May 17, 2010

Query- REINCARNATE

Dear XXX,

Heaven hath no fury like a saint reborn—even if that saint is atheist Jeanne Delacey. Being the reincarnation of Jeanne d’Arc is no picnic. Sure, she now has a divinely empowered bracelet that turns into a sword, and Luca Griffith—tall, dark, and definitely hiding something—to guard her, but she’s going to need, well, a hell of a lot more. Especially since she’s also inherited nightmares of burning to death, a centuries old arch-nemesis—one Pierre Cauchon—who’s been reincarnated as well, and—oh yeah, there’s that pesky business of an impending war between Heaven and Hell.

Torn between anger and fear, Jeanne tries to do what any spoiled little rich girl would: ignore the problem. But as demonic attacks grow more frequent, she realizes she’ll have to suck it up and deal. Cauchon sent her to the stake in her past life; he’s more than willing to do it again. And this time, the entire world will burn with her.

REINCARNATE is an 82,000 word adult urban fantasy. I would be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

8 comments:

Barb said...

What a great story line - this is the sort of book that I would very much enjoy reading.

I guess the main thing that struck me here was "why"? Why is she the one reincarnated? Why is there to be a war between heaven and hell? And why now?

I guess I'd be looking for her motivation a bit more as well. You say she decides to suck it up and deal - is there a defining moment? Most of us would let hell just come and take us, what makes her into the right sort of person? Does she hear guiding voices as well?

You really have caught this well, and you have a strong voice. Best of luck with it.

Lynn Colt said...

This is really good! Some comments: when you describe Jeanne as 'any spoiled little rich girl', it makes me dislike her. I might just take that part out for the query. Also, is this really adult UF? The voice sounds more YA to me, and if I recall correctly Joan of Arc was a teenager. Until you said otherwise, I thought it was YA urban fantasy.

And although I like your tagline of "heaven hath no fury like a saint reborn", it's not really necessary for the query [I get the feeling some agents would love it and some wouldn't; personally I'd save it to give the synopsis some sass :)] Also some tweaks could streamline and make this pop--I'll give it a whirl:

---

For Jeanne Delacey, being the reincarnation of Jeanne d’Arc is no picnic. Sure, she now has a divinely empowered bracelet that turns into a sword, and Luca Griffith—tall, dark, and definitely hiding something—to guard her. But she’s also inherited nightmares of burning to death, and a centuries old arch-nemesis who has also been reincarnated.

Overwhelmed, Jeanne tries to ignore the impending war between heaven and hell, but escalating demonic attacks force her to suck it up and deal. Her nemesis sent her to the stake in her past life; he’s more than willing to do it again. And if she can't stop him this time, the entire world will burn with her.

---

Hope this helps; your story sounds fabulous! Good luck :)

Ted Cross said...

This is quite good. The first paragraph works for me. We all have to make long, compound sentences it seems in order to make queries work, so that was fine. The second paragraph started off a bit muted compared to the first, but I don't have enough experience with query letters yet to know whether that is an issue or not. I did wonder about the why of it all. Joan of Arc was called by God, or so she says, so I could think her reincarnation must have a similar overtone. Overall, nicely done.

Anonymous said...

This query starts out quite attractively. It emphasizes action and gets us into the story.

Then you let yourself down. The phrase "spoiled little rich girl" really dropped my interest level in a hurry... I thought we were supposed to like Jeanne, but it seems her author doesn't.

Right after that comes a battery of cliches-- eg "suck it up"-- that makes it seem like the writer just isn't trying.

Beth said...

Oh, ouch. XD Well, I'm working on softening up the second paragraph of the query now:

Soul aside, Jeanne doesn’t believe she has what it takes to be a saint. Torn between anger and fear, she falls back on her usual method for dealing with problems: ignoring them. But as demonic attacks grow more frequent, drawing her friends and family into danger, she realizes she’ll have to find the courage to fight. Cauchon sent her to the stake in her past life; he’s more than willing to do it again. And this time, the entire world will burn with her.

Emily Cross said...

This is really good and I really liked the query.

I think the premise of Joan of Arc reincarnated is really excellent and to me was original but when I heard about the bracelet turning into the sword it reminds me of Witchblade, especially in the series a former user was Joan of arc, whom Sarah the main character has flashbacks about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPIIAtYAEN8

Sorry but I felt i'd be remiss if i didn't mention it.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great! I would want to read this story. Just a quick comment. I know that some of the others here objected to the 'spoiled little rich girl' thing but personally I like it. It gives the character an opportunity to grow and change. A person doesn't have to be perfect for you to love them. I'm a bit spoilt myself :)

Beth said...

Hi,

I hope no one minds me showing back up here. I know it's been a while. My original query has proven completely ineffectual, so I'm rewriting it from the ground up. I'm hoping to get some feedback on the new version, if anyone is willing.


Dear XXX,

Jeanne Delacey doesn’t believe in God or Heaven or angels; it’s no surprise she doesn’t believe the psychic who tells her she’s the reincarnation of Jeanne d’Arc. Still, when a demon attacks her in the French Quarter, she realizes her beliefs need to bend at least a little. Sure, she might be able to shrug off nightmares of burning to death as coincidence. Ignoring the reincarnation of Pierre Cauchon, Jeanne d’Arc’s head judge and worst enemy—not so easy. Especially since he’s leading Hell’s vanguard in a war against Heaven.

The angel Jeanne finds sitting in her living room isn’t terribly Biblical, but he is a pain in the ass; he thinks she can stop the war if she stops Cauchon. She just wants her normal life back. But no matter how much she wants to run from the problem, she can’t. Because Heaven wants to bring the fight to Hell, which will land the mortal world in the crossfire. Now she must rely on a powerful bracelet that turns into a sword, and Luca Griffith—tall, dark, and definitely hiding something—for aid. Worse, she has to rely on herself. If she can’t find the courage to fight, Cauchon will send her to the stake again. And this time, the entire world will burn with her.

REINCARNATE is an 82,000 word adult urban fantasy set in modern day New Orleans.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,