Aug 11, 2009

Query - Genesis (Revision One)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent:

“It’s okay to be a little crazy,” she says with a chuckle. Detective Anna Savage is no stranger to sin or violence. But her past motivates her to protect others from the evil she knows is out there; the darkness she has been drawn to her entire life.

After a chance encounter with tall-dark-and-handsome in Pittsburgh, her old passions for secrets and mystery start to resurface like wounds reopening to the air. Then finally her wealthy, sexy suitor comes to sweep her off her feet and carry her to a mansion in the City of Love. It’s not a problem that Pierre DuChamps is a vampire. In fact, that only sweetens the deal. It’s a dream come true for Anna, a dark fairy tale she had only imagined would ever come true. She could really see herself loving him.

But he is determined to find a cure for his Thirst. In some way Anna doesn’t understand, the solution seems to be in an unborn half-human, half-vampire child. It’s an anomaly, but much more than a science experiment to its expecting parents. The birth is imminent, but the baby’s fate is unclear. Are Pierre’s intentions pure or does he have some sinister intent for the child? And her dreams keep warning Anna that Pierre is not what he seems. Does she follow her heart and help the vampire she’s falling for, or trust in her instinct to protect the innocent?

There’s no way for her to know the importance of her choice; that with this child comes the entire force of Heaven. This child will mark the beginning of the journey to save the souls corrupted inside the world’s vampires. To the victor goes Salvation, and it all hinges on Anna Savage.

Genesis is a completed contemporary fantasy novel. Thank you for taking the time to consider my query.


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Stephanie said...

This is an interesting idea. It reminds me of the "devil baby" episode of "The X-Files" in a vague way ;)

I'd cut that line of dialogue & begin with that savory second line (and make it one sentence; not beginning a new one with "but").

I'm confused about "City of Love." Do you mean Paris? If so, why mention Pittsburgh? B/c as an editor in western PA, I perked up over Pittsburgh and am then disappointed that the action's not going to take place there. Easily fixed though -- just let us know where the bulk of the action is (Da Burgh or Paris) with a half sentence or so. For example, "When Anna returns to Pittsburgh..." Minor detail.

I like the intimation that Anna's trying to talk herself into this situation, that the idea of it (the fairy tale) is more appealing than the man himself. That helps the story feel more universal IMO.

Cut "in some way Anna doesn't understand" It also seems very clear to me that Pierre's determination = the fate of their child (I assume it's their child). I would think that it might have more tension if Anna knew what was going to happen and just tried to convince herself otherwise (character flaw = interest). But that's the story not the query ;)

I think what's missing toward the end is a sense of what is at stake for Anna (not the child) and if X does/doesn't happen, then Y will happen. For example, if Anna chooses a life with Pierre, she'll sacrifice her child to cure his Thirst. Or if Anna doesn't offer her unborn child to Pierre, he will hunt them and make Anna like him and take the child at that cost. Not that those things happen, just examples.

What I like about your story is all the real world connections it has, about "settling" in relationships, about parents who create a child in order to medically help another person (isn't there a Jodi Picoult book about that?), etc. It makes your query stand out among the vampire queries. I'd be curious to find out what happens in your story.

L. T. Host said...


Big comment I have is-- is Anna pregnant, or is this some other unborn child?

I may not have read carefully enough, but I kept waiting for that information and it never arrived. Other than that, I am intrigued by the concept and think Stephanie above caught the other things that threw me off.

Happy writing :)

Thermocline said...

You've made some nice improvements since your first draft.

The crux of the conflict (and, hence, the story) is in paragraph 3. The first two help set the mood and give back story but this keeps me from getting right into what should hook me. You might consider deleting the first two paragraphs and launching me smack into the heart of the problem.

The fourth paragraph lost me a little. Is this a story about curing vampires or saving souls? Why does any of this hinge on Anna? Help me understand how her choice impacts the outcome.

Keep uncovering the core. You'll find it!

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TLH said...

See, this is why I love you guys. None of those questions would've occurred to me because I already know the answers!!

It's not Anna's child, and I see now that's not clear. Yes, it takes place in Paris for the most part, but Anna is from Pittsburgh.

My biggest struggle with this version was how to set it up initially. Do you think it's more important have the hook of the plot (paragraph 3) initially and skip the character dev, or do I need more of a sense of Anna first?

Thanks so much for your amazing comments, guys!


TLH said...

Oh, and I was much happier with this after I took out the other two characters, because Anna is really the most important one to the overall story. So thank you guys for leading me to that!

I think leading with the second paragraph might be good? What do you guys think?

P.S. Stephanie - I adore that episode, it's called "Terms of Endearment," mostly because Bruce Campbell is awesome, and I love the twist ending!