Jul 7, 2009

Sample Pages - Quest Support

Click here to read the original query.

Hi all,
I've started sending out query letters for Quest Support, but haven't gotten any partial or full requests yet. I'm happy with the query itself, so I'm wondering if perhaps my sample pages could be the weak link in my submissions. I've posted the first few pages below for critiquing. Thanks!

Chapter One: In Which, Appropriately Enough, the Story Begins

Well, this week could have gone better, thought Gilbert as his head hit the pavement. “Is that any way to treat a veteran employee?” he groaned. Losing his job and possibly dooming the entire world was bad enough, but this was just insulting. The troll who had flung him out into the street only grunted. “Fine, be that way!” Gilbert picked himself up, grabbed his bag and stomped off. His life had been ruined so fast it made his head spin. Yesterday that was me, he thought to himself as he glanced through a window at a man in a cubicle. That had been when this whole mess started….

The magic mirror rang again. Gilbert adjusted his headset and hit the "talk" button on the mirror's frame. "Thank you for calling Quest Support my name is Gilbert how may I help you today?" he said as the image of a wrinkled old wizard appeared in the mirror.
"Is this the, uh, Quest Support place?" the wizard asked.
I just said it was, idiot! thought Gilbert. Out loud he said, "Yes, it is. What can I help you with today?"
"Uh, who are you?"
"My name is Gilbert. What can I help you with today?"
"Uh, I found this ring."
"And?" prompted Gilbert.
"Uh, I found it on a skeleton in a cave."
"Are you trying to find out what it does?"
"Uh, I thought you might know."
"Could you show it to me?"
Gilbert sighed. "The ring - could you show it to me? Hold it up to your Quest Orb so I can see it."
"Oh. Hold on." The wizard turned away from Gilbert and rummaged through a battered backpack. "Here it is," he said finally, holding up a plain brass ring.
"Okay," said Gilbert. "Does it have any distinguishing features?"
"Like what?"
"Unusual markings, discolorations, inscriptions and so on."
"Hold on." The wizard squinted at the ring. "Uh, no, it hasn't got any."
"All right, let me look this up." With a quill pen, Gilbert scrawled a quick description of the ring on a piece of parchment on his desk in front of him. His writing vanished and the words "Please Wait" appeared as a powerful enchantment searched a list of every magical artifact QuestCo had ever catalogued. Within moments, several matches appeared on the parchment. "All right," said Gilbert, "here's what to do next: throw the ring in a fire. If any strange characters appear on it, it's a ring of invisibility. If not, give us a call back and we'll try to narrow it down further."
"Oh, uh," said the wizard.
"Thanks for calling, goodbye," said Gilbert, cutting him off. He hit the "talk" button again, and the wizard vanished.

Gilbert disentangled his headset from his unkempt straw-colored hair and laid it on his desk. Sure, he'd probably have to put it right back on, but the stupid thing got so uncomfortable after a few hours. Gilbert sighed and returned to the important business at hand. He had been trying to finish his cup of coffee for almost two hours, but kept getting interrupted by calls. These past few weeks had been dreadful, with the forces of Good massing for the final assault on the Citadel of the Dark Lord. With so much battling going on, Quest Support's mirrors were ringing nonstop with every type of caller from jittery apprentices who had forgotten how to activate their shielding robes to orc warlocks wanting clarification on some obscure point of demon-summoning protocol. Fortunately, it would all be over in a matter of days, with Good victorious and the world at peace, at least until the next Dark Lord arose.


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

Thanks so much for all your comments. You are all great! As appoint of information, I went back to the books original name, TWICE FALLEN, so don’t be confused. See how this flies.

Dear Mr./Ms. X:

Liam Michaels, an archangel, is sent to earth to find and destroy fallen angels and their terrorist organizations. When a group of the Fallen bent on European domination gains control of Russia, he faces his biggest challenge. As thousands die from a Russian bioweapon and the threat of greater destruction from a second, more devastating bioweapon looms, Liam’s comrades question how an omnipotent God can allow such evil to exist. Liam faces a struggle to keep his companions in the fight, but the situation becomes desperate when he learns that the driving force behind Russia is his brother Lucifer, whose intent is the destruction of mankind.

My 80,000-word supernatural thriller, TWICE FALLEN, explores the possibility of God's omnipotence and goodness in a world where evil prevails.

I have a doctorate in Microbiology and have served as an advisor to the U.S. government on methods of detecting bioweapons. I’m employed as the Vice President of Science and Technology for a biotechnology company. While I have published many professional articles and book chapters on microbiology and molecular biology, this is my first novel.

Thank you for considering my submission.

Sincerely yours,