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VOID STORM: UNBOUND (YA Fantasy)

Title:

Void Storm: Unbound

Author:

Benjamin Inn

Genre:

YA Fantasy

Word Count:

82,000 words

Query:

or generations, the ancient demon Void Storm has terrorized the Southlands.

All Luo Sanniang has ever wanted was to wear nice dresses, have children, and marry the aristocrat Shi Jinyu. But when the only person who could’ve ended Void Storm’s reign, her brother, is murdered on her wedding night, she vows revenge against the masked fiend.

Sanniang defies tradition by secretly training in Valiant Crane style, a martial art suitable for women with bound feet. Near the end of her family’s mourning period, the outlaw Xiang Su swears allegiance to Sanniang, bringing her evidence of the conspiracy responsible for her brother’s death — and Void Storm’s mask. In order to truly use what Su has brought her, Sanniang has to find a way to unbind her feet, learn Su’s outlaw ways, and become the thing she hates most — Void Storm.

When Sanniang dons the mask, its full powers reveal her as the true Void Storm. While at Jinyu’s estate, she learns of her betrothed’s involvement in the conspiracy. Sanniang burns her wedding dress before setting off to re-form Void Storm’s gang. As Sanniang and Su’s unlikely association grows into deeper friendship, they must unify their multi-ethnic band of outlaws and prevent chaos from consuming Guangzhou.

I am a Korean-American writer born in Hawaii, the great melting pot of Asian culture. My stories and poetry have been published in journals such as The River Poet, The Spiderweb Salon ‘zine, and A Small, Good Magazine. I am the vice president of the Denton Writers’ Critique group and have been a member of the DFW Writers’ Group.

VOID STORM: UNBOUND is a YA fantasy novel, or more aptly a Chinese wuxia written for an American audience. Popularized in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, wuxia is a genre of high-flying martial arts, romance, chivalry, and adventure. The novel is complete at 82,000 words and would appeal to fans of Batman, anime such as Naruto, the “Tales of the Otori” series by Lian Hearn, and “Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers

First 300 words:

Images from a rogues’ gallery glared down at her, and all Luo Sanniang could do was shake her head at them and mutter, “I could do better.” The hint of a smug grin crept across her slim face as she studied the array of yellow wanted posters pasted on the city wall. Tall, willowy, and well-dressed, the young woman took pride in the attention and the wide berth everyone gave her.
Shoppers shuffled across the flagstone streets, merchants called out the merits of their wares, horses clattered past leading a squeaky-wheeled carts, and armor-clad city guards leaned on their polearms. A constant haze of clouds had held back the mid-day sun’s fury and made faint blobs of people’s shadows. As the cover began to clear, Sanniang unfurled her parasol to protect her pale skin.
“Are you talking to the pictures, sister?” Xu Nianci dodged a slow-moving cart and waddled up, hands on her pregnant belly.
Sanniang pointed up at the posters. “Look how badly-drawn they are.” A sudden gust disrupted the smoothness of her blue silk dress and pulled a long strand of hair free from her ornate headdress. It waved in the wind, slow and ephemeral, as if it were some sort of ghost.
Nianci snorted, folded her arms, and inspected the posters. “I don’t think creating fine artwork was the goal here. Who would honor these lowlifes with talent such as yours anyway?”
“You flatter me, Nianci.” She flashed a wry smirk at her sister-in-law. “I would delight in helping my brother catch these men in any way I can. Perhaps he’d have an easier time if he had better pictures of them.”
Her arms still folded, Nianci’s joy faded as she faced her much taller companion.

11 Comments

  • Beth Phelan says:

    Would love to see a partial of this! Can I please have 50 pages as a Word doc attachment, sent with a query letter to beth@thebentagency.com and “WCNV request: VOID STORM: UNBOUND” in the subject line?

    Thanks so much! Looking forward to taking a closer look at this. 🙂

    Beth Phelan
    The Bent Agency

  • I love the idea of a YA fantasy with a martial arts spin! I would be interested to see this on submission when it’s agented.

  • Melissa Nasson says:

    I like the concept here, and I’d love to read more. Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF to melissa@rpcontent.com. Thanks!

  • I’m really drawn in by the martial arts and the focus on a band of outlaws! I’d love to see a synopsis + 50 pgs at query@psliterary.com.

  • Roseanne Wells says:

    Hi Benjamin,

    I’d love to read more. Please send the manuscript and a synopsis as attachments following the guidelines on jdlit.com, with WCNV in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Please do email the query letter and manuscript my way, thanks.

    To tell you a little bit about our literary agency, which closes more deals for authors than any other agency worldwide: tridentmediagroup.com

    Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City that originally formed in 2000. TMG represents over 1,000 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies.

    For more than ten consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to publishersmarketplace.com in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to consistently be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction and has ranked as highly as number one in UK fiction deals.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,

    Mark

    Mark Gottlieb
    Literary Agent
    Trident Media Group, LLC
    41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 333-1506
    tridentmediagroup.com

  • Rachel Stark says:

    I’d love to see this submission! You do not need an agent to submit to me; feel free to send your query and your manuscript (as a Word doc) to me at rstark[at]skyhorsepublishing[dot]com. Please include “WCNV Request” in the subject line.

  • Yes, please! Can you send the query and first 25 pages to linda [AT] prospect agency [DOT] com? Please be sure to put “WCNV Contest: [TITLE]” in the subject line.

  • Hi Benjamin,
    Thank you so much for participating in the WCNV contest! I really enjoyed this opening and would love to keep reading VOID STORM: UNBOUND. Please send the query letter and first 50 pages as a Word doc, to my attention, to fullcirclelit@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
    All my best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary

    p.s. If you receive multiple requests from Full Circle agents, please just note that in your query letter.

  • Pam Howell says:

    This reminds me of EON/EONA. I need to see the full! querypamvhv@gmail.com

  • This sounds amazing! I’d love to see the synopsis and query in the body of the email, with your full MS attached (.doc or .docx) to michelle@inklingsliterary.com

    Please put #WCNV in the subject line with the title of your book.

    Thank you!

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