Age Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 57,000
Pitch: Sam creates worlds with each map he draws—worlds he can step into. Fantastic. But when another mapmaker threatens to kill Sam’s sister and friend, Sam must use his mapmaking skills to save them.
First 250 Words:
It only took Sam three seconds to annihilate the whole town. He’d timed it. That’s how bored he was. He flicked eraser dust off the page. At least the Badlands looked better. Badlands should be bad. Barren. They shouldn’t have a dinky town plopped in the middle.
He set down his eraser and pushed away from the awkward, built-in desk. This wasn’t a map-drawing desk. The one he’d had back in Los Angeles was big enough to spread out his largest maps. Even though it was only a piece of plywood on cinderblocks, it had been perfect. But his dad said it made no sense to bring pieces of junk like that with them—especially when there was a perfectly serviceable desk built into this room.
Sam kicked one of the desk’s legs. Serviceable. What a dumb word.
He smoothed the edges of his map of Rior. Usually working on it was his favorite thing. Rior was his world. His. Every tree, mountain, city and stream he’d thought of and drew.
What would a face on the side of a mountain look like? Interesting maybe. He was putting tiny crosshatches on the ocean-facing side of Mount Junda, when the bedroom door banged open, making his hand slip. Instead of a face he had a big fat crevice. “Sasha!” he yelled at his sister.
“What?” Sasha tried—and failed—to look innocent.
“You made me—” Sam didn’t bother finishing. He stared at the mistake wondering if he should leave it or erase it.