Jul 5, 2013

QK Top 16: YA Contemp (in verse)

Entry Nickname: Lies and Lovers
Title: Lies My Father Told Me
Word Count: 34,000
Genre: Contemporary YA (in verse)


When fifteen-year-old Eden Thompson’s dad dies, poetry is her only escape. Her friends are distant and her mother spends most of her time shut away with a bottle of wine. Desperate for a connection with other people, Eden shares her words online. Just beyond the screen she finds Mason, a university student who leaves her long poetic messages that fill the empty space in her life. Having also lost a parent, he understands her pain and quickly becomes her one constant.

When they finally meet in person, Mason’s passionate words and the heat of his fingertips against her skin awaken a part of Eden she didn'tknow existed. But she swore to her dad that she would wait until marriage to have sex, and she doesn’t want the last promise she made to die with him. Uneasy with Mason’s desire for more, Eden struggles to untangle her own conflicting desires from her fear of losing him if she says no.

On the anniversary of her dad's death, Eden's mom drunkenly slurs a secret that changes everything: her dad wasn’t the person she thought he was. Her family, her life, her promise to him––all of it was based on a lie. Now that everything she knew is broken and betrayed, she turns to Mason, hoping for an escape from her pain. Torn between what her father wanted for her and what Mason wants from her, Eden must finally decide what it is she wants for herself.

First 250 words:
This Is The Part Where My Father Dies


At the funeral, 

everyone laughed,
but my mom’s voice—
it sounded more like a cry. 

She drank too much wine
and laughed too loud at the stories 
my dad’s
family and colleagues and friends and students told, 
their voices rushing 
to fill the emptiness 
with anecdotes. 

They were all 

Her lips and teeth were stained 
with red, 
and when I looked at her, 
all I saw was 
an empty shell,
a book
without any pages. 
Dead but not dead.  

She was a stranger,

Sometimes there was a glance
in my direction
for a few moments
too long.

Like sweat,
I could feel it on me.

Nobody said anything. 

I had lost
my words.  


I couldn’t understand how 
there could be 
an afterwards
now that 
he was gone.

The car swerved
to avoid

a deer

my dad

it was ten months later.
I was fifteen 

and ready for high school:
with my knee socks and their elastic bands
slipping down my legs, 
with my tartan kilt in green and blue, 
with my ring and 
my promise 
I made him 
only weeks before
            he died.

I want you 
to keep this
until you get

The ring slid on 
so easily.
It fit 
so perfectly. 

But it was so much heavier
than the metal it was made of, 
and the way it wrapped itself
around me, 
like it could never leave.

Like it would be there

1 comment :

  1. Would love to see more of this! Please send the first 50 pages and a one page synopsis to pooja@kimberleycameron.com. Looking forward to it!

    Pooja Menon (KC&A)