Apr 6, 2010

Query- The Keeper

Dear Public Query Slushpile,

There were signs all along, but signs get missed when you’re struggling just to make it through the day.

After her father’s death, Rachel Goode is determined to rebuild her life a thousand miles away from the only home she’s ever known. Sent with her brother to live at the boarding school where their uncle is Headmaster, she doesn’t expect to ever be happy again. Nor does she expect to find her soul mate, a mysterious boy with a secret connection to Rachel’s family and a world she never imagined existed.

Rachel’s attraction to Talan is instantaneous, consuming, and reciprocated. But standing in the way of her newfound happiness with Talan is the second soul that resides in him. Talan confesses not only to a growing love for Rachel, but that he is possessed by a “keeper,” an entity with a mission to guard her through a supernatural purpose. Can Rachel convince Talan that the “keeper” is just an illusion, an unnecessary barrier to the normal, happy life she desperately craves? Or will she have to come to terms with her role as a “chosen one” and accept that she has a purpose larger than her tragic circumstances reveal?

I am seeking representation for my first novel, a completed 99,000 word YA, paranormal romance titled The Keeper. What makes The Keeper unique is that it operates as two separate stories on two separate levels, one of which is only revealed in the ending. In fact, if you reread the book a second time, a whole different story floats to the surface like seaweed kicked up from the ocean floor.

On the surface, The Keeper uses Rachel’s first-person voice to share a love story that tears at the heart and mends the soul. But a secondary layer of symbolism and allegory emerges towards the ending to give Keeper a deeper relevance. It should appeal to paranormal romance readers as well as anyone seeking an uplifting message and an ending that leaves you thinking for days.

I would appreciate the chance to share a few chapters at your request. Please feel free to contact me at ---@gmail.com . Thank you for your valuable time and consideration.



Falen said...

This is pretty good. The middle section is very strong, and honestly i think you need to keep that and chop some of the rest of it out. You're about 2 paragraphs too long.

I would cut the opening sentence. It really doesn't have any meaning and is confusing. Also, after reading the query i really don't know what you're referring to - what signs? And what do they refer to? Also i didn't read anywhere where it seemed like Rachel was struggling to make it through the day. So i would cut it.

Once you get down past the story and into the "seeking representation" paragraph i would cut from "What makes the Keeper unique..." through to "But a secondary layer of symbolism..."

All of this is telling. And no agent wants you to tell them what makes your story unique, they want to see it when they read the story. Also i would ditch the "an ending that leaves you thinking for days". This rings as a bit pretentious and if you get a cynic they're going to say "oh really?" and the moment they don't feel that, they're going to pass.

So after the "Rachel’s attraction to Talan is instantaneous," paragraph i would wrap up your Query with something like:

"I am seeking representation for my first novel, a completed 99,000 word YA, paranormal romance titled The Keeper. It should appeal to paranormal romance readers as well as anyone seeking an uplifting message. Thank you for your valuable time and consideration."

You may also want to find a few books that are similar so you can say - "it will appeal to fans of paranormal romance such as Shiver and..." or whatever.

Also i'm not overly familiar with YA but the word count seems a bit high to me.
BUT, i could be completely wrong about that.

Otherwise those middle 2 paragraphs were very strong and certainly had me hooked.

Good job!

Princess L said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such great advice. I appreciate the courtesy, and Rick Daley for making this blog available!

Genevieve Wilson said...

I agree with Falen. This sounds like an interesting story, and the bones of the query are good.

I, too have a novel with a few layers. (women's fiction) I took a critique webinar from writersdigest.com, in which I sent in a query to be critiqued by Jane Friedman. She told me to cut the allegorical description because allegory isn't considered very sexy in the publishing business these days. Just stick with the story and let the agents who request your manuscript be pleasantly surprised.

Good job!

Jm Diaz said...

This is a bit long. It it is interesting, but you may want to cut out some the backstory. Leave that for the synopsis.
Best of luck to you