Would You Read It Wednesday #268 – The Wildness In Mellie Feye (MG)

(Go HERE to read the Halloweensie finalists and vote for your favorite!)

Does anyone know how it is possible that Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow???!!!

Seriously!  I do not know where October and November went!

I guess that’s what happens when you’re very busy 🙂


Since I am so busy (and we got such a tremendously wonderful number of entries in the Halloweensie Contest!) the posting schedule got a little messed up.

The poll is still up for you to vote for your favorite Halloweensie entry until tomorrow at noon.  If you haven’t had a chance to read the finalists and vote, please go HERE.  We need all the votes we can get!  Tell your friends and relations to come read and vote for their favorite too!  They will have the pleasure of reading some fantastically entertaining stories and it will only take them a couple minutes! 🙂

Even though I didn’t want to interrupt the voting, I also didn’t want to disappoint Candice who is signed up for Would You Read It today.  So please have a look at her pitch below and let her know what you think!

To give you strength, here is Something Chocolate!

Oreo Brookie Layer Cake

Mmmm!  Lip-smackin’ YUM!

I know that will fortify you for the job ahead! 🙂

Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Candice who says, “An avid reader of fairytales, I have to take turns with my six and four year-old on who gets to play the villain. Evil cackles have been mastered by all.. I blog at candicemarleyconner.wordpress.com, tweet @candice_marleyc, and facebook at www.facebook.com/CMarleyConnerAuthor ”

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: The Wildness In Mellie Feye

Age/Genre: Upper Middle Grade Eco-Fairytale Retelling

The Pitch: Mellie isn’t sure what her mama’s curse made her—a half sea serpent, a water spirit, a freak of a mermaid. Or simply cursed.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Candice improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  There are openings in January, so you have time to polish your pitch before putting it up for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!

Candice is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing who wins the Halloweensie Contest… which we will know on FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂


20 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #268 – The Wildness In Mellie Feye (MG)

  1. Wendy says:

    Hi Candice! I’d like to see more information in your pitch. You have a nice tag-line (like a movie poster, or something on a back book cover), but I’m not getting what the story is really about. What’s at stake for your MC? How is your book different from the other girl/mermaid (or a similar creature) stories on the market? I like the element of being cursed by her mother (makes me wonder what she did to deserve that!), I just need to know more.

    • candicemarleyconner says:

      Hi Wendy, thank you for reading and for your suggestions. I’m glad the curse piqued your interest as it’s the critical point that gets the story going. Looks like I need to work on fleshing out my pitch and your questions are a perfect road map for me, thanks!

  2. jeanjames926 says:

    Hi Candice, this is a good start, but I’m not sure what your story is about, why Mellie has been cursed, and what she may be up against. I’m certainly intrigued to find out though. Good luck to you.

  3. kathalsey says:

    Candace, this is a great start, but I need and want more. Just as Wendy & Jean have said, we need more details re: plot, stakes, I like the concept, though, and you’ve hit your audience in a sweet spot. Kids this age will eat this up. (former middle school teacher and librarian here.)

  4. Jennifer G Prevost says:

    Good morning, Candace! I had such a great experience here on Would You Read It last week, I hope today is the same for you. With regards to your pitch, I definitely am intrigued but also need more information. You give us a great snippet of your MC, but I’d love to hear more about what happens to her. You’re off to a good start and you seem to have a knack for building tension so keep it up! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  5. authorlaurablog says:

    Good morning Candice, I love the idea of an Eco-fairy tale retelling but I’m not sure what fairy tale you are working with. I’d like to hear more about the ecology aspects of your story.
    In general, I need more information, as the others have already said. I thought the name Mellie Feye was a twist on Maleficent but the mention of mermaid made me think of Ariel in the Little Mermaid. I’m just not sure where you are going.
    As a reading specialist, I like fairy tale retellings and know the students do too, but I need to know what the original version is.

    • candicemarleyconner says:

      Hi Laura, great points! I wanted to do a different take on a “mermaid” story, so it’s based on the legend of Melusine, the water spirit in the Starbucks logo. I was absolutely ecstatic to discover while researching that she’s the niece of Morgan la Fey (hence the Feye last name). The eco part is how I made the Tri-State Water Wars (between AL, GA, & FL) an integral part of the plot as it affects super bio-diverse areas like bays, etc) So the hard part is putting all these fun facts I’m passionate about in a concise pitch, haha 😆

      • authorlaurablog says:

        I pitched one of my picture books a few weeks ago and also received some great feedback. The pitch, not the story needed work. It’s a different skill set and one I am still not great at. Best of luck!

  6. willowwrites says:

    Hi Candice, I really like the title and the character’s name. When I read the pitch I thought perhaps there was somewhere else I was supposed to go to read the rest of it. For me, this pitch doesn’t tell me what I need to know to read on.

    My thoughts: I wondered who was cursed. First read thru, I thought Mellie Feye was cursed but on the second read I thought it was the mom who was cursed. I wasn’t sure if you are saying it is Mellie Feye or her mom that is —a half sea serpent, a water spirit, a freak of a mermaid. Or simply cursed. If Mellie Feye is cursed, then it sounds like her mom did the cursing -which could easily be the case when you have a teenager, even if it is only under your breath 🙂
    This pitch would benefit from a tad more clarity.

    I suggest you add a hint of where the story is going…what adventure will be undertaken and how does that relate to her wildness mentioned in the title.

    I’m not sure the fairy tale this is retelling, you might perhaps mention the name. That may help with clarity as well.

    Best of luck with this one…glad to see fairy tales making a come back.

  7. matthewlasley says:

    Good morning Candice. Hopefully your are someplace nice and warm this morning. It is 7 degrees here at my house and I don’t want to go to work.

    Anyways, to why we are here.

    You have a great hook here. It lures you in to want to know more. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough there to keep me. To continue the metaphor, which is probably not the best for a mermaid story, but the hook was missing the bait.

    I would like to know a little more about the character. Where does she live? What does she want? Why is she cursed? Is that curse related to her problem?

    I need to know the stories point of view. I want to hear Mellie’s voice.

    It may seem a lot to add, but I think it can be done. I do not know your story, but if you don’t mind, I would like to write a quick pitch using your base pitch and what I envisioned the story to be.

    Mellie understood that being a teenager is a curse in itself. Floundering to find your way in the world. First love. First heartbreak. Finding out who you are. Mellie knew who she was, cursed. Oh, and a half water sprite, or mermaid, but definitely a freak! Great! Cursed and confused!

    I know this is a rough pitch, but I hope it may give you some ideas. Best of luck!


    • candicemarleyconner says:

      Hi Matt, honestly I can’t even imagine 7 degrees. It’s suppose d to get down to 35 here next week (71 now) and I’m trying to figure out how not to leave my house.
      I like how you incorporated voice in the mock-pitch so I appreciate your suggestions and plan on studying them as everyone seems to be of a similar mind on what this needs. Thank you!

  8. Three Show Saturday says:

    Hi Candice! I loved your mini-bio and the image of your little ones practicing their evil cackles cracked me up. 🙂

    I would definitely be interested in your book because 1) I love mermaid tales (no pun intended) and 2) I love upper-middle grade.

    Like some of the other comments mentioned, I didn’t get a sense of what your book would really be about outside of a curse. I like the way you play with the words and mention curse twice, but I felt like there were too many words between the initial mention of the curse and the words “Or simply cursed” for that line to pack the punch you were looking for.

    Original pitch: Mellie isn’t sure what her mama’s curse made her—a half sea serpent, a water spirit, a freak of a mermaid. Or simply cursed.

    Without knowing more about your story, it’s difficult to suggest an adequate revision, but I feel like you’re wanting these various identities to really have a punch, and indicate the internal struggle Mellie faces by not really knowing what she is.

    Suggestion: Mellie wanted a normal life, but what she got was her mama’s curse. Mermaid. Serpent. Freak. Now she doesn’t know what she is, but she’s definitely cursed.

    That’s really a terrible suggestion haha but the idea was just to tighten up the names that describe her so they have more of a punch.

    Happy writing!

  9. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Candice, you have definitely piqued my interest and as others mentioned you have a great log line. Try to fill this in:
    Mellie wants/needs _______, but ______________. So she __________, ____________, & __________. Until _________. (just a rough place to start)
    I do like your current pitch as the lead teaser, or fist line of the query. But we need to know what is actually happening in the story, what she wants, what/who is opposing her, how she tries to solve/fix her problem. and ultimately a hint at the resolution.
    I hope this helps you. It really sounds like a fun MG. I would definitely read it. 🙂

  10. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    Candice! I think this story (as I read what it will be about in your comments) is so fascinating!! I love your writing style….clever way to intrigue us! I, personally might punctuate it a bit differently to disrupt the flow a bit (example: Nellie wasn’t sure what her mom made her….half sea serpent? Mermaid? Water spirit? Or simply, cursed?!
    Great attention getter, then flesh out a short summary as suggested above. Good luck!! I look forward to seeing this on library book shelves at the middle school I work at!

  11. Katie Frawley says:

    Hey, Candice! Isn’t Would You Read It Wednesday the best? Looks like you’ve gotten great advice. More info is a must. Good luck fleshing out your pitch! This sounds like a very exciting story!

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