Name: Kaitlin Hundscheid
Email Address: kait.hundscheid at gmail dot com
Age Category: MG
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Other Age Categories and Genres You Like to Write: MG Contemp or Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Twitter Handle: @khundscheid
Chapter Excerpt is From: Chapter Three
500 Word Excerpt:
Theodore peered down the dark row. “Hello?” He cleared his throat. “Is someone there?”
A man in a long velvet coat emerged from the shadows, gazing at Theodore from beneath a large feathered hat, his eyes glinting like a panther on the hunt. “And who might you be?”
Telling a strange man his name might not be smart, but telling a costumed man in a dark library his name was crazy. Theodore gulped. “I have to go. My brother and sister are waiting for me.” He turned towards the stairs, but paused for one last glimpse of the stranger.
The man was gone.
Theodore stared down the rows to either side.
How could anyone move that fast without making a sound? It wasn’t possible.
In the corner of his eye, Theodore caught a swiftly moving bit of red. He whirled around as a small figure disappeared around the end of a distant row. “Hey, wait!” He raced through the shelves, rounded the same corner, and stopped.
Theodore checked his watch, his heart fluttering. He didn’t have time to search further; he was already late. He bolted to the stairs, flew down the steps, and collided with a dark shape at the bottom.
“Excuse me,” said a cold voice.
Theodore stepped back to look at the tall man before him dressed in a stiff black suit with a somber tie, sharp eyes glaring beneath thick, furrowed eyebrows. “Sorry,” he mumbled.
“Who are you?” The man leaned close to inspect Theodore’s face. He smelled like strong tea and mothballs. “I know all the children in Pickettsville, and you are not one of them.”
“He’s Mabel Cleghorn’s nephew,” said Mrs. Pickett-Smythe as she bustled over, eying him suspiciously. “Were you sprinting down those stairs?”
“I…I’m late. My brother and sister are waiting for me.”
“Run along then. I believe they stepped outside.” Turning to the man, her face grew sunny. “Mr. Withers, would you care to sit down and discuss plans for the summer fundraiser?”
Mr. Withers nodded and held out his arm to escort her. “Take care, boy. Hurtling down stairs is hardly the way to behave in a library.” Mrs. Pickett-Smythe nodded with a sniff.
“Yes, sir,” said Theodore. He shuffled towards the door.
“Children these days have no decorum,” said Mr. Withers.
A wave of heat crept up Theodore’s neck. “I thought I saw someone.”
“You what?” said Mrs. Pickett-Smythe, her head whipping round.
“I thought I saw someone.”
“Scared of the shadows? A grown boy like you…” Mr. Withers shook his head and turned to leave, but Mrs. Pickett-Smythe’s eyes bore into Theodore.
“Why do you say that?”
“I thought I saw a man. He was dressed…funny.”
Her eyes dropped. “Rubbish. There’s no one else here. If you spend hours reading, you’re sure to imagine things, and I did warn you about the shadows.” She shook her head decisively and tightened her grip on Mr. Withers’s arm. “Have a good evening.”
Bio: I write mostly MG, but I’m open to critiquing anything light-hearted. By day I teach a variety of subjects K-12 and spend my free time writing, drinking tea, and harassing my cats. Ravenpuff.
Critiquing Style: I’m still a newbie CP and don’t know that I have a particular style, but I enjoy both parsing the nitty gritty and evaluating big-picture stuff. I like to work in 2-3 chapter chunks.