This is the query and first 250 for the project I'm currently querying!


MIND TRICK, a contemporary fantasy complete at 81,000 words, is a villain origin story. It will appeal to fans of sympathetic villains like the Phantom of the Opera and Marvel’s Loki.

Chris Chappell is doomed to life as a Norm—a normal 17-year-old, that is—until his wizard father develops an amulet that grants even the most un-magical of people wizard powers. After years of being the family pariah and a second-class citizen in Para society, Chris has the power he always wanted, and his father is finally proud of him. 

But the amulet awakens a dark side in Chris. When his best friend Jeremy discovers the dangerous source of Chris’s power, Chris breaks Para Law to alter Jeremy’s memory. No big deal—until the next time it happens. Before Chris knows it, he’s using mind control on not only Jeremy but his siblings and even his own mother. 

The only mind Chris doesn’t magically alter is that of his girlfriend Marilla. A brilliant wizard with her own familial baggage—as the only wizard in a Norm family—Marilla is the only one who stands between Chris and his darker nature. She only sees the good in Chris, until Jeremy has a psychotic break induced by Chris’s tampering. Marilla must reach through Chris’s web of manipulations to the boy she loves underneath, before Chris unleashes dark magic that can't be undone.

MIND TRICK is told from the viewpoints of Chris and Marilla. It is a standalone with series potential. Included below are my first three pages as per your submission guidelines.

First 250 words:

My shoulders hunch under the weight of my backpack as I near the front door, and I tighten my grip on my trumpet case. I shouldn’t stress. Odds are no one will notice me slipping into the house. Dad’s probably in the basement. Mom’s car isn’t even here so she must be at work. And the twins know better than to get me in trouble—especially about this. 

And yet my heart beats unevenly. At this moment, I would sell my soul for the ability to know if anyone stood on the other side of the door. 

I reach for the knob, but the door opens before I touch it. I stumble back. My father stares down at me with his magical, silver eyes, catching my gaze before I can look away.

At first my dad’s expression is worried, but then a scowl replaces fatherly concern. His hand shoots out, pulling me inside before I can think to protest. 

“Chris! Why aren’t you wearing your contacts?” he demands, the door slamming shut magically behind me. I imagine a normal father would show concern about my bloodshot eyes, questioning whether I’m getting enough sleep, if something is stressing me, or if I’m on drugs. Not my father. His only concern is that people might have seen my normal, gray eyes. That someone might know the truth he’s so carefully hidden for over a year now. 

I am not a wizard.

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