Dear Agents,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to pitch to you.

Complete at 55,000 words, BIRD is a YA paranormal thriller with series potential, comparable to The Sixth Sense and Anna Dressed in Blood.

Sixteen-year-old Casey Sommers just wants the life she had a year ago. Before she was responsible for taking care of her younger sister, Bird. Now, nothing seems easy, or normal anymore. Including her sister. There is something different about Bird. When Bird predicts her own death, Casey brushes it off—until a string of murdered girls in the area make her sister’s forecasts impossible to ignore.  

When the strange events escalate, and her sister’s horrific nightmares end up causing her to wake up screaming and bruised, Casey knows she has to do something about it. It’s time to take action and call in the cavalry, her best friends. Together the group must unravel Bird’s link to the killer. And to do that, they will have to face a frightening secret that Bird’s kept hidden for years. With time running out, Casey is going to have to give up the idea that anything in her life will ever be normal again, or risk losing it all.

I have been published by Gallery books in an anthology called “Once Upon Now”, a fairytale retelling (2016). My short story DARLA was a top ten finalist for the TNT horror contest (2016) held by TNT in collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan. I am a commissioned writer for Wattpad, an ebook company, and TAP, a serialized story app.    

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this query.

Tammy Oja

“I’m gonna give it to you straight, because I think you’re a tough kid and you can take it. Bird, little sister, creator of chaos and future Queen of the Nerds, we …. are poor. Poor kids living in a farming community who don’t even have a farm. So poor, that we taste terrible.”

The mound under the cover erupts into squirms and giggles as I flop myself onto the bottom of the bed and pinch at the wiggling limbs.

“It’s true. No monster in their right mind would come to this crappy town and eat a kid. Or even think about scaring them. We get a free pass just for living here. Why else would we still be sticking around?”

With one hand holding a leg, I reach out the other to click on the light sitting on my sister’s wobbly bedside table. A popping sound erupts stopping the laughter as the bulb goes dark and the overhead light above us flickers. Her leg muscles stop their twitching and become stiff and rigid. It figures. Nothing is ever quick or easy when it comes to putting Bird to bed.

“Am I dreaming or did we just change this bulb out like two days ago?” I ask, scratching my head. “I think there’s a short in it. We better add a new one to the list. I’ll give you mine for tonight, okay?”

Her head stays under the blankets and she mumbles as I unplug the defective fire hazard. I place it on the dresser next to the clothes we’ve already set out for tomorrow along with her lined-up boots. Without bothering to find out what she’s saying, I head down the hallway one door to the left and grab the sparkling silver lamp next to my bed. It’s late and I’m already tired, so without bothering to bend down, I yank the cord from the wall. The full glass of water resting on my dresser shakes and splashes across the tattered algebra book laying open on my bed.

I’m tempted to throw in the towel and chuck it, but instead I pick up a dirty T-shirt from the floor and blot the water, thankful it didn’t spill on the notebook next to it. I’d never get the homework done if I had to start over. As it is, I’m still two chapters behind and if I’m going to pass this class, they need to be done before bed. Groaning, I think about my best friend Jenny who’s probably already finished and getting enough sleep to get through another Tuesday. My sister’s craziness is, like always, putting me behind.

On the march back to her room, I give myself a pep talk and promise to keep this part short. I am almost home free, just a few more minutes and it’s time to myself. As I plug in the lamp and turn it on, the top of Bird’s head slowly peeps out from under the blanket, waiting for the end of our nightly routine.