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Writer’s Voice #180 – ANOMALY

Hi Everyone!!

Better late than never, eh? 


HUGE thanks to Brenda DrakeCupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.) for all their hard work and dedication to this contest! I can only imagine how much time and effort it takes to run a contest of this scale ;o) 

Also, GOOD LUCK to all the peeps who made it!! I will be reading as many as I can! 

<3 Er

Here we go…


Sloan’s not a killer. So when she’s next to get her brain scanned for the government initiative, Project Reform, she never expects to end up in the Desolate, an island full of teens marked as future killers.

On the island, she makes a reluctant friend in her roommate, who has a general dislike for every human except Lane—the one guy Sloan hates most. After an attempt to escape with her new friends, Sloan accidentally shoots and kills the warden in self-defense, making her question her own morality. When her roommate gets brainwashed and becomes a killer herself, Sloan hatches a plan to rescue her new friend from the notorious Dark Hill, a prison on the island for the worst of the worst. 

As if that weren’t enough to keep her toes curling in her red sneakers, Sloan goes on the run against her will with the arrogant Lane and their relationship heats up. They stumble onto a plot against the government and discover a drug that’s turning the teens on the island into actual killers.

Sloan has a decision to make–save herself or save humanity.

ANOMALY is a 68,000-word young adult futuristic thriller that explores the critical moments on one island in the year 2059.


I wasn’t a killer, so I had no reason to be nervous about the brain scan, but something tugged at me, something raw and unknown about today.

My fingers shook as I reached for my locker. I flexed my hand, willing the shakes to stop. 

Relax, Sloan. But I couldn’t. Not yet.

Someone yelled in the congested corridor, cutting off the words rotating in my head. I slammed my fist against the door. Why couldn’t it just close on the first try?

Voices squawked and shrilled in the hallway, like flocks of birds just let out of their cages.

I glared at the door. “Locker close.” It gaped open, like a mouth during a scream.

“Close locker?”

It always did this when I was late for class. You’d think I’d remember the correct voice command after three years. I glanced down at my clear wrist-phone. 


Numbers hovered above my wrist in electric blue, while an ad for Coke Pure projected into the air beside it, then disappeared. 

“Locker shut,” I growled.

The door closed as if it was purposely trying to make me late. 

Hurried footsteps clomped behind me. I turned as my friend and resident gossipmonger, Jasmine hurried up to me. “Sloan!” Her face lit-up at the possibility of spreading more rumors. 

I rested my head on my locker. “Did you finally reach your gossip quota?”

“Smart ass.” She leaned against the plastic doors and wrapped a lock of her pink hair around her finger. “Zege didn’t pass his brain scan.”

54 Responses to “Writer’s Voice #180 – ANOMALY”

  1. I absolutely LOVE this. THere is high tension from the start and the query is amazing. I really hope you get on a team.

  2. I can see teens picking up this book to read. Straightforward premise, and your writing is really smooth. Nicely done!

  3. I reaaaaaalllly want to read this! Good luck!!! 🙂

  4. Stephanie says:

    Cool concept. Lots of voice. 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Jamie Grey says:

    I really like this – great setting details in just a few words and the whole premise sounds fantastic!

    Good luck!

  6. Leigh Ann says:

    Oh, I think I’ve seen this somewhere! Loved it then, love it now. Just that tiny first sentence is enough for us to guess the biggest challenge Sloan’s going to face – coming to terms with who she really is despite – or in agreement with- the definitions others place on her.

    Oh! And I so totally love the infuriating boy. *waggles eyebrows*

    The whole thing sounds awesome.

    Wishing you all the luck!

  7. Leigh Ann says:

    Oh, I think I’ve seen this somewhere! Loved it then, love it now. Just that tiny first sentence is enough for us to guess the biggest challenge Sloan’s going to face – coming to terms with who she really is despite – or in agreement with- the definitions others place on her.

    Oh! And I so totally love the infuriating boy. *waggles eyebrows*

    The whole thing sounds awesome.

    Wishing you all the luck!

  8. Suzi says:

    Very cool idea–would love to read more. Good luck.

  9. Thank you so much, guys ;o)

  10. Really interesting. You have a very straightforward way of introducing your characters and the environment. I like it.

    Best of luck, though I don’t think you’ll need it. One of the judges for sure will pick ANOMALY. The writing is not only strong, but it also feels like you know your book well. 🙂

  11. Julia K says:

    Amazing!! I love the premise and the voice…nothing to critique here 🙂 I hope to see some coach’s and agent’s fight (nicely) over this one!!

  12. Aww, you guys are totally making me feel warm fuzzies over here!! THANK YOU!!

  13. Mia K Rose says:

    Like the concept. I liked the ads in her watch.

    Stopping by to wish you luck in TWV. 🙂

  14. Marieke says:

    Love this concept! Good luck! 🙂

  15. C.G.Ayling says:

    A girl who thinks she isn’t a killer, yet she turns out to be one. This has tons of potential, all nicely hinted at in the query, good luck!

  16. aberthot says:

    I think this is fascinating! I would love to read it (and I think it would make a kick-ass movie). And I love the final line in the query: “Sloan has a decision to make–save herself or save humanity.” Good luck!

    Andrea #32

  17. Good luck in the contest!

  18. TYHatch says:

    An interesting idea.

    Good luck!

    Tina (#194)

  19. This is a great concept, Erica! That query has me wicked intrigued! Good luck in the contest!

  20. Those damn lockers always like to make you late! Lobe this! Good luck! Brandi #199

  21. MonicaSanz says:

    This is great! The part where she asks her watch for the time and the coke ad hovers just on the side really gives it a realistic futuristic vibe. This sounds like an intense read, kind of like a YA Bourne Identity/The Island mash-up, which is awesome. Best of luck in the contest!!

  22. Thank you all! This is a crazy experience. So great to read all these awesome entries!!

    LOL Brandi!

  23. This sounds great! The premise and voice are really strong. Good luck with it!

  24. Kimberly says:

    This is right up my alley. I’d definitely read this book. Love thrillers and anything futuristic. The voice is a great teen voice too. Good luck in the contest.


  25. OOOH this sounds kick-butt! I love the concept. Good luck!

  26. C. Issy says:

    “Close locker” “Locker close” *giggle* This was a great 250. Love your MC’s voice in this!

    Good luck!

  27. You know I want you. Your story rocked the Baker Dozen, and I’m sort of close to this one since I’m your critique partner. If someone else picks you, I want you to choose them because it will give you a fresher perspective on this. Actually, if someone doesn’t pick you, I’d be surprised. Really surprised.

  28. Sarah says:

    I don’t know how I missed this when I was reading through the entries the first time, but I love this. Such a great concept. Congrats on getting picked!

    -Sarah #146

  29. This sounds wonderful! I love the details that you add in your writing. Good luck in the contest!

  30. Congrats on getting picked – not that I’m surprised after reading your query and excerpt!

  31. Love your first line! It’s a keeper.
    Can’t wait to hear a success story from you 🙂

    Best of luck

  32. Aww, thank you guys!! We have such a great community!! I love all the support I’m seeing ;o)

    LOL Brenda. You ROCK.

  33. This is great! Good luck to you!

  34. Kathi says:

    Give me the book, please! Need to know what happens next! (#124)

  35. misstante says:

    Way to go, from query to getting picked!! Good luck!!

  36. Definitely wonderful, and totally my taste. I hope to read the whole thing one day! christy

  37. Thanks you guys!! Rooting for all of you!!

    LOL Kathi!

  38. Oooh, congrats on getting picked!! Good luck!!

    Summer – #40

  39. Yay! Congrats on getting picked! Cool premise. Killer teens…kinda reminds me a teeny bit of Battle Royale. (Just a smidge, really.)

  40. This is great, Erica! Good luck with the contest! 🙂

  41. Congrats on making it onto the list, Erica! I’ve never seen a linky list fill up so fast in all my years of blogging.

  42. Congrats on making it. And it is a cool concept and the first 250 really put me in their world already. Great job!

  43. Lisa says:

    I really liked the first 250. Intriguing!

  44. Thank you all for the wonderful comments ;o)

  45. CUPID says:

    I WANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is fabulous. Love the concept. Very unique and eye catching. Strong writing. So many possibilities!

    I have a few concerns, but nothing that holds me back. Nothing we can’t discuss.

    Glad to see Brenda is ready to step aside! lol But of course, it’s your decision. 🙂

    Once again, I WANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Amalia T. says:

    Great concept!! And congratulations on getting picked TWICE 🙂

  47. But I won’t step aside, Cupid! Mwahahaha!!

    I WANT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (See? I even used more “!” than Cupid!)

    I think the concept is is so cool, that it makes me want to roll up my sleeves and work with you!!
    And I love that “locker close?” line. Dunno why but it made me giggle! 😉

    If you pick me, I’d love to read a synopsis (I know, I know! They are evil, but sometimes necessary!) and help you out to make that query even stronger. If you don’t have a synopsis ready, don’t worry, I can always ask the couple of questions that I now have rolling in my mind. And I have some nitpicks on the 1st page. But nothing huge–at all! 😀

    So pick me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Oh boy, this is going to get interesting… LOL. THANK YOU, Monica & Cupid!! Whew, this is going to be REALLY HARD to choose!!! I love all three of you <3

  49. And even bigger congrats on getting picked!

  50. I would so read this. 🙂 Congratulations!

  51. Hey I nominated you for a Sunshine Award! Check it out on my blog!

  52. Woo hoo! I’m finally finishing up my rounds on making comments.
    Hi frozen tundra neighbor! (I live in MN) I LOVE the idea of scanning teens to see if they’ll be killers. So clever. I’m glad we’re on the same team!

  53. This makes me so excited for you, Erica! I just love how Sloan’s voice comes through in this!

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