Aug 2, 2009

QUERY - SAVE US - Christian Fiction

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

Hi everyone, I just discovered this site and it looks like an amazing resource! I'd appreciate any help you could give with my query. Thanks!

Vipul


Dear Agent:

Every year, hundreds of millions of people celebrate Christ's death and resurrection during Easter weekend. But what was he doing during those three days? And if his death and resurrection were so important, why didn't Satan stop it? My completed 75,000-word novel, SAVE US, seeks to give one possible answer to these questions.

Phoebus is a young, orphaned fisherman living in ancient Phoenicia during the time of Christ.

When he and his love Ariadna drown in a storm, they find themselves on the outskirts of Hell. Captured, separated, and enslaved, they sink into despair, until Phoebus inadvertently sparks a rebellion against his demon captors. He soon meets Durus, a mercenary angel sent to aid him, who informs Phoebus that this conflict is meant by God to distract the devil from events on Earth. As Jesus' path takes him to the cross, Phoebus undertakes a task that transforms him as much as it changes the fate of the slaves in Hell.

As a young ophthalmologist immersed in the world of medicine for the past decade, writing this first novel has helped me to come up for air, and the book has grown with me. Though it takes place long ago, many of the trials faced by these characters are reflections of my own struggle for identity as a Christian Indian-American. This inspirational tale, dealing with love, loss, pain, and redemption, would appeal to readers in both the Christian and mainstream markets.

I have enclosed a SASE per your guidelines. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

3 comments:

Botanist said...

First off, I *love* the concept of this story. We always hear warnings about retelling historical events like the birth or death of Christ because it's so difficult to get a fresh angle, but I think you've got one here!

As for the query itself, I don't have a professional perspective to offer so please take anything I say with a large bucket of Dead Sea salt, but here goes ...

I would suggest striking your first paragraph and starting with the story (paras 2 & 3). Get the agent hooked with the essence of the story straight off. The key question (why didn't Satan stop it?) can be worked directly in where you talk about distracting him from events on Earth.

You can finish off with the novel details (name, word count, and what about genre?)

One thing that seems to be missing for me is a sense of conflict for Phoebus. He's already in Hell so presumably things can't get any worse for him, so I can't get a sense of what choices he has and what is at stake for him. Does he have the prospect of redemption? Or being reunited with Ariadna? If so, it doesn't seem much of a choice -- a bit of a no-brainer in fact -- so what is the cost or risk of undertaking this task?

Good luck!

storyqueen said...

The sole purpose of a query is to get an agent to say, "Hmmmm, I'd like to read more about this." If I were an agent (which I'm not) I would most definitely want to read more!

Shelley

Vipul said...

Hi guys, thanks so much for the encouragement! Yours are the first comments I've gotten from people I don't already know, and I really appreciate it.

Botanist, I totally agree with your comments, and actually the next day I cleaned a lot of that stuff up. I'll post the new one soon. Thanks again-

Vipul