So. Remember how I was going to get better about talking about my own writing? Well today we’re taking a big leap forward because I am entering a contest called the Writer’s Voice, which requires that I post a query (pitch) letter and the first 250 words of my novel. So here it is.
Moriarty is the son of Death, raised believing in the beauty of ending a life. Then he takes over his Father’s work, and finds that ripping souls from mortal bodies is nothing like the stories that populated his childhood. It’s violent and bloody, and as hard as he tries, Moriarty can’t find anything to love in it.
Until he meets his next victim: Rocsanne Vetrario, the bold, bohemian daughter of Venetian glaziers. Instead of ending her life, Moriarty accidentally saves it, thus kindling a friendship that tumbles into love amid the canals of 1890’s Venice.
But their summer together shatters when Moriarty learns that Rocsanne’s step-mother Lavinia is on a crusade to recover the lost secrets of Venetian glass and its power to bestow immortality. When Lavinia discovers her daughter’s romance with the soul collector himself, she threatens to kill Rocsanne unless Moriarty helps retrieve the legendary glass.
Surrendering the glass would give Lavinia control over Moriarty and his work, but if Rocsanne dies, he would lose her forever to the afterlife. Moriarty will do anything to save Rocsanne—he isn’t about to kill the only girl who ever loved Death.
DEATH AND THE GLASSMAKER’S DAUGHTER is a YA historical fantasy complete at 67,000 words.
I am currently a graduate student at Simmons College, earning my MFA in writing for children and young adults. I have had short pieces published in Talkin’ Blues, Pandora’s Box, and The Newport Review.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
The first thing he noticed was the rain.
Moriarty had never felt rain before. It didn’t rain in the Greylands, nor did the brushed-black sky wink with tiny pinpricks of light, like jewels floating in a glassy lake. Even the sky itself was new—there was no sky in the Greylands.
But the rain was the first, and most marvelous thing—the way it felt against his skin, each drop unexpected and ephemeral.
Yes, Moriarty decided. I like the rain best.
Hector hadn’t told him about the rain.
But Hector had hardly told him anything about the humans, or mortality, or the work he would be doing there, the work that used to be Hector’s.
Though they had never discussed it, Moriarty had always known that someday, Hector would grow weary of soul collecting, and the work would pass to him. Father to son.
He had not expected it to be so sudden.
He had thought that, day by day, Hector would begin to impart to him the secrets of his work. The little things, like how to know which humans were the closest to dying, and what it looked like when they did. Then he would begin to take Moriarty with him on his errands to the human world, show him the correct way to separate a reluctant soul from the mortal body that housed it. They would steal together through mortality, disguised, and visit workhouses and operating theaters, places where Hector could school him in the exact moment that a soul was released, and how to catch it between his fingers. He would let Moriarty try it a few times under his watchful eye before the day that he remained in the Greylands and sent his son ahead alone.