Dear Literary Agent somewhere on the Interwebs,
Please take a moment to consider my 89,000 word speculative novel, The Unpeople.
Dr. Helen Collins reluctantly becomes the voice of those who lose the power of speech. As the most prominent infected person in the city that knows Sign Language when half the city falls prey to a mysterious condition robbing many of their ability to speak, the vegetarian reclusive History professor finds herself in the spotlight. The country comes together in solidarity. Collins cannot teach History, but falls into satisfaction teaching Sign with her colleague and friend, Durand.
But when elections loom, public opinion of “Wretches” turns. Infected, including Collins, are forced into hiding. Watching Wretches beaten and lynched, Collins speaks out, only to find herself on the receiving end of a manhunt. Rather than hide, Collins takes up the cause to regain the freedom and dignity stripped of her and other infected people. Collins begins the revolution with four helpless souls and one defiant act of aggression.
On its face, The Unpeople is a monster story from the perspective of the monster as a target rather than aggressor. At its core, this is a story of ethnic conflict, gender politics, government’s role in determining national identity, and a woman’s personal struggle with her transition into the world of the unwanted due to her “choice” to live an “unnatural” lifestyle. The title is a play on the zombie “undead” theme and Noam Chomsky’s term, “unpeople,” describing groups erased from political discussion.
Though an unpublished fiction writer, I have participated in many short story contests with some success. An early draft of this novel made it to the third round in Amazon.com’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (2012).
My background is in political theory with a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, I work as an advocate for adults with developmental disabilities and children in the foster system.
All the best