Aug 30, 2009


Dear Xxxx,

Dashiell Colourful is an extraordinary gentleman. He's charming, refined, street-smart, handsome, and a sharp dresser. He's intelligent, affable, strong and agile. To put it succinctly, he is Whiz-Bang Fantastic. As such, he is the protagonist of Whiz-Bang Fantastic, an 83,000-word fantasy novel of perfect worlds, thrilling adventures, and discoveries that could change virtually everything.

Dashiell leads a charmed life in the vibrant town of The City, a gilded place where everything is grand and amazing. He works as a haberdasher, selling the most chic wares the High Street has to offer, he has a loving wife and a talking fox for a pet, his best friend is a flamboyant stage actor, and he is admired and respected by all.

And he finds it endlessly boring!

He tries to lash out against his walk in life however he can, from soaring through the air on his aluminum "Gull" glider, to exploring the vast, untamed forest in his backyard. He's still in a rut, however, and he thinks nothing will ever change… until he meets Raleigh.

Raleigh is a young woman that Dashiell found wandering in the forest, lost and injured. She's not grand and amazing, and we probably wouldn't notice her on the street. To Dashiell, however, and to his world, she's like nothing they've ever seen before!

Raleigh's arrival in The City causes an astounding stir, and sends Dashiell and everyone close to him on a journey of perspective, realization, and self-discovery. Some, though, believe Raleigh to be a corruptive influence due to her being the complete opposite to the way of things, and no one can be sure what else may change…

Whiz-Bang Fantastic is my first completed novel, but I've been writing short stories and other novels for the better part of eight years. My writing has won me the Seamus Flynn Memorial Award, a local scholarship for artistic achievement. If you would like to read a sample of my manuscript, I would be happy to provide it. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


John Marshall

Query: Winter Roses Never Die

Click here to read the original query.

This is my second go at it...thank mightily for your help and suggestions.

Dear Ms Xxxxxx,

As a fan of your blog, I'm querying your interest in a 90,000 word paranormal romance ms for adults which crosses borders into inspirational and mystic Christianity.

When Jennie - a shy, fey woman of thirty-four - relates to her library co-workers of meeting a gorgeous man (Charos) in an abandoned wintry cemetery beside a rose-covered grave, her credibility is stretched to the limit. But when she describes hearing disembodied singing and music that seem to follow her down the cemetery path, her long-suffering associates begin to doubt her integrity and sanity. However she hasn't even told them the whole story of what she experienced. She is convinced a fairy lady, with sloe-shaped green eyes, was reclining upon a twig-like branch of a wattle tree. The lady's eyes held such power that Jennie couldn't move or speak. Only when able to recite the most powerful prayer she knows does the vision disappear.

For Jennie, the blood red roses aren't the only stand-out feature of the overgrown, gothic cemetery. She uses the grounds as a short cut to work and stops to speak to the life-like statue of the Christ garbed in a maroon cloak. She sometimes receives uplifting 'inspirationals' when she does.

Not far away from the statue, the wheel-chair bound man who finally reveals his name to be Charos is often seated beside the rosy grave. There appears some surreal connection between him and the roses. He explains to Jennie that the roses are magical and will never die. They only sleep in summer and return every winter when 'she' is needed the most. With the arrival of summer, this enigmatic, charming and understanding man disappears along with the winter roses. Jennie is determined to know the truth about Charos and bring him back into her life. Armed with eternal truths gleaned from inspirational communication with the Divine, she begins her quest discovering in the process that true, selfless love is more about understanding and sacrifice than romance which, like the winter roses, will never die.

Winter Roses Never Die was recently awared a Highly Commended certificate and third place in an open writing competition hosted by Affordable Manuscript Assessments. More details of the story, including the first chapter and a book trailer, are available on my blog at

Thank you for your time, etc....