Wednesday, August 24, 2016

YA Contemporary & YA Post-Apocalypse: NOT SWEET and FEAR NO EVIL

Author's Name: Rachel Hanville
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary for one and post-apocalypse for the other
Stage of Completion: Rough draft for contemporary and mostly polished for the other but I’m thinking of rewriting
Preferred Critique Style: (Straight to the Point (but not needlessly cruel) or A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: Cat
Tea or Coffee: Tea

Short Pitch

 Despite growing up in a polygamist community since she was five, sixteen-year-old Skye isn’t sure she wants to marry yet, even though most girls marry young where she’s from. When one day, she ventures to the outside world and meets a boy not in their community, she finds herself wondering about her past life outside of the community and also what her future holds if she stays with the community or leaves.

When Catie and Piper’s settlement is attacked by road gangs, both the girls are forced to evacuate. Piper has spent her whole life being afraid of everything, but when she accidentally kills her sister’s abusive boyfriend, she is forced to go to on the road where she must face her fears. Before Catie can get to safety, her and her brother’s group is attacked and they barely escape. Now she must protect him and herself from zombies and the other dangers on the road.

Writing Sample

            As soon as my dad told me in the morning that we were having a family meeting, I knew nothing good could come from it. My evil stepmother Heather was probably expecting a baby. Even though my father had five wives which was a decent amount for our community, none of them got pregnant that often. Still there could be no other reason.
            The last thing I wanted to see was her gloat.
            What I would do just to skip it. I could spend more time by the lake and just daydream and work on my sketches. Maybe I could finally get the ripple of the waves or the leaves floating on the surface just right. But no. Now I would be going to see what was so important.
            I did stay by the lake as long as I could. I would never get tired of it here. It was one of the few places I got peace and quiet. Really I should have left sooner. My father didn’t like lateness.
            But I didn’t want to go right away.
            When I finally left, I found myself running through the woods, having to slow down so I didn’t hit trees or trip on branches. When I finally got to the door, I sighed and did my best to smooth my blond hair down. My father wouldn’t notice that I didn’t look like a proper lady but my stepmother would.
            When I looked about as acceptable as I could without seeing a mirror, I walked inside.

Chapter 1
The apples’ intoxicating fragrance filled the autumn air, concealing the stench of the undead’s decaying flesh. I sprinted through the orchards, occasionally stepping on a red apple rotting on the ground. Squish. I almost wanted to pick one of the apples off a tree. Apples were one of the few fruits I still got, but I had always adored them. I hardly got to eat them fresh like this. New Seattle wasn’t far from orchards like this one, but it wasn’t like I could just go visit them. I wouldn’t go on the road with the zombies and road gangs.  I’d only evacuated New Seattle because of the road gang attacks, and I wasn’t even sure this place was safe, even if it had nice apples.
I didn’t have time to pick fruit. I had to go see my sister Trinity. Because Trinity, her fiancĂ©, and their daughters had been evacuated also, I had seen her more in the last two weeks than I had in years. We would spend hours talking about everything. It was like when we were kids. Back then she protected me from our father. From everything.
The air was chilly, but I tried to ignore it. Hopefully we would be able to go back to New Seattle soon. Central Washington was colder than New Seattle.  
The wind howled, almost sounding like some kind of monster. Almost. If there had been zombies around, I might not even be able to hear them because of the wind.


  1. I have ideas for a couple post-apocalyptic stories myself. Although I am currently working on a fantasy called "Dreamscape", I think we would work well together. It looks like we both like to cross genres. :) message me at

    1. I read your sample page for "Dreamscape" and enjoyed it. I think we might work well together. I'll message you. :)

  2. Rachel do you live near Seattle? I do. It would be great to have a local CP. If you are interested my email is I write contemporary at the moment. But read everything.

  3. Rachel do you live near Seattle? I do. It would be great to have a local CP. If you are interested my email is I write contemporary at the moment. But read everything.


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