Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012

So the ABNA 2012 competition is finally open.
I'm entering in the YA section this year, I entered the general fiction section last year with my one and only vampire story. Unfortunately, people are a little bit prejudiced against vampires these days, perhaps that's why I didn't get very far with it. I don't blame them though, there's just so much vampire fiction out there nowadays it can be a little overwhelming.

This is my pitch, it's a fantasy novel called "A Strange Fire"...

Flo has always had problems. Her stammer prevents her speech and her dad’s abuse and drug habit makes her life a living hell. Not to mention she’s sort of psychic.

When her dad decides to ship her off to live with her grandma in the sleepy town of Chesterport, Flo thinks that maybe this is her chance for a better life. But on her very first day at her new school she is ridiculed and laughed at for having a stammer. One boy sticks up for her and his name is Frank.
Frank’s body is surrounded by an aura of fire, but Flo is the only one who can see it. He lives in a foster home for teenagers who have been released from juvenile detention centres. Even though he might be trouble, Flo is drawn to him because he is different and so is she.
Things are about to get scary, because Chesterport is not your ordinary suburban town. It is infested by a coven of witches who are hunting Flo and Frank so that they can drain their magic. But the two are determined not to go down without a fight.
A Strange Fire is a romantic, coming of age tale with aspects of horror and fantasy. The author is a self-employed writer and editor who lives in Dublin city.
I decided to keep it simple. I can remember spending vast amounts of time editing my pitch last year, looking at other people's pitches to see if I was writing it correctly. I have this terrible phobia of writing summaries of my stories. It's just so difficult to encapsulate a story in only a few short paragraphs. Plus this novel is quite close to my heart personally. A lot of the time I make up these fantastic strong female characters, but my POV in A Strange Fire is more me than any other character I've ever written.
That's also perhaps the reason why I'm using my pen name "L.H Cosway", because I could never let anyone who knows me read this novel and know it was me who wrote it. There's too much of me in there. Sometimes it's far easier to show your true self to strangers than to those you know.
Anyway, I've got my fingers crossed that I pass the first hurdle, just for the excitement of being a part of the whole thing.
At the moment I'm reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I'm about two-hundred and fifty odd pages in. It's one tomb of a book, but the writing is really, really good. Think a mix between Twilight and The DaVinci Code. I'll probably write a proper review on here once I'm finished it all. But it could take a while as I've lots of work to do this week.
The Umbrella Girl.

2 responses to “Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012”

  1. jessigage says:

    Hi there! I loved your pitch. I think it's very well written, concise, and powerful. Pitches are so hard to write. I struggle with mine, too, and synopses, sheeyikes! I hate them. Good job on the YA pitch. It makes me want to read A Strange Fire.

    I also sympathize with you on being nervous about letting people you know read your stuff. When I first started writing I wanted everyone to read what I was working on, but as I began to learn just how much I had to learn, I narrowed down my list of critique partners and beta readers to a very small pool of constructive and supportive people.

    I'm still not published, but working hard toward that goal like you. Good luck with the contest. Do you ever visit this site: ? It's a little out dated now, but I've had some good luck entering contests listed there.

    Thanks for the twitter follow, and write on!

  2. L.H. Cosway says:

    Thanks Jessi, I'll have to check out that site. Did you enter ABNA this year? If you did I wish you the best of luck!

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