I mentioned earlier that I would try to share my pitch for 22 Scars, my debut young adult novel. Here it is below: please let me know what you think!
I’m currently seeking representation for my young adult novel, 22 Scars (~85,000 words). The story of a teenager afflicted by crippling depression, the abuse that shaped her and the parents who never wanted her, it juxtaposes the perspectives of those around her with the brutal, numbing reality of depression as it follows the last six months of her life.
Nearly seventeen, Amy shuffles through life in a dull haze of depression, self-harming and fighting bitterly with her parents. The only person who can lift her spirits is her best friend Beth. When a Halloween party goes horrifically wrong, Beth is killed in a tragic car accident, and in her numb despair Amy cuts so deep she nearly dies. Soon after, her behavior becomes so distant and cold that even her old friends begin to step away, and come the new year she drops out of school entirely. After a final, violent incident with her father, Amy packs her backpack and walks into the woods, suicidal and broken, to hang herself.
Interspersed with Amy’s story of loathing and self-destruction is the story of Amy’s parents: how they met, fell in love, and slowly spiraled out of control into an abusive, violent relationship. As their relationship deteriorates, it’s revealed that Amy was an unwanted pregnancy, and that the only reason they remain together is for the semblance of a normal family—something neither parent had in their own childhood.
Throughout the first two acts, there are numerous insights into the thoughts of Amy’s friends and family, but never her own—mirroring the bleak, dreary outlook of someone suffering from severe depression. The final part, however, is saved for Amy’s diaries: from age ten through sixteen, her own words on living with neglect, the death of a close friend, and her rape at the hands of someone she both loved and trusted.
22 Scars is a story that is deeply personal to me, having lived through (and survived) a great deal of what Amy experiences. I’ve tried to capture something of what it’s like to live with severe depression, and I hope that readers will either learn what it’s like for those who suffer—or that they aren’t alone.