Name: Emma De Vito

Twitter Handle: @Little_Emma19

YA or MG: YA

Genre: Mystery

Title: 76 Rothesay Road

Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): When a group of friends break into an abandoned house, none of them are prepared for the devastating effects it will have on their lives.

1st 250 words of opening: 76 Rothesay Road was a derelict building. It was a doll’s house that stood proud at the top of my street: a loner. It hadn’t been lived in for years.

The windows were broken and those that weren’t were so smeared in dirt that they could hardly be called windows anymore. Leaning precariously to one side, the crooked nose of the chimney threatened to topple over and destroy the aesthetics of the house. Dogs walked by their owners yelped at the shattered gate as they scurried past…for this was not a place where one could linger.

But to us kids, it was a place of wonder. Somewhere to be explored and have adventures. Somewhere to hide from our parents when they wanted us to come in from the cold. That was of course, until the incident.

Incident? Can it really be called that? Doesn’t incident suggest that no-one was to blame; no-one was responsible? But that was what it was labelled as and only we, those who were there, knew that it was no incident. The malevolent spirit of the house was to blame. Abandoned for so long it greeted us with warmth and a sense of belonging – an escape. No questions asked. And foolishly, we allowed it to be our friend; our place of refuge.

The study was my favourite room. Book cases lined the shelves like obedient soldiers standing to attention and despite their neglect they still looked smart and uniform.

Synopsis (200 word max): They always did it. Breaking into 76 Rothesay Road was a weekly event. It lured them to it like a flame entices a moth: teasingly, invitingly…dangerously. Until one evening, when five of them broke in and only four of them got out.

But whilst they might have left the building, it never left them.
The events of that night stayed with them like an irritable spot – routinely they would pick at it; make it bleed; leave it to scab over and scar. As adults, they were haunted by the memories of what had taken place in that house. It wouldn’t release them until they were all together again.

Every day that passed, it called to them, pleading to be remembered. Every element of their life was touched by the memory of what had occurred. For some, it was easy to push the thoughts away. For others, the daily nightmares flooded their minds.

And so, fifteen years on one evening in late November, the four meet once more in the house that still stands untouched at 76 Rothesay Road. But this time, will any of them escape what it holds in store for them?

Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): * How to write an engaging opening.
* Where the story could lead.
* What intrigues young readers?