I had an editor friend look it over and help me with some of the technical and not-so-technical stuff. Now comes the fun part: looking for an agent. I’m sending out queries (say a prayer, cross your fingers, light a candle and all that jazz) and hoping for an agent to bite! (Not literally of course. That’s how plagues get started.)
In the spirit of sharing with you guys, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek! Here is the first chapter of Couture in the Cornfields:
“What is all that noise?” screeched an old man, sitting in his armchair.
“It looks like a parade,” said his wife, peering out of the dusty blinds.
“For what?” he replied, his pale cheeks puffing. “It’s January!”
“I’m not sure.” She searched down the street. “Oh wait! I see a banner.”
The old man huffed and shifted in his arm chair, watching his wife expectantly. Finally, she spoke.
“The banner reads: Happy 17th Birthday, Morgan Miller,” the old woman said, enunciating every word. “Miller…Miller…Oh! That must be Hanlon and Marla Miller’s daughter!”
“A parade? For a teenager? What is the world coming to?” the old man huffed, picked up his remote, and turned the television set volume up.
“I think it’s nice,” she said, looking down at the crowd.
Down on the street below, Morgan Miller was sitting atop an elephant, decorated with a pink headdress. She waved and smiled until finally the elephant came to a stop. A man dressed like a sultan helped her down from the animal.
“Four miles on the back of an elephant!” Morgan whined to two girls waiting for her. “Just look at my hair!”
“You look fantastic,” said the first girl.
“Thanks, Jordan,” Morgan said, trying to revive her curls.
“This is amazing!” said the second girl. “There has to be more than three hundred people here!”
“Three hundred and fifty-two to be exact, Stacy,” Morgan said, smiling. A man on stilts walked by, carrying a try of cotton candy. “We’ll take three,” Morgan said to the man.
“Mo, this has to be the best birthday party ever!” Jordan said with a mouthful of cotton candy. “I can’t even imagine what your parents will do for you next year!”
“I guess it’s not too shabby, huh?” Morgan said, distractedly. She was looking at her parents. Both were glued to their phones, back toward the party. Jordan saw Morgan’s gaze.
“At least they came this year, Mo,” Jordan said.
“Yeah,” Morgan sighed. “Maybe next year they’ll even talk to me. Ugh, next year.”
Morgan was not looking forward to her senior year of high school. She was tired of listening to her classmates make plans for the future, especially when she had none. Rosa had given her stacks of college applications, but Morgan always came up with a good excuse to not fill them out.
“Rosa, there’s a party this weekend,” Morgan would whine. “I can’t write an essay.”
Rosa would scold her, mostly in Spanish, and Morgan would promise to get to it later. Later turned into two months, which turned into four, which turned into eight. The stack of college applications were buried under Prada dresses, Christian Louboutin shoes, and Coach purses.
Every now and then, Morgan would find the applications hidden around the house. They’d pop up in the refrigerator, the pantry, the shower, even in her Glamour magazine.
“Rosa’s getting desperate,” Morgan said to herself one morning. She had poured herself a bowl of cereal and out rolled an application for the United States Army.
“Why should I go to college?” Morgan asked her friends one day. “I don’t need a degree. I mean, look who my parents are! And besides, who’d give up a house like this for a stinky dorm room that hundreds of other people have already used? And, you have to share bathrooms.” Morgan wrinkled her nose.