The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – Scary and exciting times!
I normally reserve this site for my poetry only, but I just wanted to let the community here know that I entered my novel ‘Willow O’Wisp’ into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
I thought I would post the competition pitch for my novel here. If anybody has some time to spare, I would love a bit of FEEDBACK, because I still have time to edit it if you think it needs some work!
So… this is it:
Sixteen year-old Willow is dissatisfied with her life. Discussing hair ribbons and potential beaux with other teens in her village doesn’t interest her and her sole relative is a crotchety old crock.
So when a strange youth, an orphaned castle lackey, pops up in the river near her mediaeval home, Willow uses her charms to convince him to take her on an adventure back through his secret labyrinth to the castle.
This turns into a mission to find Willow’s missing parents. More youthful admirers join her quest: the oafish Smith boy who insists Willow and he are betrothed; an overly amorous palace guard named Cheeta; and Prince James whose ambition is to wrest the throne from his father.
Together Willow and her odd entourage travel through a woods inhabited by barbarians, spriggans and bogles, to enlist the aid of a slightly manic wizard called Sauvage Wilde.
As the impetuous young maiden and her travelling companions embark on the search for the missing parents, each have their own personal quests. They are forced to confront issues of tolerance, ambition, love, jealousy, death and war. Some get what they dream for and others do not as they grapple with their desires and each other.
Willow herself discovers that not only must she dodge an evil shaman, trolls and an insane king, but she must adjust to hitherto unknown, eccentric relatives and the peculiarities of castle life. And eventually in this light-hearted tale of magic and misadventure, she must learn the importance of following her heart.
This is a wonderful spoof on the world of fantasy, full of comicality and surprising twists. Quirky humour is cleverly interwoven with underlying deep themes that young adults will strongly relate to, making it a fresh face in a market normally inundated with high school romances.
Please be honest and constructively critical! Does the pitch make you want to read the book, or do you lose interest halfway through?