Name: Michael Lunsford
Twitter Handle: @lunsfordmichael
YA or MG: MG
Title: DEREK HYDE KNOWS SPOOKY WHEN HE SEES IT
Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): Derek must deal with headless ghosts & their evil son after moving into the Hyde Funeral Home with quirky mortician parents, Jack & Formalda
1st 250 words of opening: There are far worse things in life than being raised in a funeral home. For example, you could… um…
Okay, here’s one. You could have your brains eaten alive and slurped down by cranky, overworked zombies who haven’t had their morning coffee.
Or how about this? You could be stuffed into a spin dryer at Leo’s Laundromat & Hideous Stain Removal Service and set to Extra Dry/Huge Load.
But Derek wasn’t eaten and he definitely wasn’t spin dried, either. Just driven to the narcoleptic town of Littleburp in the family car (actually, an old yellow school bus), and then to a really unfortunate and grossly undesirable address: 1313 Slimeytoes Lane.
As the bus splashed its way through a beautifully timed thunderstorm on the worst day of Derek’s life (so far), his mom and dad worked at keeping his spirits up by singing their favorite, most embarrassing song: Poopy Head, Poopy Head, Don’t You Be a Poopy Head.
It didn’t help.
It was bad enough his adoptive parents dragged Derek out of his seventh grade class and away from all his friends to limp across the country in a broken-down school bus on this Journey to Nowhere. Much worse was the notion that they were about to move him into a spooky old mansion they planned to convert into a funeral home.
You see, his parents were funeral directors. Morticians. Undertakers.
On this appropriately stormy autumn day, noisy brakes slowed them to a squealing stop in front of their new home.
Synopsis (200 word max): When Derek is driven to an old mansion being turned into the Hyde Funeral Home by Jack and Formalda, his mortician parents, he hears a strange story. A foster kid, Norval Nussbaum, lived there with own mom and dad until he blew their heads off. With his chemistry set. Now they’re two headless ghosts, haunting the place.
Derek meets a girl, Prudence, and invites her to his haunted home. She’s dubious until ghosts stumble into the kitchen, groping and headless. The kids decide to search for their missing heads, discovering them in a freezer. They sneak to the cemetery at night, dig up the ghosts’ corpses and return the heads—but it doesn’t help. The ghosts can’t move on until they’re reunited with their child.
Meanwhile, their son, Norval, tries to scare the Hydes into leaving his old home. He drugs Derek and Prudence and stuffs them into display coffins, but they escape and capture him instead. The ghosts appear, revealing that they’re really after Prudence, their daughter, Norval’s sister. Prudence apologizes for her subterfuge, but Formalda and Jack are sympathetic. They offer to become her foster parents so she can live at the mansion and be near the ghosts.
Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): Is it compelling? Funny? Clear?