Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Writer’s Voice – Never Met, Never Parted

I am thrilled to have won a place in The Writer’s Voice. Thanks to Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Elizabeth Briggs, and Krista Van Dolzer for hosting the competition and for giving so many of us the chance to take another step towards literary representation and publication.

My Query

In the spring of 1945, a severely burned German prisoner-of-war is delivered to a Scottish farm to work. Lorna, the farmer’s teenage daughter, soon discovers that in wartime, your family and your allies might not actually be your friends, and your enemy might turn out to be the love of your life. Lorna’s friendship with Paul, and their developing love for each other, is challenged by Lorna’s own prejudices and by the intolerance of her soldier brother and her friends in the village. Ultimately, the events which bring peace to Europe will tear Lorna and Paul apart.

Never Met, Never Parted is a YA Historical novel of 107,000 words. The first book in a pair, it ends as Paul is taken away with the other POWs from Lorna’s village. The second book will follow Lorna across war-ravaged Europe as she tries to find him again.

I am a Scottish writer now living in Houston, Texas. I am an active member of SCBWI, and in 2014 won the SCBWI Joan Lowery Nixon Award for this story. As my prize, I have had the honor of a year's mentoring from Newbery Winner, Kathi Appelt. I am the mother of three teenage readers and writers.

Never Met, Never Parted - First 250 words

Lorna was ankle-deep in cow-shit and milk when she first saw the boy with the steel-gray eyes and only half a face.
Only dimly aware of the rumble of a truck lurching up the lane, Lorna tried to push Caddy and Canny away from the reeking, steaming mess with the broom. The dogs, however, dodged around her and continued to lick up the milk from where it had puddled in the deep crevices between the cobbles, a rare treat for them. Like the dogs, Lorna kept her head down. Her father was raging at Nellie, which made a nice change since it meant that, for once, Jock Anderson’s ire wasn’t directed at Lorna.
“What in the Devil’s name did you think you were doing, you glaikit girl? Can you not even carry a bucket without dropping the damn thing?”
The great farmer’s bulk cast a threatening shadow over Nellie who looked so petite, even in her Land Army uniform of baggy fawn breeches and thick green sweater. Lorna felt a little guilty about not sticking up for her, but Lorna knew Nellie was made of stronger stuff, so she carried on sweeping.
“But Mr. Anderson,” Nellie began, “it was an accident, I—”
“If you’d been concentrating on the matter in hand, lassie, you wouldn’t have all these accidents. Particularly when the matter in your hand is a big bucket of my cows’ milk. This is not an accident, let me tell you, it’s a tragic waste.”


  1. Although I don't typically read historical fiction, I do like the idea of this. (And possibly a little teary from the query letter.) Good Luck!

  2. Good luck in the competition! (I'm assuming this is YA Historical? You might want to specify that in your query, if so, as the judges will want to know. Are you on Twitter, btw?)

    1. Thanks, Annette, that's a good idea. And yes, I'm on Twitter at @carolinesblurb.

  3. A lot of other entrants are hanging out at #TheWVoice, btw – join in the fun! :o)


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