Genre: YA Dark Contemporary
Word Count: 53,000
My Main Character’s Greatest Fear:
I fear my antique dolls. How they come to life in the shattered moonlight, creep across my bedroom floor, and whisper aged-torn secrets meant to stay buried. They slip up walls and bang, bang, bang their heads on my metal bed frame. I cover my ears to drown their terrible sounds, but their sounds come from within me – sorrowful, loud, and mocking. Somehow their voices blend with mine, and oh god, it’s driving me crazy.
Sixteen-year-old Jasmyn Rayne isn’t the only one writing in her Diary Dearest. Her other personalities are, too. And one is doing it in blood.
Jasmyn received the diary from Mother to ease her troubled mind, but she can't trust the soft spoken trickster who gave her to sadistic strangers as a child. They raped her more times than she can remember, and now pain and self-loathing are cancers that eat away at her soul. Jasmyn finds her only remedy at the edge of needles and razor-blades. However, when she gives into the ecstasy of tearing her flesh, she loses her hold on reality and writes in her diary from the perspective of ancestors that mimic her heirlooms: a loving slave doll and a bitter porcelain doll. One yearns to heal her emotional scars, and the other begs her to cut a little deeper.
As Jasmyn struggles to forgive her cold and distant mother, she turns to someone who has dark secrets of his own – her best friend’s older brother. His relentless pursuit and charming smile seems to ease Jasmyn’s nightmarish past and insane present. But if Jasmyn doesn’t start seeing things for what they really are, her sanity will crumble even more, and her porcelain-doll-personality may just get its death wish.
Eerily enough, Jasmyn’s only hope may lie within the blood-drenched pages of her diary.
RAGDOLL, a YA dark contemporary, is complete at 53,000 words. It is written in diary format and multiple POV between Jasmyn and her two doll personalities. It will appeal to readers of Laurie Halse Anderson’s WINTERGIRLS and Nova Ren Suma’s IMAGINARY GIRLS.
I’ve studied creative writing at Northland Pioneer College and am an active member of SCBWI. Recently, I made it to the top 60 in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness contest and am the sole winner of Mike Anthony’s mini-contest for short stories.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
First 250 Words:
i crinkle to life when her blood spills.
i move in red and breath.
she don't see me as i truly am and she don't know that i see,
i am her childhood doll.
i seen since we first found each otha’.
she was four.
that be twelve years ago.
i been ‘round lots longer.
i don't know how long.
i only remember the smell of smoke and turpentine,
the taste of oiled cinnamon,
the feel of hard straw and needle pinch as it sewed on each stitch of mouth and coarse yarn hair.
i didn't have to see to know it flamed red.
it was a long and painful process.
creation always is.
the nimble strength and rough tenderness in my maker's hands taught me everything
i needed to know
my button eyes were sewn on last.
i saw my maker.
old and weathered, battered by time, her skin dark chocolate, and her eyes rheumatic.
she saw me smile and smiled in return, patting my stuffed arms and legs.
she’ll need you, she whispered in a voice i recognized as my own.
i travelled great distances, through many hands and lives,
none of ‘em right for me,
to find the girl who needs me most,
the one my creator created me for.
Friday, October 31st
My dolls haunt me. They jump inside me and make me write things I don’t want to write. Things I don’t need to remember. I try to ignore them, but it doesn't do any good.