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

8 comments:

Scott said...

Nicely done, EJ. The only thing that gave me pause was the very last sentence, "the battle for the future has only begun."

Are you talking about Julia's future or the future of humanity. If you are talking about the later, I think you would need to revise the query to reflect how Julia's life impacts the rest of humanity.

Also, at the end, you need a quick summary: "Queen of the Angels" is an urban fantasy and is complete at 80,000 words.

ejalvey said...

Awesome, Scott, thank you. I actually haven't completed the novel yet, so that's why I left off the word count at this point (I'm not sending the query until the novel is finished.

I had so much trouble with the query from my last novel I decided to start on the query and synopsis now (lol).

Great suggestions--thanks!

Anonymous said...

It may be just me, but I stumbled over the first line. In today's surgery/drug-miracle world "becoming a woman" is ambiguous, and if you add in a fantasy element, well, it could mean just about anything.

Vagueness/ambiguity continues to be a problem, in that you're sacrificing clarity in the interest of pretty words, and using the pretty words to hide a passive protagonist. Look at the verbs -- she becomes, she is caught, she is trapped, etc. Does she DO anything (other than sit and think)? Is she responsible for anything (cause and effect), or is she just passively reacting to outside forces?

Kill a bunch of your darlings and make the protagonist the hero of her her own story, making choices, taking action and taking responsibility for the consequences.

John said...

From Aristophanes to Alice Walker to any number of Nashville singers, a good chunk of literature's best stories center around the empowerment of women. But it's death to any story to use phrases like "the empowerment of women" or "a journey to the realization of her female powers." After "whose purpose is the empowerment of women through the teaching of," I was braced for something like "financial management" or "yoga" or "home repair skills."

The concept of awakening women to their own strength is great, it just needs to be in words that promise a captivating story rather than a class at the community center. Let the reader (even the jaded agent) have the fun grasping the theme, rather than spelling it out so literally.

Best of luck!

ejalvey said...

Very helpful--thanks Anony, thanks John!

Laura Martone said...

E.J. -

I can empathize with you... writing queries isn't easy. I've decided to take a step away from mine for a while... but try not to get discouraged.

That said, I do agree with Anonymous - your protagonist must be more active (in the query as well as the novel, which I realize has yet to be completed). Consider the true essence of your story - Julia's conflict - and try to write it in no more than two paragraphs. And while I realize that I have no way of knowing what an agent REALLY wants, I don't think the hook sentence is necessary - since it becomes redundant later in the query. Just plunge right into the story!

Good luck - with this one and the other one! :-)

Rick Daley said...

I think you should re-write the first sentence in the present tense. There are other parts that slip into past tense, too (had never imagined; had never dreamed)

To me, when you describe "a creature of mythology" I think "not real." I'm curious to know what others think. Myths are fictitious by definition. From the next sentence you explain a type of duality for the creature, part based on ancient lore (hence the myth) and part based on its true purpose. Which one dose she love?

This seems very positive, like she is special: "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."

But then this seems negative, like she is cursed: "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"

At the end, you mention her being an Amazon Queen, but I don't see where Amazon fits into the prior parts. I'm also not sure if the Amazon would be considered Urban Fantasy, or just Fantasy.

I'm afraid that for me this query raises more questions than it answers.

Suzan Harden said...

EJ,

I understand where you're coming from by writing a blurb at the beginning of the novel writing process.

But I have to third some other opinions about Julia's passivity. It's something to keep an eye on while writing your novel. Also, be specific about the conflicts. Why does getting pregnant equate to betrayal? (I've known too many friends who had 'oopses' even though they've taken every possible precaution, so be specific if the guy did something.) If she's that much in love with her Nephilim, why doesn't she want his child? Why does having a Nephilim child isolate Julia from humanity?

I'd watch how you use the question of whether Julia can love the child in the query. Mother/child relationships can hit major subconscious buttons in people. And despite some writers' opinions, agents are people too. *grin*

Best wishes on writing a killer novel!