Fall Fiction Fest, VIVA LA VALIANTS, YA Spec Fic

Title: VIVA LA VALIANTS

Genre: YA spec-fic

Word Count: 91,000

How Did You Fall for Writing:  From the moment I could hold a pen I turned the images in my head onto paper. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Writing’s bled into my bones.

Query: 

Dear Agents,

For seventeen-year-old Eliza, being the ordinary, powerless daughter of a superhero dad isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be—especially when he dies at the hands of an ambitious mayor, leaving her alone. After a stint in juvie, Eliza’s bitter depression turns to rage when she returns to a city out of a nightmare. Ever since the power-hungry Mayor Inkman cast out Valiants, the team of heroes like her dad, the city’s been left under his strict command. Even his ugly bronze tower transmits a power-cancelling signal no Valiant can conquer, leaving the city defenceless.

And Eliza won’t stand for it anymore. She recruits a team who, like her, have suffered at Inkman’s hands. Eliza’s determined to take the city back and honour her dad’s memory, even if she has to steal or con her way to do it. But with no super-powers to face Inkman’s cruel inventions, they need more than wits and bravery, and more than the skills of her misfit gang of teen geniuses—they need the Valiants.

If Eliza’s team wants to bring back the heroes and stop Inkman’s rule getting stronger, they must use their own unique—yet very human—gifts and break into the bronze tower before it’s too late. It could be a fool’s game, but with the city on the verge of collapse, there’s only a limited time for Eliza to put aside her fear and stand against Inkman—or be crushed like her dad.

VIVA LA VALIANTS is a diverse novel set in the UK. It’s SIX OF CROWS meets BIG HERO 6 and THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE, with a cast of queer characters. I’m a UK author, delightfully queer myself, and a freelance editor. I was a PitchWars mentee in 2017 with my YA Fantasy novel, where I was mentored by Cat Scully.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

250 WORDS:

Mercia was no longer the city her father died to defend.

Eliza repeated the words as a deluge of rain smothered the car: every time the sliver of hope reared its head she’d choke it back. Nothing but memories remained in the city. Still, as the windscreen wipers squeaked and her guardian, Ian, bent over the steering wheel to navigate their approach to Mercia’s gates, Eliza’s pulse quickened.

The world passed beyond the fog on the windows, and Eliza took in the umbrellas that danced along the pavement. Goodbye, Blackwater, and the rules and regulations of the wayward house. Toodle-oo to the freedom of news, movement, and generally not living under the laws of a glorified idiot.

Good riddance to the place that wasn’t, and never could be, home.

Thunder rolled as Ian muttered about schedules, and timing, and ‘bloody weather’. England definitely didn’t do storms by halves, but Eliza tuned him out, immune. If you weren’t moaning about the weather, were you even British?

“Remember what I told you.” Ian waited to make sure she was listening. “No punching people and taking names.”

Eliza rolled her eyes. It had been one girl, and one punch, and she already knew the bitch’s name. Granted, Eliza ended up breaking the girl’s nose, but it had served her right. Eliza drew in a long breath—counsellors would be proud of her—and exhaled.

“I’ll restrain my fists,” she said.

“Good. Because—and I mean this in the best way possible—I don’t want to see you ever again.”

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