Aug 8, 2009

Query - Genesis

Dr. Maggie LeBlanc is a specialist in blood. She's a scientist, a Catholic, and an innocent, desperately trying to save lives. Rick Herten is a specialist in depravity. He's a rockstar, a womanizer and a violent alcoholic, slowly destroying himself to atone for old sins. They're a highly improbable pair who, under normal circumstances, would never even meet, much less have a child together.

Pierre DuChamps, a sadistic vampire looking for a cure for his thirst, will change those circumstances in the most drastic of ways. When he abducts them away to his house in Paris, they must count on one another to live through it and protect their unborn son. In the middle is Pierre's love, Anna Savage, a human detective torn between her protective instinct and her desire for the dark power that he can offer her.

But none of them can know the importance of their choices; that with this child comes the entire force of Heaven. This is the Genesis of the solution; the beginning of the journey to save the souls lost to the vampire blood. These three people are brought together in Paris to fulfill their intertwined destinies and save countless thousands from their perpetual Hell. To the victor goes Salvation.

Genesis is complete at 127,000 words and well-suited for the adult fantasy market. It is intended as part of a book series, the second of which is in outline form. I know you’re up to your ears in queries, so thank you for taking the time to read this. Please feel free to email me at if you are interested in viewing a more detailed sample of the work. Thanks again for your consideration.


Sara said...

Hi there! I'm new to the blog, but I've got some experience with both agents and publishing houses. Love the premise here, and I wanted to tell you what struck me.

I'm attracted to the plot right away--I love complicated fantasy, and especially end-of-the-world-esque fantasy. The second to last paragraph makes me think this would be right up my alley. The mix of characters here is varied and intriguing, and seems like a good fit with the premise.

The first problem I ran into though was that there were too many characters in the query. I can't remember who is who anymore. With each new character and arc introduced, the focus is lost a little more. What's really important here? When I first start reading, I assume the novel is going to be about those first two characters, and the story of how they met, fell in love, and had a baby despite coming from very different backgrounds. After reading the second paragraph, I assume it's going to be about the third character, the vampire, kidnapping a pregnant couple, and how they try to win their freedom by appealing to the better side of the fourth character. But that's not it either.

What the story is really about is the unborn child and saving "the souls lost to vampire blood." I'm not sure what that means--the people who ARE vampires? The people vampires have killed? And how is the birth of this child going to save them? And what is it going to save them from? When you say "these three people," which three people are you referring to? You've got five in the query--the parents of the unborn child, the unborn child, the vampire, and the vampire's girlfriend.

I think this is just a case of getting so close to the work you forget what other people don't know about the world you've created. The world and the story are both very interesting to me, and I'd love to see some focus along with plain language so I know exactly what it's about. When you have a complicated story, it becomes even more important to show an agent it can be explained in just a few sentences.

And on a much smaller note, I think the last paragraph can be cut to two sentences--the first one (add that it's a series there), and then, "Thank you for your time and consideration." No need to be excessively grateful for reading your query.

This sounds like such an interesting premise, and I'd love to see a revised version. Best of luck!


RCWriterGirl said...

I apologize, but I'm going to be quick and dirty here, as it's late my time. But, let's pretend I'm an agent whose reading queries late one night (the only time s/he has a spare moment).

This one just didn't work. There are way too many characters introduced in the beginning for me to understand. My sleep deprived brain is trying to make sense, but by the time I get to: "In the middle is Pierre's love, Anna..." my eyes have glazed over and I just quit.

This may be an excellent story, but the query has to be pared down to provide the most essential, tantilizing information only. I know it's hard, especially when the complex relationships people have are part of what gives the book such drama. But, to capture an agent's attention, and not have them just move on, it's got to appear more compelling than this on the surface.

Good luck.

RCWriterGirl said...

PS. You may want to axe the word count. 127,000 may be a deal breaker for many agents. If the person accepts sample pages and likes it, they may agree to read the rest. But, seeing the wordcount may instantly cause them to retreat, before they give you a chance.

Also axe, "I know you're up too your ears in queries."

Donna Hole said...

Wow, great plot synopsis. Very complicated, and I really like that in a novel. I was hooked by the end of the first paragraph. I liked the introduction of the sadistic vampire and his human love, a woman torn between duty and romance.

The added info of the unborn child's heavenly role, however, was a bit of info overload for me, and so was the word count for this genre. When I read that it was adult fantasy, I was expecting something more - - erotic. Maybe submitting it as paranormal is enough, if you're not targeting the young adult market.

Instead of stating that Pierre will "change those circumstances", you can say what simply that the vampire senses the role the unborn child will play in his own hunt for a cure for his vampirism, and leave the rest the details out.

And if it does fall into the "adult" fantasy, you might want to show that in your synopsis. I think I'd leave out the apology (I know you're up to your ears) to the agent for submitting this. It sounds like a very interesting novel, and you might want to save a good part of this for the actual synopsis when the agent asks for it.

TLH said...

First can I just say... you guys are infinitely more helpful and constructive than any forum I have tried to work with. THANK YOU!!

That said, I definitely agree with Sara that I'm having trouble distancing myself from the plot and paring it down to something appealing. It is very complicated... maybe too much so, but I'm working on a way to contain it!

Thank you all immensely, hopefully you'll see a revision soon!