Jan 15, 2010

QUERY: A STORM HITS VALPARAISO

Dear [AGENT],

I am writing to you because you represented [TITLE] by [AUTHOR], and I feel A STORM HITS VALPARAISO, at 100,000 words, may suit your list.

In 1822, after twelve years of a brutal war, Spain was on the verge of losing her empire. The two greatest figures in South American history, José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, met for the first and last time to discuss the conclusion of the conflict. They spoke alone, and no historical record was made of their meeting, where San Martín resigned to become an anonymous farmer in France. This tale of life, love and loss follows San Martín and his rag-tag army of Indians, freed slaves and ex-convicts until the dramatic meeting with Bolivar. For two hundred years San Martín's motives for stepping aside have remained a mystery. Until now.

This is my first novel, written and researched over two years in Peru and Argentina. Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


David Gaughran
www.davidgaughran.com

8 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Wow! To me this a perfect query. I shall say no more except Good Luck. Sincerely.

Aimless Writer said...

This looks very good. The only question I might have would be the line, "This tale of life, love and loss follows San Martín and his rag-tag army of Indians, freed slaves and ex-convicts until the dramatic meeting with Bolivar." Great line but perhaps this should come earlier in the paragraph because before that it talks about him meeting Bolivar and San Martin chooses to become a farmer and this sentence is about the time before the meeting. Did I read it right?
But this is a very tight and concise query. Very well written.
Send it out!

folksinmt said...

I agree with Aimless..that one sentence was a bit confusing in regards to timeline. But this is very, very good. And definitely not run of the mill...your storyline really stands out. Good luck

Holly said...

I would make the query present tense (in CAPS). Agents expect it to be written in present tense.

"In 1822, after twelve years of a brutal war, Spain IS on the verge of losing her empire. The two greatest figures in South American history, José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, MEET for the first and last time to discuss the conclusion of the conflict. They SPEAK alone, and no historical record IS made of their meeting, where San Martín RESIGNS to become an anonymous farmer in France. This tale of life, love and loss follows San Martín and his rag-tag army of Indians, freed slaves and ex-convicts until the dramatic meeting with Bolivar. For two hundred years San Martín's motives for stepping aside REMAIN a mystery. Until now."

Good job, and good luck!

Holly said...

Correction to my previous comment. Your wording of the last two sentences was correct. My apologies.

"For two hundred years San Martín's motives for stepping aside HAVE REMAINED a mystery. Until now."

David Gaughran said...

Hi, this is the author. Thank you for the feedback. I have switched to present tense so it now reads:

In 1822, after twelve years of brutal war, Spain is on the verge of losing her Empire. The two greatest figures in South American history, José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, meet for the first and last time to discuss the conclusion of the conflict. They speak alone, and no historical record is made of their meeting, where San Martín resigns to become an anonymous farmer in France. This tale of life, love and loss follows San Martín and his rag-tag army of Indians, freed slaves and ex-convicts until the dramatic meeting with Bolivar. For two hundred years San Martín's motives for stepping aside have remained a mystery. Until now.

Thanks for pointing out the confusing sentence. It doesn't scan fully alright. Can't think of an immediate solution, despite fiddling with it for a while now, moving it earlier doesnt work, so I may have to rewrite again AAAAAAAGH!!!!!!

Piedmont Writer said...

David -- Perhaps if you took the sentence out altogether or -- (if I may)

"...where San Martin resigned to become an anonymous farmer in France. For two hundred years San Martin's motives for stepping aside have remained a mystery. Until now. This tale of life, love and loss follows San Martin and his rag-tag army of Indians, freed slaves and ex-convicts until the dramatic meeting with Bolivar."

I like the sentence and don't really want you to lose it and you're right, it doesn't fit at the beginning. So, how about at the end? What do you think? Otherwise it's perfect. Really great job.

Travener said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree with everyone else. To me, the emphasis of the query seems to be the meeting between San Martin and Bolivar. My reaction to that is, "This is a novel about two guys (however famous) meeting? BORING!" Is the novel mostly about San Martin's trek through the jungle? Then emphasize that, and tell me why I should care. Or if it's mostly about what takes place at the meeting, give me some reason to care about that, beyond finding out why San Martin wanted to go to France.

I'm sure there's conflict and drama in your novel, but I don't see any in your query. SOrry to be so brutal, but hopefully it'll be helpful.