I am looking for representation for my upper MG novel, The Time That Magic Took. Mixing fantasy elements with a bit of grit, it stands complete at around 46,000 words. It will appeal to fans of CORALINE and Pixar’s INSIDE OUT.

When thirteen-year-old Penny Milton finds a mysterious coin in a dodgy Brixton underpass, she is quickly enchanted by the things it shows her. Prestige, fame and a link to her absentee mum all await her within its powerful grasp. And the price? The coin will take nothing more than a little of her time.

With her dad in the throes of an introspective mid-life crisis and her beloved brother, Jack, seeking stardom as Brixton’s next big grime artist, Penny can’t see the harm in spending some precious minutes inside the coin’s grasp. What’s so great about the real world, anyway? By the time she understands the terrible underside to the coin’s power, it’s too late; the devious trinket has seduced Jack with a fantasy so rich he’ll never be able to let go. Penny must enter Jack’s imagination, with a little help from the school librarian and her magical cat, and convince him their imperfect life is worth returning to.

To date, I have a short story published in Literally Stories and a semi-finalist position in Writers of the Future, 2019. I also co-host a speculative fiction podcast called Genre Hustle from which we occasionally impart wisdom about writing. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

Lucy Caird

 

Chapter 1 — Coming up hard

In the suburb known as Brixton, outside London, a mysterious magical object studied three children as they made plans for their future. It liked what it saw and made designs of its own. It moved. Through dark forests, under bridges, and along frostbitten streets it hurtled towards them, bringing a whole lot of trouble like only complicated magic can.

The resting spot it chose was a dirty, noisy place in the guts of the city; the perfect lair to wait and think about its lovely children. They were deliciously unsure of themselves. Their minds were heavy with the prospect of so many years yet unlived, but they were brave too. And not without softness! Mouth-wateringly bold, and scrumptiously ambitious. They were the tastiest children the object had seen in its many years of work.

As it released its poison, a black storm gathered in the sky overhead. The streets festered with a sickly mould. Business people made bad choices from grey rooms in high glass towers. Money moved and shifted hands, and at number seventy-two, Margate Road, the three children would make a decision that would change the course of their lives forever.

It started with thirteen-year-old Penny Milton.

She was helping her brother, Jack, with a music video, the first of many destined to kickstart his rap career and catapult the Milton family into an affluence that most could only imagine. They would probably live in a mansion, with servants and a pool, or so Jack prophesized. Penny didn’t really believe it. Those kinds of things didn’t happen to ordinary people; she was just grateful not to be alone that afternoon. Besides, making the music video meant she would do most of the work while Jack and Fatboy clowned around. For the girl, there couldn’t have been a better morning.

In preparation for the shoot, she cleared a space against the back wall of Jack’s bedroom and hung drapes over his collection of imperial storm troopers. It was a serious music video, after all. There couldn’t be toys. Yet despite her best efforts, the space still looked, for all intents and purposes, like a boy’s bedroom. As project manager and designated camerawoman, she would need to say something.

“It doesn’t look very street,” she announced.

Jack was fussing with his hair in the mirror, flattening it, then running a hand through to mess it up again. He jammed the lid on his hair gel and chucked it on the floor. He was like that with his things, casually indifferent, as if they didn’t cost any money. “Just keep the camera close on us,” he said, his gaze trained on himself. “We’re the main event.”

“She’s right though,” Fatboy said. “Rappers don’t rap in their bedrooms, do they?”

Fatboy was Jack and Penny’s best friend. He lived in the nice bit of town in a house that neither of them had seen because he didn’t like to be there. He was in charge of the beats. For Christmas his dad had given him a brand-new laptop and speakers so he could mix music whenever he wanted. Secretly, Penny thought he was more talented than Jack, but she would never, ever admit it.