sounds amazing! I’m wishing you luck and hoping you go the distance with this.

  4. Marieke says:

    Oh yes, gay girl MC! This sounds like a heartbreaking but powerful story. Good luck with it!!

  5. Still love this query, Suzi! Best of luck!

  6. Sounds like a powerful story and the writing on the first page really backs that up. Love it!

  7. What a good subject and I imagine tricky to write! Good luck, girlie!!!

  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    This is a great storyline! There need to be more gay protagonists in YA books.

  9. Hannah Scott says:

    I love your protagonist and the arc of the story as well. Best of luck to you. :)

  10. Anne Tedeton says:


    That first sentence.

    Your query broke my heart in one sentence.

    And it’s a brilliant query, too. I can tell from your 250 that this is a book that would break my heart. I NEED IT. Fingers crossed for you!

  11. This is powerful stuff. Love the premise and the first 250 are pretty riveting. Good luck to you!

  12. Kes Trester says:

    Powerful and heart-breaking. So compelling that I want to befriend this girl. Well done.

  13. I love the changes you’ve made since I last read your query and first 250. You are so amazing, and this story is fabulous. I wish you all the best of luck!

  14. Melissa says:

    The last line in your 250 is heartbreaking.

    Great job!

  15. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    The last line of your first 250 gave me chills! I love it! Good luck!

  16. Tali Thorne says:

    Really enjoyed your 250. Best of luck to you!

  17. Very engaging from start to finish. The more LGBTQ stories that see the light of day the better. Sending you good luck vibes for the contest.

  18. Pooja Menon says:

    Hey Suzi,

    My interest is piqued! (Brenda gave me the green light to ask for pages). Would you send me a pitch letter with a one page synopsis and the 1st 50 pages to Looking forward to it.

    Pooja Menon
    Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.