Jun 30, 2009

Query- Queen of the Angels

When Julia became a woman, she discovered that she was chosen to bear not only a secret life, but a child that was not human.

Caught in a world of passion and magic, Julia loves a creature of mythology―a being who was cast in ancient lore as a fallen angel, but whose purpose is the empowerment of women through the teaching of secret magical lore. From their first kiss Julia begins a journey to the realization of her female powers. She had never imagined the power that had been demonized and repressed through religion for thousands of years. She had never dreamed that she had such power.

It is the mission of the Nephilim to find the women born for this path and not only teach them, but breed from them future generations of angel/human hybrids. Julia, caught up in her perfect life of love, passion, and magic, does not know that these angels not only can, but will reproduce. When she discovers she is pregnant, she is trapped by fear, feelings of betrayal, and a growing realization that bearing a hybrid child in the modern world will cement her in total isolation from her fellow man.

She must decide if she can love such a child, if she can love the being who made her feel used, and if she can truly live an extraordinary life—the life that seems chosen for her, as an Amazon Queen. The battle for the future has only just begun.

I would be happy to submit my urban fantasy manuscript, Queen of the Angels, for your review.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

e j alvey

Jun 29, 2009

Query - Margarita Nights

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

Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-gay-man – the gayvine is the source of all information--plus a healthy dose of misinformation--within the gay community of Nashville, TN. In a strange twist of Fate (who he thinks is laughing hysterically at him), Jared suddenly finds his life spreading through the gayvine as he struggles with the realization that his happily ever after is not so happy after all.

One question – do you love me? – by his partner of five years makes Jared realize that sometimes, love is not enough. He loves his partner. He is also, perhaps unhealthily so, consumed with thoughts of a kiss – a simple peck on the lips, in greeting only – from a friend. He doesn’t have a fairy godmother (though he knows a few drag queens in sparkly dresses) to wave her magic wand and fix his problems. He only has the boyz (well, grown men desperately trying to hang on to their youth), snarky comments, and margarita nights once a month to help him figure out if even the most meaningless relationships, ironically, have meaning after all.

MARGARITA NIGHTS is a 72,000-word commercial fiction novel filled with a hearty dose of snark, plenty of margaritas, and the drama queen moments of Jared and the rest of the boyz as they confront their loneliness and insecurities in an often unaccepting world. It presents a realistic portrait of gay life.

On any given Friday night, I can be found drinking margaritas and listening, perhaps adding a tidbit or two, to the gayvine. As per the guidelines on your website, I have included the first ten pages of my completed manuscript.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Scott

Great Query Discussion at The Literary Lab

There is a great post on queries over at The Literary Lab today, if you have a few minutes it may be worth your time to check it out.

I think the comment thread is still active, jump in!

Jun 28, 2009

Query-The Eternal Link (version 4)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read version 3.
Click here to read version 5.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I think I fixed the flow issues. =) Any comments are appreciated. Thanks, Jen


I am seeking representation for my 80,000 word young adult fantasy novel, THE ETERNAL LINK.

When sixteen-year-old Catalina returns to 3031 CE after searching through the past for her mother, she never imagined pieces of that ancient time would come back with her.

Now Catalina is stuck in a world where the magical past and the high-tech present are merging at an alarming rate. Not only that, but apparently, it is her fault for traveling to the past with unstable magic developing within her. Catalina tries to find the answers to why she can shoot fire from her eyes or why she is constantly plagued by dreams of a mother she never knew.

With control over her swiftly growing magic lying just beyond her reach, Catalina finds it difficult to accept that she is an Eternal, a keeper of time. Catalina attempts to renew the powers of an old Eternal before an army of united evil magic and high-tech defenders after her supposed immortality arrives at her door. As time is literally running out before the world erases completely, Catalina must choose between holding onto her hopes of a life with her real mother or her newfound duty to return time to its proper state, a state where nothing more is left of her new friends, her mother, or the boy she has come to love but two-thousand year old memories.

Jun 24, 2009

Successful Query- BROKEN

Thanks for all your support and kind words at the Slushpile.
Here's the final query I used for BROKEN.

Alec Sumner, a psychologist and author, understands loss. Not only has he written about it, he’s lost his home, his relationship, his mother’s love, and today – his heart to Eli Burke on a busy street. Eli knows loss, too. He can’t escape it. After watching his lover beaten to death in a London alley, he’s been left with a limp, scars, and nightmares as permanent reminders.

Fueled by liquor, lust, and heartache, their brief encounter in the back seat of a car convinces Alec that he must have Eli in his life despite the young man’s inability to move beyond his traumatic past. Eli is charmed when Alec offers him an escape from a difficult day and a sympathetic ear; he’s delighted when Alec takes an interest in his work; and he’s turned on when Alec lays a bold, passionate embrace on him. Now what? Does Eli attempt to outrun his painful past with isolated charity work abroad, or reward Alec’s romantic efforts and risk his heart again? One thing is certain: neither of them want to lose anything else.


Along with this I also sent them a short bio, synopsis, and partial on 4/26. I received the request for the full MS on 5/20 and the contract on 6/20. Thanks to everyone for their feedback and good wishes. I'm still on cloud nine.
Dawn

Jun 22, 2009

Immortalis Query -Revised

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent/Editor

I am pleased to submit for your consideration, IMMORTALIS: CARPE NOCTEM, an Urban Fantasy story, complete at 80,000 words.

Thrust into a dark world filled with bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas, Alyssa will have to find the strength to accept her terrifying new reality or submit to final death.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by beguiling and immortal Lysander. He gives her the gift, and curse, of immortality. Alyssa awakens as a vampire and is devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.

Alyssa’s “turning,” did not go unnoticed by other members of the immortal world. She and Lysander are targeted for final death. An ancient sect of Catholic vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, begins their hunt, vowing to destroy all vampires, in God’s name. Meanwhile, a vengeful lover from Lysander’s past seeks to exact her revenge, citing vampire law as her reason to kill them both. Only by letting go of her old self and accepting that she is a vampire, can Alyssa hope to survive. She will have to stand alongside of Lysander and fight, against two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy them both.

IMMORTALIS: CARPE NOCTEM, will take you on a journey with Alyssa, delving deep into the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire. This is my d├ębut novel and the first in a series of dark and sexy vampire stories. I would be happy to send more if you like what you see here.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Hopeful Author

A Submitter got a Contract

Here's proof that it can happen: Dawn Johnson emailed me to let me know that she was offered a publication contract for her novel BROKEN by Dreamspinner Press.

Click here to read the original query for BROKEN. You can link to revisions from that post.

Congrats Dawn, and thanks to everyone who offers advice on this blog. A little bit of help can make a big difference in someone's career.

Jun 21, 2009

Query - The Braidwood Circle

(Note: In the UK, we don't use query letters as such, but a covering letter that travels with a synopsis and the first 30 pages. You still need to give a brief overview of the work in two paragraphs, which is what I am seeking feedback on. Thanks.)

In Elizabethan England death comes often, but when a body found in the woods is that of a wealthy merchant's wife, constable John Rowntree is sent to investigate. The people of Braidwood are keen to assist, and to tell him their secrets, but regardless of the evidence they claim to have, he does not believe their allegations. He especially scoffs when they involve frail old ladies committing murder and practicing witchcraft.

Close to solving the case, Rowntree is confronted by further deaths. More gruesome and brutal, they fuel a frenzy of accusations and threats among the townsfolk. Rowntree's fight to maintain order and stop any further murders leads him to a shocking revelation. One that means he must accept that the town's mid-wife is not only capable of killing, but that she practices sorcery. To stop her from claiming more victims, he must face his strongest childhood fear and break the witch's ever growing circle of power.

Jun 19, 2009

QUERY- UNTOUCHED

Dear Agent,

Diagnosed as terminal, Gwendolyn Hayes had ten years to prepare herself for death. What she never expected was Death to arrive in the form of model-turned-reaper Glory. When Gwen fights for a second chance at life, Glory promises one- in exchange for Gwen acting as a death angel. Gwen's task seems easy: touch and collect three souls, and life will be hers.

And perhaps her task would have been easy, if Gwen's former best friend and childhood crush James Connolly hadn't made an appearance on her 'to kill' list. Now touching James is the only thing standing between her and her second chance, but can she really take his life to jump start her own?

The decision is hers, but the situation is complicated. Especially when old feelings resurface and Gwen and James realize they're falling in love with one another. Their love is a dangerous one, though, accompanied by the knowledge that an accidental touch, a careless bump, or even a single forbidden kiss will end life, start life, and separate them for good.

[Personalization & Bio]

Untouched is a YA contemporary fantasy complete at 75,000 words. The entire manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jun 18, 2009

Sample Pages are Welcome

Just a reminder that 4-5 pages of your first chapter are welcome. Just include them with your query submission the same as you would in an email query.

I'm open to posting sample pages without a query letter, too. Since many agents do accept 4-5 pages with a query, they are part of the submission and I think that fits with the spirit of this blog.

And as the sole moderator, I enjoy the right to make sweeping judgment calls like this ;-)

Query - THE GOBLIN PRINCE (Rev 2)

Click here to read the original query.

First: Thanks everyone for feedback on 1.
2nd: Double thanks to Rick for doing all this.

Okay, I took advice from here and AW and came up with the below query (currently, I like it better than Rev 1, but give me a few hours and I might deplore it :):

Dear Agent X,

When THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a once-human boy named Owen, kidnaps thirteen year old Natalie to harvest her powerful soul for Goblindom, he never expects her to rescue his withered soul from damnation.

Harvesting children – snatching them from their beds, mining their souls for sustenance, and thereby transforming them into goblins – horrifies Owen, but he always performs his duty, for without souls, he and his brethren will perish.

Natalie, however, is unlike his other victims. She is a girl who can befriend a goblin and awaken his humanity even as he strives to desecrate her soul. Her faith in his goodness inspires Owen to pursue a new mission – one where he will be guardian instead of predator; one that will afford him pride in place of sorrow.

Several obstacles impede Owen’s path to salvation: ever-child vampires, including his onetime sister, attempt to kill him and make Natalie their queen; embittered rogue goblins, along with his traitorous lieutenant, assassinate his king and incarcerate him; and the largest hurdle, his burgeoning friendship with a wonderful girl who loves him despite his many flaws…

Because the only way to protect the children of tomorrow from the horrors of yesterday is for Owen to destroy Natalie, his only friend in an unforgiving world, to unleash her magnificent spirit energy upon his enemies.

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a grim 51,000 word variant of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, is the story of a self-proclaimed monster seeking redemption in a world consumed by dark creatures and dark intents, with a single shining beacon of hope to guide his way.

[personal info]
[thanks]

Bane

Jun 17, 2009

Query - THE GOBLIN PRINCE

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

Here we go - submitted a very
similar one over at AW (not too much crit, there, so I'm hoping for some more here).

A bit of BG: this query has gotten some traction w/ agents, but not as much as I'd like... I'm marketing it as YA Fantasy or Dark Fant/Lit Fic - which I'd include in my introduction to the particular agent.

Dear Agent X,

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a onetime human boy, abhors harvesting children – snatching them from their beds, mining their spirit energy, and transforming them into goblins. Despite his aversion, he never falters in his duty until he abducts Natalie, a girl who can befriend a goblin and awaken his humanity even as he strives to desecrate her soul. Her faith in his goodness inspires him to pursue a new mission, one where he will be guardian instead of predator; one that will afford him pride in place of sorrow.

Yet, to protect future generations from the torment he and countless others suffered, the goblin prince must commit one last atrocity, far more difficult than all the rest. He must murder Natalie, his only friend in an unforgiving world, to unleash her magnificent spirit energy upon the other fiends lurking in the shadows, hungering for children’s souls.

THE GOBLIN PRINCE, a grim 51,000 word version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, is the story of a self-proclaimed monster seeking redemption in a world consumed by dark creatures and dark intents, with a single shining beacon of humanity to guide his way.

[Personal Info]

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,

Jun 14, 2009

Query - HOLLOW SOULS (2nd revision)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Dear Mr./Ms. Agent:

When Devi Linden, a young musician from Kentucky, travels to New Orleans in the late 1950s, she simply wants to experience the world before returning home. But an unplanned pregnancy changes everything.

By 1971, she is an unhappy housewife and mother, loath to abandon her responsibilities. She no longer plays her guitar, frequently fights with her husband, and finds her only solace with her youngest child, Olivia. When the mother of Olivia’s best friend dies, Devi soothes her daughter with the story of a little girl who discovers an underground utopia known as Ruby Hollow.

Years later, struggling to avoid divorce or something worse, Devi begins playing music again. When Olivia finds a cache of love letters from the “hero” of her bedtime tales, Devi admits that Ruby Hollow is an actual place – and that, if not for her family, she’d have returned long ago.

After her estranged mother dies, Devi asks Olivia to accompany her to Kentucky. Following the funeral, she heads to Ruby Hollow, the secret haven that once inspired her stories, and the only place she’s ever truly belonged...

Since growing up in New Orleans and studying film, literature, and creative writing at Northwestern University, I’ve held a variety of positions, from ecotourism journalist to guidebook author – with publishing credits that include MOON MICHIGAN (Avalon Travel, 2009). While on assignment in Kentucky, I toured the dark, twisting passages of Mammoth Cave, which eventually sparked HOLLOW SOULS, a 150,000-word literary/mainstream novel.

For more information, please visit my website – www.rubyhollow.com – or contact me anytime. I’ve enclosed a synopsis and the first five pages of HOLLOW SOULS, plus a SASE for your convenience. A full or partial manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time – and for considering the possibility of representing my work.

Sincerely,
Laura Martone

Jun 11, 2009

Revised Query: The Mansion

Click here to read the original query.

There is a statue in the gardens that used to be a girl.

When six teenagers learn that their parents participated in a dangerous experiment before they were born, the news is life-changing. Especially when they're pulled from their homes to spend a year in observation, living in a huge mansion and going to a private school of the experimenters' choosing. For Sami Harris, it all might just be a blessing in disguise. She sees the experience as a chance at a fresh start. She's long suffered teasing about her schizophrenia diagnosis, but hopefully, all of that can change.

Unfortunately, she begins hearing voices again as soon as they get to the mansion. When her twin sister suggests that maybe the voices are real, Sami begins following them to diary pages throughout the house. Piece by piece, she and the other kids in the house unravel what happened to make one young girl disappear from the mansion. And end up as a statue in the gardens. Sami isn't sure how, but she knows that they have to help the girl. But first, everyone in the house will have to come clean about the things that they can really do.

The Mansion: The Experiment is a 55,000 word YA Fantasy. It is the first in a potential five book series. My first draft won the Make My Movie Contest run by GospelSims.com. As a result, there is a series of machinima videos, available on YouTube. The promo video that was made just before the finale videos, is about a minute long and is a wonderful representation of the feel of the book. It can be found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D39suMxt9KM&feature=channel_page in case the link doesn't work).


Full manuscript, synopsis, and outlines of further novels in the series are available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.

An Awesome Writing Advice Database!!!

Yes, all three exclamation points in the post title are warranted. I could add five more and feel great about myself, this is just that good.

Sometimes I worry that I am being redundant if I mention Nathan Bransford because I know that many of you also follow Nathan's blog and you probably read it first. But sometimes I just don't care how worried I am, I just do it. I'm like Nike, I guess.

So in the rare event that someone out there has not yet visited Nathan's blog today (or *gasp* ever...), please read on with vigor:

Nathan's post today
consolidates over 40 links regarding preparation, writing, revising, genres, and holding onto your marbles. It is an absolute must-read for any aspiring writer. I could probably extend that to include professional writers. Any pros out there, feel free to agree / disagree in the comments.

Click here to go to Nathan's Writing Advice Database. I added the post to the links menu at the right side of this blog, too.

Why are you still reading this? Don't you listen? I said "click here" like 34 words ago. No go back and click. Geeze.

Jun 9, 2009

Query: Blood From Heaven (version 3)

Click here to read the original.
Click here to read version 2.

Dear Future Agent:

Samone is a woman who communicates with spirits within her own body, only when she is found in the woods, no one knows who she is or that her spirit is actually missing; her body is being kept alive by an angel―a Seraphim.

There are women who in ancient times were liminal points between the Earthly and spirit realms. Samone is one such Priestess incarnated in the modern world. Like women before her, demons seek them out to steal their bodies and walk manifest upon the Earth. They are taught and protected by angels.

The angels choose two men to love and guard her, and when the men find her spirit and return it to her body, they must learn to use magic and fight the demons who seek to take Samone. Angels are not always what they seem, however, and sometimes people die.

I own a retail Pagan store and have a back ground in law enforcement and the history of occult theory and practice. Blood From Heaven is a paranormal mystery which is complete at 82,700 words. I am posting daily on my blog, Worlds Apart [http://www.ejalvey.wordpress.com], which is the Diary of Samone Fisher and serves as a prequel for this novel. Blood From Heaven is the first in a series and can also stand alone.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jun 7, 2009

Query: A DARKER DAWN (Revision 2)

Click here to read the original.
Click here to read the first revision.

After getting some great feedback, I have made the changes. Be absolutely ruthless!

-----------------------

Dear Ms. /Mr. Agent:

When the four friends accidentally killed the school bully, their friendship died, but decades later, when they confront their terrible sin, friendship is their only hope for redemption.

In a small town of India, with a violent history of religious tensions, twelve year old best friends Dev, Avi, Anita and Jeet are growing up like grass on a sidewalk – neglected and uncared for by their families. The bullies led by Bappa and a school teacher abuse them relentlessly. When a bomb explodes in front of a mosque, a bloody riot erupts in the market and the four friends are trapped. They are tormented by the carnage they witness, and their rage at Bappa, who almost kills Dev, turns fatal. They make a pact of silence – never meet each other and never talk about the bully’s death to anyone.

They go their separate ways and over their unfulfilled lives, the memory of the bully’s death grows stronger, like a festering wound. Twenty years later, an unknown man sends them a message – it’s time for atonement. They return to the town as strangers to each other, blaming their childhood friendship, wishing they had never met. When Avi is assaulted and beaten near death, they know the old hatreds are still alive in the town. The four friends have nothing but their forgotten friendship to save themselves.

My 84,000 word literary fiction, A DARKER DAWN, explores how one terrible mistake can destroy many lives, and how friendship survives when all other relationships fade.

Kind regards
Rohit Gore

------

Jun 6, 2009

Query: Blood From Heaven (version 2)

Click here to read the original.
Click here to read version 3.

Demons want Samone’s body so that they can walk manifest on Earth. This young Priestess is missing, and an angel is guarding her body and keeping it alive.

The angel enlists the help of Detective Paterson and Liner Dawson to find Samone’s spirit and return it before her body dies. The men learn that angels are not exactly as the myths say. This angel has killed two men, and exists to fight demons on the Earthly plane.

While searching for Samone, both men fall in love with her, and she is told by her spirits that they were sent to love and protect her. The three of them go to Chicago for a new life together but find that demons still hunt for Samone.

The three of them enlist the angels through magic to help fight the demons, but something has gone wrong. Detective Paterson discovers that a horrific string of murders has an eerily familiar feel, and the killer does not seem to be entirely human. If he can’t catch the killer, the demons may finally get what they are after: Samone.

I own a retail Pagan store and have a back ground in law enforcement and the history of occult theory and practice. Blood From Heaven is a paranormal mystery which is complete at 82,700 words. I am posting daily on my blog, Worlds Apart [http://www.ejalvey.wordpress.com], which is the Diary of Samone Fisher and serves as a prequel for this novel. Blood From Heaven is the first in a series and can also stand alone.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jun 5, 2009

Query- Blood From Heaven

A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.
Click here to read version 3.

Dear Future Agent:

Your expressed interest in literary fiction with commercial appeal led me to approach you for representation for my upmarket fiction work Blood From Heaven, which is complete at 82,700 words.

Samone is a woman who communicates with spirits within her own body, only when she is found in the woods, no one knows who she is or that her spirit is actually missing; her body is being kept alive by an angel―a Seraphim.

Dale Paterson and Michael “Liner’ Dawson find themselves thrust into a new life when they encounter this woman. The veils between the spirit world and the Earthly realm are shredded by the urgency of life and death: the life of Samone, who will die if her spirit is not found in time, and the murders of two men.

Serafina, the angel, is forced to trust Paterson and Liner and imprints them into the world of magic, angels, and demons. As their new lives lurch forward in a world that alienates them from "mundanes", they begin a new path of initiation into spiritual self-transcendence, guided by the interaction with the angel Serafina. Once they rescue Samone from the spirit realm, the three of them form a bond of intimacy that only unbelievable circumstances can forge. Paterson and Liner have to face their own inner struggles while learning the ways that demons invade the lives of humans, and the ways angels are not always what they seem.

My novel most certainly fits the description of edgy dark fiction that has mainstream appeal as it combines elements of paranormal, mystery, and crime fiction, with a focus on strong character development and interpersonal relationships and conflict. Blood From Heaven presents a unique perspective and voice, as it weaves together the points of view of the three protaganists without losing the readers ability to remain immersed in the story. It incorporates the ancient pagan traditions of women who served as Priestesses and liminal points to the spirit realm using an oracular technique of trance possession. Blood From Heaven was crafted with a strong and unique literary style.

I have drawn from my educational and professional background in Social Work, law enforcement, psychology, sociology, archaic and dead languages, Pagan spiritualities, occult history, modern magical movements, magical philosophy and history, and the arts and science of occult practice. I own a retail occult/Pagan business with an international customer base. This is my first novel.

I have started a blog written from the point of view of the female protagonist, Samone. [http://ejalvey.wordpress.com] It is a prequel to this novel in the form of her journal entries. Paterson and Liner use Samone's journal to learn about her and to assist them in locating her spirit and bring it back to her body. I think this will be an excellent way to help market the book and reach and maintain a fan-base for this series, as I have successfully developed a following in the blogosphere before from two blogs that I wrote and maintained, as well as when I diaried on Daily Kos.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

E J Alvey

Jun 3, 2009

Query: A DARKER DAWN (Revisited)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second revision.

Dear Mr. / Ms. Agent,

When four childhood friends accidentally kill a school bully, they make a pact of silence – never meet each other again and never talk about the bully’s death, but someone knows their secret, and decades later the four friends confront their past one final time.

In a small town of India, with a violent history of religious tensions, twelve year old best friends Dev, Avi, Anita and Jeet are growing up like grass on a sidewalk – neglected and uncared for by their families. They are bullied relentlessly by older boys and abused by a teacher in the school. When a bomb explodes in front of a mosque, a bloody riot erupts in the market and the four friends are trapped. Tormented by the carnage they witness, their rage at the bullying Bappa, who assaults them, turns fatal.

They go their separate ways and over their unfulfilled lives, the memory of the bully’s death grows stronger, like a festering wound. Twenty years later, an unknown man sends them a message – it’s time for atonement. They return to the town as strangers to each other, blaming their childhood friendship, wishing they had never met. When Avi is assaulted and beaten near death, they know the old hatreds are still alive in the town. The four friends have nothing but their forgotten friendship to save themselves.

My 84,000 word literary fiction, A DARKER DAWN, explores how one terrible mistake can destroy many lives, and how friendship survives when all other relationships fade.

Kind regards
Rohit Gore

----
- I don't have any pub credits worth mentioning :-(. So not so sure about what to mention in the bio
- Just a question Does the query seem too 'set-up'ish?
- Be absolutely brutal!

Query - HOLLOW SOULS (revisited)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the second revision.

Note: I really appreciate all the advice that I received for my first query attempt. I've tweaked it a bit (based on your suggestions) and humbly ask you if this is an improvement or not... I didn't change the word count issue (as the novel still needs to be edited), and I wonder if I should mention the targeted audience. Please let me know what you think. Thanks again!

--

Dear Mr./Ms. Agent:

Following the worst day of Olivia Marconi’s young life, her mother, Devi, soothes her with a unique bedtime tale, the first of many about Ruby Hollow – a secret, subterranean haven in southern Kentucky that unites families from all cultures and persuasions, supports innovation while preserving old-fashioned ideals, and enables lost souls to find solace and purpose. Despite Devi’s evident passion for this made-up utopia, she remains disillusioned about her life as a middle-class housewife and mother in 1970s-era New Orleans.

Years later, Olivia, now a teenaged artist, has wearied of her mother’s inexplicable depression, until she discovers a cache of love letters from the “hero” of Devi’s bedtime tales, and suddenly realizes the Hollow is an actual place. Through these illuminating pages, she learns about the unexpected pregnancy that prevented her mother’s return to the strange underworld into which she’d stumbled as a child. Despite her doubts, Olivia confesses her find, yearning to know more about Devi’s long-lost home. But it isn’t until a road trip to Kentucky that Devi is finally able to introduce Olivia to the beloved cave-dwellers that once inspired her stories, and to the only place where she’s ever truly belonged...

Since growing up in New Orleans and studying film, literature, and creative writing at Northwestern University, I’ve held a variety of positions, from ecotourism journalist to travel guide author – with publishing credits that include MOON MICHIGAN(Avalon Travel, 2009). Once, on assignment in Kentucky, I toured the dark, twisting passages of Mammoth Cave, which eventually sparked HOLLOW SOULS, my first novel – a 150,000-word literary/mainstream saga that proves it’s never too late to find one’s place in the world.

For more information, please visit my website: www.rubyhollow.com. If you would like to view the complete manuscript, please contact me via the email address, phone number, or mailing address listed above. I’ve enclosed a synopsis and the first five pages of HOLLOW SOULS, plus an SASE for your convenience. Thank you for considering the possibility of representing my work.

Sincerely,
Laura Martone

Jun 2, 2009

Query - The Chosen Ones

Dear Mr. Agent:

When fifteen-year-old Katie discovers she’s not totally human, but a mixture of elf, human, werecat and fey, her first instinct is to run and hide. Finding out that she’s not the only one and there’s another just like her only makes it worse. She doesn’t care that she was chosen to battle the dark fey, who are intent on universal domination. She just wants to be normal. That is, until she discovers that she can teleport across galaxies using her mind and alter the weather on a whim. She reluctantly makes a deal with her creators to battle the dark fey in exchange for training her to use her powers.

Her exuberance is ruined when she meets Jack, the other chosen one. He’s arrogant and sarcastic, and he refuses to listen to her. He loves the fact that he’s part alien because he never wanted to be normal. To him, starting fires and bending time are just perks. Jack is the opposite of Katie in almost every way and his easy going style grates on her nerves.

Now Katie and Jack must put aside their differences and learn to work together. They have agreed to help a pride of dragons battle against their rivals who are intent on civil war. Only it’s not just dragons they will be fighting, but an enemy far more destructive.

The Chosen Ones is a 100,000-word work of fantasy intended for young adults. This is our first novel. Please find enclosed the first five pages, pursuant to your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Natalie and Rick

The Eternal Link Query (version 3)

Click here to read the original query. Sorry, short on time. You can get to revision 2 from the original...
Click here to read version 4.

Hello all,
I reworked pretty much the entire query and tried to take out as many long subordinate clauses as I could. ;p
Besides the usual critique, I would like to ask for you guys to focus a little on the transitions within the last paragraph. I feel like the first three sentences don't quite fit, but after trying to fix it for hours any suggestions you guys have is appreciated.
Thanks,
Wistful

*side note-this is just the query part, not the actual letter which includes the salutation, the personalization to the agent etc

When sixteen-year-old Catalina returns to 3000 CE after searching through the past for her mother, she never imaged pieces of that ancient time would come back with her.

Now Catalina is stuck in a world where the magical past and the high-tech present are merging at an alarming rate. Not only this, but apparently it is her fault for traveling to the past with unstable magic developing within her. The answers to why she can shoot fire from her eyes or why she is constantly plagued by dreams of a mother she never knew would have to wait. After all, the vast army of united evil magic and high-tech defenders will be at Catalina’s door in three days.

In order to help restore order, Catalina tries to renew the powers of an old Eternal, a keeper of time. With control over her swiftly growing magic lying just beyond her reach, Catalina finds it difficult to accept that she is the current Eternal and the approaching army is after her because of her supposed immortality. As time is literally running out before the world erases completely, Catalina must choose between holding onto her hopes of a life with her real mother or her newfound duty to return time to its proper state. A state where nothing more is left of her new friends, her mother, or the boy she comes to love than two-thousand year old memories.

THE ETERNAL LINK, a Young Adult Fantasy complete at 80,000 words is available upon request.

Query letter for Wesley Grey

To editor/agent at ***:

I am seeking publication for my 20,000-word novella, Wesley Grey.

Up until tonight Wesley Grey was a vampire escort, but after killing his latest client and finding the love of his life, Wesley has decided to turn in the towel. The problem with that is, his last client isn’t dead, and she’s biting up a horde of trouble for the vampires of Florence West Virginia.

Wesley Grey is a paranormal erotica story set in a fictional town in West Virginia. The villain is a Hive vampire, a type of vampire that functions under the hive mentality.

I have one previous publishing credit with Concord University’s publication, Reflexes. I would like to publish Wesley Grey under the pen-name Lawrence E. Wilcox.

Thank you for your time, and I hope that you enjoy Wesley Grey.

Sincerely,

Ryan M. Smith

Jun 1, 2009

100 Followers! And a contest!

This weekend The Public Query Slushpile picked up its 100th follower!

[NOTE: insert cyber confetti and a ticker tape parade across the World Wide Web here. Oh, and multi-colored balloons. They are quite festive.]

Thanks to everyone who stops by, whether you are submitting queries, commenting on queries posted, or even if you just lurk and read. And if all you do is lurk and read blogs all day, I hope you unplug and go outdoors occasionally. Really. It's nice out there.

And now a contest...The Best Query Competition

There are over 70 unique queries in the Slushpile. Over 125 if you count revisions. Have you read them all?

Look deep into the blog. You are getting sleepy. Wait, sorry. Wrong post. Where was I? Oh, yeah...

Look deep into the blog. Use the labels to the right, the search function at the top-left, or scan the titles in the archive. Find a few queries you never read. Re-read a few that you remember.

Leave a comment to this post letting us know which query you think is the best. [NOTE: I don't know why I said us just now, since there's only one of me here. Perhaps I need to take myself up on that "go outside" thing I mentioned earlier.]

And the prize? Sorry, I got nothing for you except this:



Thanks again for your support. And remember, you have to post to receive total consciousness on your deathbed...