Thank you for all of your feedback, guys! I really appreciate it. Here’s a revised version — thoughts?
Sixteen-year-old Albert Woodler knows there’s nothing weird about magic. Albert and his best friend Julia have been doing spells since they were kids, and spelling is predictable, straightforward, scientific. But when a wild-eyed gunman tries to kill Julia in the middle of a spelling competition — and ends up trapping her in the body of an African grey parrot instead — magic gets pretty damn weird.
It’s not that Julia is gone. She’s still conscious and snarking away from inside that little feathered body, but her transformation defies the laws of spelling — plus, Albert has no idea who would want her dead. Worst of all, the only concrete clues seem to lie with an enigmatic young man who deals in the same illicit magic used in the attack on Julia.
Delving into the mysteries of illegal “non-loc” magic, the young spellers find themselves snatched away to a parallel universe, and Albert discovers he’s way out of his depth. His years of training are useless out here where people use non-loc with impunity, but if he can’t find the answers they’re looking for, Julia’s humanity is lost forever. And that’s assuming her attacker doesn’t find them and end both their spelling careers — permanently.
UNFAMILIAR SPELLINGS is a YA fantasy novel complete at 80,000 words. Thank you for your consideration.