Here's the book description:
Her imagination is boundless. Her days are numbered. Her legacy is love.
Teenage sci-fi geek, Chloe Cartwright, dreams of flying dragons and exploring the cosmos with her favorite heroes. But back in reality, she’s just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Determined to leave her loved ones in good hands, Chloe plans on spending her last few months playing matchmaker…
With the help of her best friend, Chloe devises a series of schemes to get her classmates, her teachers and even her struggling parents on the road to romance. If they manage to pull it off, she may even win over her longtime crush. But as her plans take a turn and time begins to run out, can Chloe find peace and a proper farewell before confronting life’s final frontier?
Where the Dragons Go is a heartbreakingly beautiful YA contemporary novel in the style of Emma meets The Fault in Our Stars. If you like courageously quirky characters, hopeless romantics, and moving tales of the heart, then you’ll love C.W. Sims’ inspirational story of a teenage life well lived.
Buy Where the Dragons Go to start a powerful, imaginative tale today!
Here's my query letter for agents:
I am pleased to introduce my YA contemporary manuscript, WHERE THE DRAGONS GO. It tells the story of fifteen-year-old Chloe Cartwright, a quirky science fiction fan who uses her vivid imagination to cope with her recent cancer diagnosis.
A week before school starts, Chloe’s worries are fairly typical for any self-described “super geek.” Is it time to ditch her glasses for contacts? Should she decorate her backpack with stuff from Star Trek or Firefly? Will the cute boy on the lacrosse team ever notice she exists?
All this changes when her oncologist tells her there’s nothing he can do. The “Everywhere Cancer”—as Chloe calls it—is back after four years in remission, and no amount of treatment can stop it. Chloe then embarks on a desperate quest to help her family and friends prepare for when she’s gone. She concocts an elaborate, and often comical, series of matchmaking schemes to ensure everyone still has someone to love, and perhaps even find love herself. As she soon discovers, however, the making of plans is one thing—life is quite another.
WHERE THE DRAGONS GO is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, runs 60,000 words and is best described as Emma meets The Fault in Our Stars.
Here is a two-page synopsis of the book:
At the end of summer, fifteen-year old, CHLOE CARTWRIGHT, is being driven home by her mom when she spots a “medieval-style” dragon circling above their suburban neighborhood. Her mother can’t see it, so Chloe decides it must be her imagination. Later, she debates telling her friends during their weekly game night, but loses her nerve.
During the first week of school, Chloe’s best friend, SID PATEL, scores tickets to see their favorite music group in San Francisco. Chloe runs into her longtime crush, ADAM WORLEY at the show and faints. She awakens in a hospital, revealing her secret that she has terminal cancer. Her oncologist, DR. MARK, re-explains that there is no available treatment. Her friends then visit and she expresses her horror at passing out and wetting herself in front of Adam, who carried her to the ambulance.
After returning home, Chloe dreams of her favorite science fiction hero, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, and confides in him her feelings of hopelessness. He encourages her to keep fighting, if not for herself, then the people she loves. Chloe wakes and decides to spend her remaining time devising a scheme to help her family and friends prepare for when she’s gone. She decides to simply call it, “The Plan.” It consists of several matchmaking plots, including a strategy to fix her parents’ ailing marriage, as well as the writing of a letter to her fifteen-month-old brother, HENRY.
Following one of Chloe’s weekly check-ups, she learns from her mom that Dr. Mark’s wife recently died in a car accident. She then decides to include Dr. Mark in The Plan, fixing him up with her beautiful, yet eccentric Drama teacher, MISS COLLINS. The next day, Chloe sees Adam for the first time since the concert and thanks him. He expresses concern and she suspects he might like her.
She then gets to work on The Plan, enlisting Sid and his little sister, PIYA, to help. However, Sid is also a target. Chloe intends to set him up with a girl in their Drama class, EMILY SULECKI, who is widely perceived as out of his league. Chloe draws inspiration from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to make them fall in love, a plot which she sets in motion during class rehearsals for the fall play, Zombie Apocalypse: A Love Story.
Chloe and Sid spend the next month finalizing the details of The Plan. It is set to commence on a single day, which Sid dubs, “D-Day.” When it arrives, Chloe is frantic with last minute preparations. However, The Plan quickly unravels with unforeseen complications and collapses. The gravity of Chloe’s situation suddenly closes in on her, and forces her to confront the fact that she is going to die. She becomes depressed and doesn’t want to see her friends anymore. They insist on seeing her, however, and succeed in briefly cheering her up before she vomits in the nurse’s office and returns to see Dr. Mark. He explains that her condition is worsening and advises that she cease going to school.
Chloe is furious when she misses the opening night of Zombie Apocalypse, and spends the next month hiding at home, feeling worse and worse. Her friends seldom visit, which causes her to wonder if they’re practicing for when she’s gone. She then has a nightmare based on the school play, in which she and Adam are chased by a horde of zombies. The dragon that she first spotted circling above her neighborhood suddenly appears and rescues her. When she wakes, she feels miraculously better. Dr. Mark confirms that her immune system has rebounded, allowing her to return to school.
Chloe is shocked when several of her failed matchmaking efforts from The Plan begin to work out in unexpected ways. Two of her close friends are forced to kiss during the Christmas Rally’s Mistletoe Contest. Her father discovers Chloe’s failed attempt to help his marriage and is inspired to make a grand gesture. Then a couple weeks later, Emily Sulecki asks Sid to the school’s Sadie Hawkins dance. Sid then compels Chloe to ask Adam, which she eventually does, and he says yes.
While shopping for a dress with her mom, Chloe feels weak and faints. She wakes up in the hospital feeling worse than ever before. Dr. Mark explains that her rebound had only been temporary, like an airplane using its emergency reserves. He implores her to keep fighting, but Chloe realizes she’s at the end. She once again dreams of the dragon, which provides a calming presence as they sit together on the hospital’s roof. The next day, Dr. Mark and Miss Collins help Chloe ‘escape’ her room, and wheel her bed to the hospital’s outdoor courtyard. Her friends, led by Sid, surprise her with an elaborately staged production recounting her life. It also depicts an exciting, hypothetical future for Chloe, in which she joins Star Trek’s “Starfleet,” and spends the rest of her days adventuring through time and space. When the play ends, the audience erupts in applause, which Chloe notices is directed toward her and not the stage.
That night, Chloe passes away. She recounts how her family and friends were all there, and that contrary to a famous quote from her sci-fi hero, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, she doesn’t “die alone,” but surrounded by loved ones. She then remembers to provide the reader with an unfinished draft of the letter she wrote to her baby brother, Henry. It provides him with all the “big sisterly” advice she can think of. When it reaches its abrupt stopping point, however, she asks the reader to apologize for her and let Henry know, “the rest is up to you.”