Mar 15, 2009

Query: LAZY CATS (Revision 1)

A second revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.
Click here to read the original query.

Dear XXXXX,
LAZY CATS is a 60,000 word, work of Women’s fiction.
Just Maggie’s luck! Seven years in a comfortable marriage, one night of shamefully exciting sex, then poof, her husband’s gone without an explanation.

Did he run off with his secretary, Tracy Morgan?
Perhaps Maggie’s own wanton behavior drove him away.
Could Maggie’s latest story have anything to do with her husband’s disappearance? YES!

Maggie had no idea Chris had been secretly reading about Sarah.

“An undemanding woman, content living in the shadow of her puffed up husband, keeping a clean house, being the ideal wife, Sarah loses herself and gives up her dream of becoming a famous writer. But when her selfish husband goes too far, stepping out on her, Sarah cleverly plots his murder. Mouse poison should take care of a rat.”

Maggie and Sarah have a lot in common. The women even write alike. There is one big difference though, Maggie is real and Sarah is only a figment of Maggie’s imagination. But both women scare the hell out of their cheating husbands.

Thank you for your time. My contact information is listed below for your convenience.
raymond@threeriver.net

12 comments:

Litgirl01 said...

I don't really have a critique of this, but I will say that I love the voice! I would read this book.
:-)

Mandajuice said...

I agree with Litgirl, I really like the voice and this is a book in my genre, so I'm hoping you'll get it published.

My critique:
1. LAZY CATS sounds an AWFUL LOT like SNL's spoof of LASER CATS (which is hilarious and dopey, but you should probably google that and maybe consider a title change or at least include an explanation of the title in the query).
2. Tracy Morgan is an actor on the very popular show, 30 Rock (on which he plays nothing even remotely close to a hot secretary).
3. 60,000 words is going to be a tough sell, methinks. Most novels run 80-100,000 words. (I could be wrong, but I think most agents/editors would read that and instantly reject this, in spite of how great the voice is).
4. In the second paragraph, you mention a "story" but it needs further clarification since we don't yet know that Maggie is an author. Maybe you could say, "Did he find the novel she'd been writing about her beloved character, Sarah?" or something similar.
5. Love: "Mouse poison should take care of a rat!"

I think you've got a lot to work with here and I'd really like to read it myself! Good luck!

-Amanda

Jan said...

Thanks Litgirl and Mandajuice,
Someone suggested (Just Maggie's Luck) as the title and I might go with that. Right now I have a partial of this story listed on Authonomy and it's doing very well so I don't want to change the title just yet. Someone else already pointed out the Tracy Morgan name (I should watch t.v. more often I guess)I'll work on your other suggestions.Thanks for the help.
Jan

ElanaJ said...

Hi Jan,

Okay, don't hate me, but I don't have a clear picture of what's going on. Did Maggie have an affair, or did her husband? It's written like her husband did, because he left, but then you say maybe Maggie's wonton behavior drove him away. So now I don't know.

I really don't like the questions. I think they'd be stronger in your punchy voice. I especially don't like how you answer your own questions. (Sorry!) It's just not working for me.

This sentence really confused me: "Maggie had no idea Chris had been secretly reading about Sarah."

Number one, it's the first time you've said Chris, and I have no idea who that is. Since it's sort of a unisex name, it could be another woman. I don't know what s/he's been reading, and I don't know who Sarah is. I think you're making a huge leap that needs a stepping stone or two.

Also, what's the conflict? Her husband is gone, and she's going to kill him for cheating? You'd think I should know this, but I think it's buried in there, behind the blurb in quotes. So her husband has been reading her book/journal, thinks it's real and splits. Then what? What does the MC have to lose if she doesn't commit the murder? Her DH is already gone. Already stepping out on her. So is this just about revenge?

I think this is a good start, but needs more fleshing out. :)

Niki Schoenfeldt said...

Hello,
I may be a little dense here, but I'm not real sure what's going on here. At first, I thought Maggie had a hot night with her hubby, but then I thought, no, she had an affair. Then, at the end, you mention that both Maggie and her fictional character, Sarah, have cheating husbands. So now I'm just not sure who had sex with who and what effects it is having on the storyline. You need to make sure all this is clear and concise in your query. I think you know your story so well, you just assume everyone else does. At this point it is your job give us just enough to make us want more in an orderly fashion. As is, I feel like your skipping around lots of different scenes without showing how they mesh together. Make sure all your dots connect in a sensible and clear fashion. Good luck!

Anette J Kres said...

This sounds really interesting, but I had to read it about three times before I understood what you’re trying to get across. I think it would be clearer if you were more upfront about Sarah being Maggie’s fictional character. I think you need to be clearer in the first paragraph about Maggie’s husband disappearing. The way it reads now, he literally disappeared *poof*. I think you should say “her husband doesn’t come home from work” or whatever actually happens. Also, you might consider rewording Question? YES! to “The truth is Maggie’s latest story affected her husband’s disappearance. He’s been secretly reading about Sarah, an undemanding…” Just my suggestions. Take what you like. Good luck.

Jan said...

Thanks everyone. I think I may have sliced the orginal query just a wee bit too much.:)
Jan

pulp said...

I'm going to speak bluntly.

This made no sense. I couldn't discern any voice in the general mess. There are too many rhetorical questions--one of which you answer immediately IN CAPS--character names dropped in with no explanation, a para in quotes out of the blue...

The story concept is intriguing, but the query is so fragmented and amateurish that I predict it's an autoreject. I'm sorry. This sounds so mean, but you've worked hard and long writing an entire book. I hate to see that effort thrown away in a careless query. If you organized an entire novel, you can surely organize a query.

I will say, it's got energy, and that's a very good thing.

Jan said...

Ouch, I'm going back to my unrevised query.

Rick Daley said...

Jan,

Just keep trying and repeat after me:

Success will find me if I don't find it first.

Jan said...

Success will find me if I don't find it first.
Success will find me if I don't find it first.
Success will find me if I don't find it first.

Am I in Kansas Yet?

:)

Rick Daley said...

Did you click your heels together, too? I forgot to mention that part...