Half Dead & Fully Broken – A Young Adult Novel

Now that Summer On Fire has hit the public domain (The ebook is available at MuseItUp Publishing for $5.50) , it’s time to begin a new novel. That’s just what I’m going to do at this year’s Muskoka Novel Marathon. Strike that, I’m not going to begin a new novel. I’m going to write a complete novel! And I cannot wait. It’s my favourite way to write novels now, in one sitting. Everything is just so fresh and alive…it’s easier to write this way. In fact, it’s extremely hard to keep up with your thoughts after a while. Fingers just are not a competition for the human mind. I sometimes get frustrated with my inability to keep up with my thoughts. But it’s extremely fun trying!

Before the marathon, though, there’s the next novel in the hopper. It’s completed. I finished the edits, I finished the synopsis, I finished the query letter. I even submitted it out into the world. Better than that, I even secured a literary agent for it. But before all that happened, I wrote it in a 72-hour period. It was my 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. Before I began edits, I submitted it to the marathon judges and they awarded the manuscript the BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD for 2010. Now, I patiently wait to see how my agent will make out with it. My fingers are crossed. I am very proud of this one. It felt good while I wrote it.

I thought I would share the synopsis with you here:

Brief Synopsis – Half Dead and Fully Broken

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Trudeau High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school. Sharing a face with Mr. I-can-do-anything-better-than-you, Mr. Helpful, Mr. Reliable, Mr. Freaking Wonderful—it’s not as easy as it sounds. When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers there are things even harder to deal with than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful…and that’s sharing a face with a dead Mr. Wonderful. Nobody wants to see Carter now that he’s walking around with Marcus’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead he sees everybody turn away from him in mourning. But how can he blame them, he can’t even bear to look in the mirror anymore.

But Marcus has a plan. Even dead, he’s still up for saving the world and spreading happiness. Carter begins to see Marcus’s ghost and Marcus has a few magic tricks up his sleeve to share with his brother. But there’s a reason for his presence. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike when Marcus ran a red light, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Marcus’s plan is to put everything right before it’s too late and all is lost. But he needs Carter to help him…he needs to use Carter’s body to bring his plan into action. It may sound hard, but it really isn’t. He just has to slither inside and take the helm of his brother’s body. Once inside, the two become the superhero Carter once dreamed of being as a child.

With Marcus’s help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. Marcus, even in death, has the power to do the right thing. He brings Carter together with Melanie, his mourning girlfriend, and Justin, the boy who drove the truck that plowed into his motorbike. The three are all broken after the accident, but with Marcus’s help they may just be saved. It’s a race to save the distraught Justin, though. With Marcus’s help, Carter and Melanie set out to do just that. And along the journey to saving Justin, they might even inadvertently save themselves.

I still don’t know what I’m going to write at this year’s marathon. That’s half the fun…going in there with a blank mind. It’s scary…it’s absolutely scary. But it’s extremely exciting. Sitting down with a blank mind and just letting the fingers start hitting the keys. It’s fun to see the story unfolding. Almost like I’m the first reader. When you have not had sleep for 42, 59, 68 hours…you’re not really in control of your words. It’s more like some part of you–some subconscious part–is at the wheel. And you’re just along for the ride!

PS: I received my first review for Summer on Fire. I’m going to share it here, because it excites me! It was accompanied by 5 STARS!

“Couldn’t put this one down. I was immediately captured by the three boys and the crisis that threatened to rip apart their friendship. It’s a story about friendship and family and redemption, written so well that you keep reading through the tears in your eyes. The author transported me to an authentic time and place and age. And I didn’t want to come back. Bravo!!”

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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