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  • Rachel Allen Dillon

THE SPIDER'S SONG...completed

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Between working full-time, being a mom, freelancing, and writing my novel, I haven't been able to blog much for years. On Mother's Day/my birthday this year, I typed the most beautiful words to a writer--THE END. It was a gift. With the help of critiques and beta-readers, I wrapped up THE SPIDER'S SONG feeling the highs and lows of the journey. I fell in love with my characters and enjoyed their world while the pandemic swirled outside our windows.

My 85,000-word young adult novel has been cathartic to write. The beauty of being the director of a story that has some personal truth to it is I get to change the ending. I get to craft what I would have loved to happen in my life and relationships and in a way it's healing.

Here is the pitch I've been working on that I plan to use in my query letters for my first round of agent submissions.

Charlotte Reed, a freshman in high school, would rather die than speak in front of others. To her, public speaking is like Death whispering in her ear, causing her to throw up, or worse, pass out. Her psychiatrist diagnosed her with glossophobia and gave her a teacher’s note to excuse her from speaking in class. Charlotte can live with feeling slightly broken at school; after all, she has her best friend, Shreya, and a brain for math. What she can’t live with is what her phobia took away--her dream of singing on stage, the only thing she’s ever loved doing. Even as a little girl, those who heard Charlotte sing said she should be on Broadway, everyone that is, except her mom. Charlotte doesn’t understand why singing triggers her mom’s anger, until her Aunt Jess, a recovering drug-addict, straight out of prison, moves in with their family. She watches how her mysterious, tattooed aunt brings out the worst in her mom the way her singing used to.

A singing contest at school stokes a burning fire in Charlotte, making her desperate to change. The last thing she expects is for the boy across the street who has ignored her for years, and her delinquent aunt, to help her uncover a way to salvage her dream. Charlotte must decide if the risk of getting caught in a spiral of lies is worth trying to find the courage to sing again.

Image by Benjamin Balazs from Pixabay

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