Jun 7, 2018

QK Agent Round: A Boy Named Pez

Title: You Belong Here
Entry Nickname: A Boy Named Pez
Word count: 58K
Genre: Middle grade contemporary

Matthew Miller is a precocious eleven-year-old who dreams of becoming a famous filmmaker. He’s even given himself the name Pez because everybody who’s anybody knows memorable names are a must in Hollywood.

Despite what he’s been told, Pez is convinced he’ll make it in showbiz, most likely by the time he’s eighteen since he’s getting an early start. With the help of his neighbor Jasmine, he sets out to make his first film, a rom-com entitled Dog Loves Cat. He knows for a fact that his mom, who left home three months ago, will come back if his movie shows on the big screen at an upcoming film festival.

But then things start happening. Things showbiz people call obstacles, the kind that usually kick off Act II in the movies. His mom doesn’t seem to miss him at all, his dad’s PTSD symptoms return, and Jasmine runs away. Then a hurricane hits, flooding the mobile park where Pez lives and ruining all his film supplies. With Pez’s confidence wavering for the first time, he must choose whether to finish his movie or give up on his dream and, quite possibly, his mom.

At 58,000 words, YOU BELONG HERE is a contemporary middle grade novel inspired by my childhood neighborhood in Milford, CT. While its quirky characters will appeal to fans of the TV show Young Sheldon, it explores similar themes as Katherine Paterson’s The Same Stuff as Stars.  

I’m a writer currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I completed the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre Summer Playwriting Program and my short film Headwind has screened at several film festivals. A member of the Pear Theatre Playwright Guild, I worked as a public middle school teacher for several years and graduated from Boston College with a degree in English.

First 250:

Goodbyes get me thinking about Mom.

She’s been away on vacation for almost three months. Which, between you and me, isn’t actually a vacation. That’s why a lump is climbing my throat as I brainstorm the goodbye scene of my film, Dog Loves Cat. When Harold the Dog tells Kitty the Cat he loves her, she replies, “Oh, Harold, it can never be.” Then she takes his paws and declares, “Now, we must say goodbye.”

And then… and then… and then a big, fat nothing.

Usually my best ideas come during my walk home from school, but today my brain is set to one channel: Mom. Is she catching some rays on a California beach? Is she snapping pics of wildflowers in Montana? Or is she on a highway heading back to Dad and me? I hope so. Three months is already way too long.

But enough of the sad stuff.

I like life the same as I like my cinema: filled with LOLs and ROFLs.

Plus, I need to get home pronto to work on Dog Loves Cat. After all, the Future Filmmakers Festival submission deadline is only three months away so--

“Yo, Spielberg!”

Before I can spin around, an arm the size of Darth Vader’s Death Star spaceship wraps around my scrawny neck.


There’s only one person these Death Star biceps could belong to and that’s Fang. He’s trouble. Trouble with a capital T. And there’s no way I’m pulling free from his Arnold Schwarzenegger grip with these string bean limbs.


  1. I'd like to see more of this! Please send to crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT com!

  2. I would really like to take a look at this! Please send a query, synopsis and pages to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com. I look forward to reading!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis