Apr 16, 2009

Query - Where Demons Fear to Tread


Half-demon Vamyraset Agent Alexis Powers has been given what could very well be her toughest and deadliest case ever.

Death has come calling, but he doesn’t want her soul – he wants her to find a soul. The soul of a murdered Catholic priest to be exact. To hide a soul from Death takes enormous power, and whoever is wielding that power will do anything to keep from being found. Not only must Alex find the person or people responsible, but she must do it before her weakened human side gives in to her darker demonic impulses.

When her best lead turns up missing and a black market Holy Relic comes into play, Alex realizes she can’t do this on her own. She’s forced to accept the help of her Agency rival - a ten thousand year-old Japanese Dragon, and a Witch who specializes in breaking spells. Together they just might be able to solve this case before a demon-powered mage can raise an army of truly immortal vampires.

Where Demons Fear to Tread is my completed 86,000-word urban fantasy novel set in modern-day western Massachusetts a decade and a half after the fall of the Veil between the human world and Faerie. This is my first completed novel that I hope to turn into a series exploring what the world would be like if this sort of apocalypse were to actually occur.

I would be glad to send you sample chapters for review. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


R Barnard


Heleni said...

I am wondering what vamyraset is? It kind of throws off the first line. I hope this helps.

Suzan Harden said...

Hi R. Barnard!

First of all, I love the title! This is a something I'd take a chance on in the bookstore just for that tongue-in-cheek-title.

Leave off any references to 'Vamyraset'. Too much of your one page would be used trying to explain this, and the only place I found it when I googled it was your own website. And honestly, an agent isn't going to google it.

Start off with your second paragraph which has a great hook. Just alter it with "Death has come calling, but he doesn't want Alexis Powers' soul..."

Now why does Death choose Alexis? Because she is a half-demon? What are the consequences to Alexis personally if she fails? Saving the world isn't enough. Alexis needs a personal reason, though you insinuate it's her job. Think John McCain in Die Hard. Sure he's a cop and it's his job to stop the bad guys, but the stakes are raised because one of the hostages is his estranged wife he's desperate to win back.

What does the dead priest have to do with the army of vampires? There needs to be a link between the two.

One final caveat - watch putting in the series concept depending on the agent.

Again, this sounds like a cool idea. Best wishes in getting it published.

Anonymous said...

Suzan, thank you for all of your suggestions.

As for the series concept, I do know that most agents don't want to even consider the thought of a series in at the query stage. This one actually went out to an agent who did want to know up front if there was series potential.

Rick Daley said...

Here is a post from agent Nathan Bransford regarding a reference to a series in a query:


Granted he is juts one agent, but he well respected by his peers, and his opinion is definitely worth noting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rick. I missed that post of his.