Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Middle Grade Fantasy: THE SECRET OF SHANGRI-LA

Author's Name: Lisa Gold
Category: MG (I also write YA)
Genre: Contemporary/Fantasy Action/Adventure
Stage of Completion: Rough Draft, first 2/3 is mostly polished
Preferred Critique Style: A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: dog (son allergic to cats!)
Tea or Coffee: mainly tea

Short Pitch

THE SECRET OF SHANGRI-LA is a fast-paced fantasy/adventure MG novel:  Following clues left by his late mother, a boy tricks his emotionally distant father into taking him to Kathmandu, where new clues lead boy and dad on a journey to the mythical paradise of Shangri-La, battling a rogue Chinese Captain along the way.
As a screenwriter-turned-novelist, I have won awards for my screenplays, including becoming a Finalist in the Nicholl Fellowships (top ten out of 5,500 submissions). The screenplay version of my MG novel reached the Finals of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and the Nicholl Quarterfinals. 

Writing Sample 

Chapter 1:  The Stone Puzzle
Within his trance of sleep, Brandon felt the shadow of his mother lean over his bed.  It was as if she peered into his dream, the same way she peeked around corners during hide-and-seek.  But these days, they never played anymore.  Not even Kaligani Kingdom, their made-up world of warriors and strange beasts.  He told her he didn’t miss it, that at ten and a half he was too old for games, but she wasn’t fooled.  
When he opened one eye, she tossed back her black hair.  A sliver of moonlight coming in through the blinds revealed the white streak on the side of her head.  It matched the white streak on his head, a four inch bond that marked them as mother and son. She turned, and another slice of moon revealed her smile.
He sat up instantly.
“I have something for you, sweetheart,” she said, as if waking him in the middle of the night was perfectly natural.  Brandon looked for the silvery pole with the hanging bag of fluid she pushed beside her, but it was gone.  Without it, she seemed free.  No more prison of plastic tubing jabbing into her wrist. 
He followed as she padded down the corridor of their Manhattan apartment, nightgown billowing behind her.  In the gloom of the living room, she plucked an old shoebox from the closet.  Dust rose from the lid and vanished like fog.
“A present?” His stomach fluttered with a tiny leap of joy.


  1. Lisa I like your story. I write YA contemporary, but read everything. If you are interested in trading chapters my email is

    Kristi Radford

  2. Hi Lisa - this is really intriguing. I write MG historical - would you like to trade chapters? My email is


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