Kimberly Wisnewski – YA Speculative (with SF/F and Mental Health elements) – ALMOST HEROES

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my speculative YA novel with series potential. Complete at 91,000 words, ALMOST HEROES is comparable to V.E. Schwab’s Vicious meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades.

Seventeen-year-old superhero Kathryn Towne hung up her cape for good after she dropped out of the Superhero Academy of Virtuous Education—or so she thought.

The academy was neither safe nor virtuous, pitting seniors against juniors in a year-long battle to strengthen their powers. When the seniors lure Kat into a trap, her first act of heroism becomes a tragic failure. In the wake of loss, Kat’s closest friends turn against her. Their rejection sends her on a downward spiral, earning her a one-way ticket back home for her own safety.

For the next two years, Kat does her best to return to her normal life. But memories aren’t all that have followed her to college. Her once-best-friend, Silver Streak, is now a dangerous vigilante. Even worse, she’s determined to make Kat pay for her mistakes. Tensions increase when the one villain Kat couldn’t defeat resurfaces, and now she and Silver Streak must team up against him if they want to find justice and closure. But the closer Kat gets to exacting revenge, the more the line between heroes and villains begins to blur. She and Silver Streak must take down the true monster—if they don’t destroy each other first.

I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing, as well as a Masters of Arts in Teaching for Secondary English Education from Georgia College & State University. During my time at GCSU, I published two short nonfiction pieces in The Peacock’s Feet literary journal. I now teach ninth grade literature at a specialized STEM school for advanced students.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kimberly Wisnewski

 

I’m taking too long to die. Apparently, Silver Streak agrees, as she’s given up charging her lightning ball and is now standing over me, waiting. Watching.

I lie on the dirty pavement and think of my parents, how devastated they’ll be when they find out how I died. I sort of promised them I’d quit the hero thing.

Streak bends over me, her electric energy raising the hairs on my arms. Her black dress and silver skin block out the sun, but I squeeze my eyes shut anyway. She will not be the last thing I see.

“You have nobody to blame for this but yourself,” she says.  

“Mrgrghhh.” It’s not a great response, but it’s all she’s getting, considering the heel of her boot is crushing my windpipe. I plan to hold on long enough to say something that matters—just as soon as I figure out what that is. There’s an extreme amount of pressure on last words.  

“You know what I realized?” Streak laughs and kicks me in the ribs. “This is exactly how we met. Remember? You were lying pathetically on the floor in a heap of trash?”
Okay, I was not lying in a “heap of trash,” I was lying near several papers I’d dropped. Because of her. Do all superheroes have to deal with stupid speeches like this in their final moments?

Her kick carries an electric jolt, and I nearly pass out.  I should’ve expected this—dying is something of an occupational hazard. I just never thought I’d be killed by my best friend. It’s hard not to remember who she used to be—who we all used to be.

She starts to charge another lightning ball. The energy collects around her in a low whir, like the vibrations from a phone.  

Or is that an actual phone? I force my eyes open, fight against my screaming bones and muscles enough to lift my head, and yes, that’s a phone. Unbelievable. She’s texting somebody. I’m lying here trying to muster enough energy for Famous Last Words besides monosyllabic grunts, and she can’t even be bothered to pay attention.  

Finally, she looks down at me. “Well, you’re in luck. Turns out I have somewhere to be. Much as I’d like to blow you to pieces, it’ll have to wait.”

With a dramatic flip of her dark hair, she’s gone before I have a chance to blink. All she leaves is a tiny silver wisp in her wake.  

“It wasn’t my fault.” My voice is a whisper in the empty alley. The words burn my lungs and a stabbing pain pierces my chest. Streak isn’t around to hear my Famous Last Words, and without her to finish me off, they might not be my last words anyway. So I have to keep fighting. I have to be there when she comes back, whether it’s at a bank or a school or a dog show. Because I am the hero.

I think.

 

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