For Agents

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Thank you for stopping by my page! I’m in the process of querying a dark and cerebral young adult contemporary novel called UPSTAGED, which is loose retelling of the play AMADEUS by Peter Shaffer. It is completed at 60,000 words.

This was a PitchWars project, which means I got excellent mentorship from Karen M. McManus.

The Pitch:

More than anything, Ellie is terrified of mediocrity. She has worked her entire life to be the best of the best at the theater program of the nationally-renowned Ibsen High School of the Performing Arts. With an epic production of Hamlet planned, Ellie’s set for her greatest year yet. Until Mo walks through the doors.

Mo is a genderqueer acting prodigy who can quite literally play any role. In no time at all, Mo steals the spotlight and the girl Ellie secretly loves out from under Ellie. Drastic measures must be taken. Even if Ellie has to break Ibsen High’s cardinal rule (no paying gigs!). Even if she has to exploit Mo’s one weakness (alcohol), thus destroying the greatest talent of their generation. Somehow, Ellie has to get rid of Mo, even though she’s never admired someone so much in her life.

UPSTAGED is a dark contemporary YA complete at 60,000 words. It’s like if AMADEUS, CENTER STAGE, and the works of Brecht somehow had a baby, and that baby was kind of evil.

Why I wrote this book:

This book came from my experience as a former theater student and a love for all things playwriting. Although, none of my theater experience was nearly as cutthroat as this story. (Thank goodness!) I became interested in writing outside of the gender binary when I began raising my child who was very gender creative from the get-go. I had so much fun donning Ellie’s voice and being dark and manipulative and scheming: all things I am not. Although, my ultimate goal is to be the young adult version of the Coen Brothers. Fargo is my favorite movie of all time. I’m hopeful if people find that movie funny, they’ll enjoy this book. (And laugh out loud maybe.) 

Other completed projects:

Leaving Peacesylvania is a contemporary young adult novel about a girl who has grown up on a modern-day hippie commune but decides she no longer fits in, and she decides to go mainstream and attend public school. Completed in 2014. Submitted to publishers, but ultimately pulled from submission when I left my former agent.

The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me is a sex-positive contemporary young adult novel. It’s about a teen doula who knows everything about sex, without having any firsthand experience. She becomes the sex-ed guru at her abstinence-only small-town school. And she also finally gets some experience with sex. Except it might ruin her relationship with her best friend, 2015

Blue and Orange is a picture book about two brothers, one who is orange an one who is blue. But the blue brother wonders if he might be a little orange. Together the brothers break the strict division on the playground. 2015

Colm and Leona is a picture book manuscript based on a fairy tale I’ve always told my children about a brother and sister whose parents are lost at sea. In their mourning, they build a lighthouse and bring their parents home. 2015

Bigger Brother is a picture book from the POV of an older brother, telling his little sister what being an older sibling is all about. He’s encouraging when describing the difficulties of having a new baby around, and upbeat when describing all the ways they’ll love having a new sibling. 2016

My Brain Thinks You’re A Bear is picture book about anxiety for children ages 6-8. It describes the physiology of fear in a reassuring and positive manner. Identifying the ways an anxious child might be feeling, providing reassurance that these are normal and even useful feelings, and encouraging the child to view their thoughts and feelings in an empowered way. 2017

Projects in the works:

Play it Cool, Claire is a middle grade story about an average middle child in an extraordinary family. She’s coping with the loss of her grandmother, the only person who ever understood her. She’s also speaking to her grandmother’s ghost. Originally written as a YA novel, I’m planning on reworking it for the middle grade audiences. This book has a large part of my heart.

Signs Shall Follow is a YA horror. Set in a backwoods bayou, when Ben’s sins lead to the death of his first love, he’s banished and blamed for a series of biblical-scale plagues. Beware, this story has many venomous creatures and a band of violent, feral children. But, really, what could be better?

Spring Tide is a YA fantasy. 4 POV-a cocky shipwright’s son, a shy dockworker with a strong connection to the sea, the daughter of the ruling merchant, and a druidic midwife from the forest. In a harbor town where nothing grows, magic washes ashore in the form of a selkie. While acts of terrorism from the nearby forest-dwellers wreak havoc on the town’s inhabitants and the characters’ relationships grow increasingly tense, they need to examine their impact on the environment and look for the magic that might bring fertility to the land once more. (Rewriting/revising)

Untitled Birth Preparation book written for siblings who want to attend their mother while she delivers their newest brother or sister. This is a topic I’m passionate about. My two oldest children were there when my youngest was born, and I searched and searched for a homebirth book to read with them, and nothing quite fit the bill! I am a trained birth doula, so this is a subject about which I am very passionate.

Thanks for visiting! If any (or hopefully all) of this sounds of interest, I hope you will be in touch. (If I haven’t already reached out to you, that is.)

My email is oliviahinebaugh@gmail.com