MENTOR: Jen Swann Downey
ALTERNATE: Megan Basham
TITLE: SECRETS OF THE SAINT
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 82,000
PITCH: When twelve-year-old Katie Flannery and her brother, Jack, discover a scroll their father hid before he died, they become the guardians of their family’s 1500-year-old secret—a secret that began when St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Now they must stop their uncle from unleashing Patrick’s ancient enemy on the world.
Whenever she looked back on that morning (and in the years to come, she would look back often), Katie Flannery realized the first unusual thing she should have noticed was the rain. Her brother, Jack, always said it had immediately struck him as odd. But though she saw the heavy bank of clouds hunkering just over downtown Phoenix, it had made no impression on her. She’d been too distracted trying to think of something that would stop her mother’s nervous tapping on the cracked, vinyl steering wheel.
“I’m sure it'll go great, Mom.”
Her mother grimaced. “I don’t know why this interview would go better than all the others. It’s like Josiah says, I’m no good at—”
“Hey, look!” Katie wasn’t normally the kind of girl who interrupts, but she had no interest in anything her uncle had to say. Especially on the subject of her mother’s shortcomings. Besides, there really was something different about the Bean Me Up Café that morning. Katie could see it even before her mother pulled up alongside the puddled sidewalk to let her and her brother out of the car.
Normally, with the exception of Aubrey, the chipper Goth girl who worked behind the counter, she and Jack had the café’s cushy green armchairs to themselves. They might encounter a stray study group from Arizona State now and then. And once, about a week ago, there’d been an old man at a table in the corner, dressed so strangely Katie could still picture him.