Jun 8, 2010

Query- Winter Roses Never Die

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.

Dear Agent,

At 34 years old, Jennie is something of an anomaly. She loves what some might consider incongruous: Jesus AND fairies. She's not religious or mentally challenged, but she is a little of what she seeks in the wonderful and strange. Her shy, spiritual, over-imaginative, child-like persona makes her appear eccentric, masking her kind nature and strong integrity. Her co-workers in the public library, Sylvia and Helen, can see she's different but can't decide which side of the wonderful and strange scale she's on. When Jennie announces she's heard disembodied singing and music while talking shortcuts through the abandoned cemetery and also met a gorgeous man seated beside a wintry, rose-covered grave, her library co-workers suspect it is the the strange end of the scale for her. And when Helen fails to find any roses or any man, gorgeous or otherwise, in the cemetery where Jennie claimed they're always to be found, these suspicions are confirmed.

The growing enmity at work because of her outlandish claims and her 'inspirationals' which she believes are from the Divine, and also the disappearance from the cemetery of the man she has come to know as Charos, bring Jennie into despair. Despite his thorny nature, Charos had shown more understanding for her spiritual, imaginative nature than anyone else, and Jennie had begun to believe he was the Prince Charming she had always dreamt of meeting. Gradually, her inspirationals lead her into a more positive understanding of people and life, and the optimism and courage these inspirationals give enable her to win the admiration of Sylvia and Helen and even the elusive and potentially dangerous Charos. Her unfailing love and support enables him to see her worth and helps free him from his cursed existence. But only the winter roses which never die hold the key to Charos' surreal past and inspire her to fully understand the reasons for his misdeeds and how he now suffers because of them. She also realises that even though there have been many to take blood away, there has only ever been One who came to give it, and whose words - like the magical roses - will never die.

Winter Roses Never Die is a paranormal romance of approximately 95,000 words which also combines elements of inspirational Christianity.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Stacy McKitrick said...

Okay - I'm not the greatest when it comes to critiquing queries, but this one is just too wordy. And if it's a paranormal romance, I don't see the "romance".

I found that when I did what Rick suggested - write what your book is about in one sentence and build from there, it works. My suggestion is that you do the same. You have so much stuff in this query that it confused me. I'm still not sure what your book is about.

Writing a good query takes time (almost as much time as writing the darn book was). Keep at it. When it hits you (like it did me), you'll wonder why you didn't see it in the beginning!

Dan Ritchie said...

Yes, it is a strange mix, but I suppose strange can work.
I was reading along and everything seems fine, but I was starting to think it was wordy too. Maybe eliminate anything that isn't required for clarity. Yes, this query works overall. Don't chop it to bits, just fine tune.

wendy said...

Thanks, Stacy and Dan, for those comments. Great advice and I'll take it to heart.

Yes, Dan, the story is a mixed bag, but I'm glad now as it would be just another vamp paranormal if not. Probably impossible to get a publisher interested in such a combo, however. But I'm going to use the query for promotion and publish the novel, myself, in ebook format. Thanks to Nathan's timely posts and info about self-publishing, it seems very doable. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to agree with Stacy and Dan. Too wordy.

The paragraphs are too long, and you keep restating things.

Also, there's a certain Mary-Sue quality here. The description of Jennie sounds like how she thinks about herself, not how others see her.

Her co-workers probably see her as either "nice" or "a pain in the butt". They're probably too wrapped up in their own stuff to worry about whether she's wonderful or strange.

Cut out all the description of Jennie and just show us what happens.

wendy said...

Thanks, Dan. I agree with you, although I think it's mainly Sylvia - who's worked with Jennie the longest - who views her more fondly while Helen opts for 'she's definitely strange.' I take your point that 'wonderful' is an overstatement in this case. I guess I was trying too hard to tie in with the phrase 'strange and wonderful' mentioned earlier.

Thanks, again :)

wendy said...

Ack - sorry, Anon, I meant to direct my thanks and comments to you - not Dan.

Cheryl said...

Much too long. You can cut out about 1/2 or more of what you have written. It's also repetitive. Don't worry so much about trying to get the details in, give the overall picture. What is it about and what are the stakes.