Query for the teen novels How Good It Can Be and The Love Quad

When does borderline abusive behavior cross the line?

When Emma gets with Blake, she thinks she’s found the perfect guy and considers giving up her dream of going away for college to stay with him.

When the rumors about Blake start—that he’s hooked up with other girls—and Emma’s confronted with evidence of his character firsthand—he borrows money from her, complains about who she hangs out with and tries to control what she does in her free time, Emma refuses to believe that Blake’s unworthy.

When Blake physically assaults her, Emma must make a decision whether or not to stay with him. Ultimately, Blake chooses for her when he recklessly takes his own life. In the end Emma Saffron finds out how good it can be to be true to herself.

My debut teen novel How Good It Can Be is in a completed draft at 70,000 words.

A few teens have read the novel—here’s their feedback: http://twitpic.com/1mzkxh and http://www.michellezaffino.com/blog/1398/

Why let tragic events color the course of your life?

Why is it that even though Emma’s at school in California, she still thinks about her ex-boyfriend Blake?

Why does she attract friends who also have issues? Spencer, who struggles with his sexuality, Guy, who has almost zero confidence, and Alexis, whose New York upbringing gave her too much?

Why does she fall into The Love Quad? This modern story is one about “girls who like boys who like boys who like girls who like girls.”

Why despite the consequences does Emma thrive, excelling in school and as a deejay for the campus station? She realizes that bad things happen to everybody and that you don’t have to let events like coming out, prejudice, sexual violence, or attempted suicide direct the course of your life.

The Love Quad is the sequel to How Good It Can Be and is in a completed draft at 68,000 words.

Please contact me if you would like to see the plot synopsis for each of these novels, or a sample chapter.

I also recently finished the rough draft of an historical novel for teens, set in 1501 Rome that centers on the satirical statue called Pasquino (which is my maternal grandmother’s surname).

Many Thanks—Michelle Zaffino

About Michelle Zaffino

Michelle Zaffino has over 15 years of creative industry experience, including magazine and online publishing, writing, editing and copywriting. She worked in New York for publications such as Redbook, Elle, Sports Afield and Esquire, and while managing the research department at Marie Claire, she wrote Does Your Man Need A Makeover?, which inspired tv’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Now living in San Francisco, she writes copy for websites like Bare Escentuals, Men’s Wearhouse, Wild Planet, Charlotte Russe, TRIA Beauty, Sephora, Banana Republic, Dockers, Gap, Piperlime, Old Navy, Lucy Activewear, Perricone MD, Eco to the People, Eco Fashion World and her own websites, www.inthestacks.tv and www.michellezaffino.com. She recently completed her first teen novel, How Good It Can Be, a sequel and a historical novel for teens, and is currently working on a series for young adults. Michelle also recently earned her MLIS and plans to see her interest in writing, books, online copywriting and computers converge in a future job in information architecture and digital libraries.

A video query can be viewed here.