Friday, May 2, 2014

The Writer's Voice Entry: THE DISLOYALTY OF COLORS (YA SF)

I am very excited to have been chosen by the Rafflecopter to enter The Writer's Voice contest! My submission is below.


Dear Writer's Voice coaches,

Seventeen-year-old Tesla Sonenclare can decrypt a coded message in nanoseconds thanks to her ability to see numbers and letters with innate color. She has synesthesia, a condition that mixes up her senses, causing sounds, letters, and smells to all have colors. This allows her to see patterns in numbers more easily. But in a time when genetic engineering is the norm, not knowing a child's origin is taboo, and Tesla's bio parents were never found from their car crash; so she's not just adopted, she's "unknown". No parents' genes to tell her or the rest of the world who she is. Instead, people tell her that she, and her family because they adopted her, are second rate.

During her mandatory school internship at the General Intelligence agency, Tesla hopes her code-breaker skills will finally prove she's more than her unknown-status. She uses her synesthesia to decode a message that points to a security breach at G.I. But since no one else can replicate Tesla's decryption, her supervisor doesn't believe her. When the blueprints of G.I. are stolen, like Tesla predicted, she becomes the sole suspect.

And she's charged with treason.

Tesla must use her code-breaking skills to clear her name before any more of G.I.'s intelligence is stolen, and she's convicted of a crime she didn't commit. But when her adoptive family gets implicated, she must choose between her own deteriorating status and freedom, or the freedom of the people who gave her everything.

THE DISLOYALTY OF COLORS is a YA sci-fi complete at 70,000 words. The sci-fi world will appeal to readers of Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES series and Marissa Meyer's LUNAR CHRONICLES series. It is a standalone novel with series potential. I have a bachelor's degree in biology and linguistics, a master's in education, and am currently working on my next novel.

First 250 words:

The reds of the song, mostly crimson and burgundy, mingled with the blue breakfast smells, making it hard to taste anything at all. The musicians outside The Digital Snackbar turned down their synthetic amps, relieving me of the overpowering colors. That was the thing about synesthesia; it always jumbled my senses. Music and smells turned into colors in my mind, so music in the morning always distracted from the smell of breakfast. And I loved breakfast.

Color floated around the restaurant like one of those ancient lava lamps. My mother had given me one for my seventeenth birthday a few months ago, but I couldn't get it to work. I hadn't figured out a way to convert the old plug to LiteEnergy. 

The family behind us whispered in their plasti-carbon booth. The plastics in the seat cover made a distinctive fuchsia sound as the family repositioned themselves in their seats.

"She looks so different from the rest of her family," the father said a little too loudly. His eyes didn't stray from the booth as he shoveled in his breakfast, but I knew he was talking about me. They always were.

I put down my spork and massaged my temples.

"Her hair -- it's just so blond," the daughter said. "It's practically white. And the others are just so... dark."

"I think I recognize them," the mother said, "from that news article a while back. I think she's the... 'unknown' one."

I went to turn around, but my mother grabbed my arm.

"It's not worth it," Mom said, shaking her head.


  1. I LOVE synesthesia as a character trait, really fascinating! And great intro pages, I like your description of her world. Good luck in the contest!

    1. Thank you!! Ever since I learned about synesthesia it's been swirling around my head in the form of a story :) Good luck as well!

  2. This is great! I love all the little world-building touches. And I'm also a linguistics and language nerd :)

    1. Love linguistics and languages!! Viva la nerds!

  3. Intriguing premise with strong layers -- compelling.
    Best wishes!

  4. I love, love, love this! That fact that you tackle synesthesia and comp it with the LUNAR CHRONICLES?! Good luck!

    1. Ahh thank you!! Synesthesia is such an awesome concept that I just had to write about it :)