Feb 17, 2010

Query: Shifting Sand (Revision)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent:

Sadie Sloan is discovering that it's hell on a marriage to love another man.

Sadie, a thirty-six-year-old art teacher on the brink of divorce is in self-imposed exile on Tybee, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia that is heavy on small town southern charm and social deviants.  One night after yet another bartender cuts her off, Sadie runs into Kyle, the man who left her shattered eighteen years ago.  Seeing him releases a torrent of suppressed memories of that summer after high school when she fell in love with Kyle, her boyfriend's best friend and her best friend's boyfriend.  The shocking suicide of Sadie's best friend drove them apart and Sadie never quite recovered.  Now it seems like they have another chance to discover the happiness that was denied them so many years ago.

Sadie is too busy trying to pretend to be a teenager again to listen to friends and family who are all warning her to stay away from Kyle.  Sadie's husband is too busy trying to soothe his bruised ego to tell Sadie that he loves her and desperately wants her to come back home.

Before Sadie throws her life away for Kyle, she must learn for herself that the past only exists in her memories and that as much as she may want to, she can't go back again.

Shifting Sand, a work of women's fiction, is complete at 89,000 words.  Please contact me if you are interested in seeing my novel.  Thank you for your consideration.


David F. Weisman said...

Great query, brief, makes us feel the tension.

I would be a little clearer about why she's in 'self imposed exile'. Why exactly is she away from home. Make us feel why she needs to be away - but also feel enough for the husband that we'll be cheering for them to reunite.

Guinevere said...

Overall I think this is a strong query, but I agree with David. I want to know why she's living apart with her husband and have a sense of whether it's something reconcilable or not.

Also, I'd like to know more about what she stands to lose at the end if she does choose Kyle; what are her options here?

I really like the voice here - it's strong and engaging. The query is tight overall. You might want to clarify those things above, but I think this query is very good.

Emily said...

Great opening line. Good hook.

A few edits/suggestions:

In paragraph 2 you need a comma after "divorce." The "her boyfriend's best friend and her best friend's boyfriend" was a bit of a mouthful. Is Sadie's former boyfriend important or can you leave him out?

In paragraph 4 I think you should cut the last word "again," unless of course she HAS gone back before. But I think it is being used redundantly here.

But the query was very well done. Gives a good summation of the plot of the novel without feeling like a whole synopsis. Forgive any nit-picking but queries are the struggle for perfection right?

Good luck with your story-

Piedmont Writer said...

I like the hook in this, better than the other one. Although I liked that one too.

Para. 2 -- "One night," needs to be a comma after night. and I kind of like the line "boyfriend's best friend best friend's boyfriend", it is a mouthful but it sums up who they are quite nicely and what's at stake for Sadie.

The only thing I think is a little weird is "discover the happiness that was denied them" Did they really have happiness? I mean they were both cheating on their respective partners at the time, maybe if you change that to "Chance to reconnect" or some such considering the girl DID commit suicide. I think the happiness is a little creepy especially if she committed suicide because of them being together.

Other than that, I think it's really good. Good luck!

Hollie Sessoms said...

Thank you everyone for taking your time to help me with this. I love all the great suggestions! And thanks Rick for doing this for all of us!

Rick Daley said...

Hollie- it's my pleasure, best of luck to you!

Aimless Writer said...

I agree with most of the comments here. This is a well structured query. Good job!
If I comment about anything it would be the best friend/boyfriend's line. I had to read it twice. (Ok, I'm slow and it's late.)I think it could be simply her best friend's boyfriend. We can find out about about her old boyfriend when we read the book.
I'm very curious as to why Kyle is so bad for her now.
Great story, I'd buy this book!