May 4, 2009

Query - Immortalis

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

Dear Mr./ Mrs. Agent,

IMMORTALIS is a 78,000 word urban fantasy about a newly turned vampire fighting to accept and keep an immortal life she never wanted.

Alyssa had a regular, numbingly routine life, until one bad night changed everything. After a brutal mugging, Alyssa was moments from death. Fortunately, a stranger, Lysander, came to her rescue, bringing with him the gift of immortality. There's only one problem, Alyssa didn’t want to be a vampire.

Alyssa has problems with the fact that she now has to kill, drink blood, and stay out of the sun. But before she has a chance to come to terms with what she’s become, Alyssa is brought before Kallisto, a rancorous vampire coven mistress. Alyssa finds out, she and Lysander have been marked for death for breaking an ancient coven law: Humans must be approved before being turned into vampires. Kallisto uses this opportunity to get revenge on Lysander, her old lover. She gives Alyssa a cruel choice, kill Lysander and keep her immortality, or die with him. Before Alyssa can act on her decision, Kallisto’s coven is attacked by hunters from the Acta Sanctorum.

Few will survive this attack. If Alyssa wants to keep her newfound immortality, she will have to learn to accept what she is and trust Lysander. Together they will have to fight both Kallisto and the Acta Sanctorum.

I would be happy to send more if you like what you see here. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Hopeful Author.


Steve said...

FWIW, I think you might cut a third of the words just to tighten it up. Example: "Alyssa has problems with the fact that she now has to kill..." --> "Alyssa now must kill...". Add a sense of urgency. You might also start in the middle of the action: "Alyssa didn't want to be a vampire."

Also, you go from past tense in the opening to present tense in the middle to future in the close.

There are lots of vampire tales around now, and with the success of the Twilight series, hundreds more on the way. I think it would help to show (not tell) us why Alyssa's tale is different, or why your take on the vampire world will surprise the reader. (On the other hand, in this genre, does the reader want to be surprised, or are the rules painted in blood? I'm not the target audience, so take this comment with multiple grains of salt.)

Good luck.

WindyA said...

Imho,there is a lot of opportunity to instill more voice into Alyssa's story as well as tighten the writing overall.

You could probably combine the 2nd sentence in para 2 to clean it up a little. Maybe something like: "After a brutal, Alyssa is moments from death when a stranger comes to her rescue, bringing with him the gift of immortality."

In para 3 I would suggest getting rid of the whole 1st sentence, beginning with "Before Alyssa has a chance to come to terms with the vampire she's become..."

I struggled a little with your intro of Acto Sanctorum. Who are they? What are they? What do they do? Why are they attacking? .... and the biggest question of all ... Why should we care?

Also, to echo Steve, there are A LOT of vampire stories out there. Be more clear about what makes your story different/special/unique.

Hope that helps.

Good luck.

Amber Lynn Argyle said...

Reads a bit too much like a synopsis. Don't summarize quite so much.
Seems like you focus lots on some of the same ideas used in other vampire novels. How's this one different?

Anonymous said...

Stakes. Not the vampire-killing kind, but the tension-ramping-up kind.

They're missing.

If she doesn't want to be immortal, and therefore is resigned to dying, then why should the reader care if she dies? She needs to care about something, which is then at risk, so we'll care if she succeeds.

DLJensen said...

Agree with the above comments. The only comments I would add are as follows:
1. I would rephrase the "humans have to be approved" to something else. What popped into my head was a vampire filling out a form to get his human accepted into the club. Not guessing that is what you intended ;-)
2. Why not just kill Lysander? Is there a romance there? Or is it just that she doesn't like killing things?
3. Would she rather be dead than be a vampire? That isn't clear to me.

Good luck!