I am seeking folks who are willing to read the manuscript of my new novel, and give me critical feedback.
Informed by my clinical background in post-traumatic stress healing, my work with both sexual abuse survivors and perpetrators, my twenty years coordinating a feminist based, domestic violence program for male offenders, and my own life as a sexual abuse survivor, this book address-es these issues, along with racism, classism, homophobia, the Iraq War, and the struggles of growing up in a marginalized working class family, while telling a painful but hopeful personal story.
The format of the book is inspired by Alice Walker’s, The Color Purple. The story is told through the journal of fifteen year old, Zachary (in his vernacular), as he moves through the spring and summer of 2004, as victim and perpetrator. The journal is interspersed with a running commentary being written in 2008 by his eighteen year old younger sister, Angie.
I’m an experienced writer, and I feel pretty good about what I’ve done, but I’d really like to hear how it works for readers.
Below is the text of a query letter I’m sending to agents. If you decide you’re interested, contact me at

Zachary Parker is a basically a good kid. This fifteen year old has some amazing qualities, some serious problems, and he also has a secret. In THE TRAGIC CRASH OF THE INCREDIBLE FLYING BOY, the reader soon discovers both the secret and the harm it does to Zach and his family.
Set in a working class suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, the story unfolds through Zach’s personal journal during five months of 2004. As it unfolds, readers get a picture of a dysfunctional but loving family that has experienced tragedy, abandonment, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence, and abusive incest. The readers also watch the struggles and growth of this tragically flawed teen who helps and hurts so many who cross his path. You see, Zachary is both a survivor and an abuser; a victim and a victimizer. As readers witness the often frustrating and extraordinarily difficult journey Zach takes from denial to accountability, the story is given added perspective by Angie, Zach’s younger sister, who, writing from 2008, both introduces the reader to the journal, and makes important comments about her experience throughout the book. And, yes, if you can believe the newspapers, the flying boy really does fly.
As a psychologist who has worked extensively with both sex offenders and survivors, I was inspired to bring a story forward that more accurately depicts the tragedy of incest and other related family issues, than what is usually presented in the media. As a former weekly commentator for the local NPR affiliate, a feature writer for The City News, an occasional guest columnist for The Plain Dealer, and a widely published poet, I have written extensively on social issues relevant to this work.
Reality can be a frustrating, painful crash, but it can also be an enriching, inspiring, hopeful experience. Let Zach and Angie show you how. I hope this unique tale of a couple of working class kids in a much too common situation will interest you. The manuscript is available for immediate re-view. Thank you for your time.