Welcome, Writer’s Voice guests! I hope you enjoy this sneak peek at my MG fantasy manuscript, Lang Sawyer and the Den of Nostromo:
Thirteen-year old Langhorne Sawyer has always had a fuzzy relationship with the rules. His Mom is dead, and his Dad is too busy selling sporting goods in glamorous locales like Rapid City, South Dakota to take an interest in him. But when Lang discovers the family biz is really monster bounty hunting, and has been since Grandpa Tom Sawyer dusted Dracula, he leaps headfirst into a world that promises adventure, glory, and the chance to show Dad he’s no screw-up. But during his training mission, Lang makes a monstrous discovery – characters from storybooks are disappearing, causing havoc in the worlds they’ve left behind. Lang’s choice is clear – give up the monster hunting gig, or go solo to prove the research of scientist Alistair Frankenstein is dipping into too many storybook worlds, threatening to destroy them all. When he finds his Mom’s name on the project files, the decision is a no-brainer.
Lang Sawyer and the Den of Nostromo is a fast-paced, 80,000-word middle grade fantasy that joins Lang, his best friend Katrina Finn (yes, that Finn), and a cranky hunchback named Q on a quest across Great Britain by bullet train, rusty pickup, and banana-yellow moped to thwart Frankenstein’s schemes. Through narrow escapes, double-crosses, and secret agent-style sneakery, Lang finds himself questioning everything he believed about his family and himself as he searches for one true thing he can trust. He’ll need more than his leap-first attitude to carry him through.
First 250 Words:
Here’s the thing about finding out your great-great grandfather Tom Sawyer was a big time monster hunter, that he killed Dracula, and that your Dad’s running the family business out of the former Indian cave behind your house.
(You know, in case that ever happens.)
The thing to remember? It’s not all fangs and glory. It’s a hit-or-miss proposition.
Like literally, hit or miss. Sometimes you hit the crossbow target your Dad sets up for you in the backyard. And sometimes you miss. And hit your neighbor’s poodle.
In the tail.
Yeah, that was a thing.
The upside? Leaving ordinary seventh grade life behind to jet to Peru and track a deadly creature called the Mapinguari.
But there were drawbacks there, too. Sweat being one. Hunger, too. That’s what has my attention on the afternoon of our first full day in the Amazon rainforest. Late afternoon. Heat still in the triple digits. Everywhere green on green, the sun strafing the leafy canopy.
Dad skids to a stop in front of me and points at a spot on the ground inches from my right foot. I mop the sweat from my already-drenched St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.
“Freeze, Lang,” he says.
I don’t know much about the jungle, but I’ve read about the snakes. Fire hose-sized ones. With a proclivity for squeezing people until their insides turn to Cheez Whiz.
“Python?” I ask.
Dad scowls and jabs his finger toward the ground. “No. Some sort of track. And it’s a big one. Step around it. Carefully.”