Jul 9, 2010

Query - Dead Meat (Revised)

Click here to read the original query.

I want to thank everyone who commented on the last version. Hopefully this one is a bit closer to the mark.

Dear Agent,

In my thriller Dead Meat, the only thing standing between America and a trumped-up war in a foreign land is a guy who drives a thirty-foot promotional vehicle shaped like a canned ham. But that’s just Gil Becker’s day job. See, he kills people. Professionally. He’s so good at it, the Department of Homeland Security thought he should work for them. They put Becker in the game to figure out who was really responsible for blowing up a Las Vegas casino, but the clues lead away from the Colombian revolutionaries who claimed credit, and closer to something more sinister in the old US of A.

So when five guys in body armor try to kill Becker while he’s singing off-key in the shower, he gets mad. He recognizes one of the attackers: he works (worked) for one of those private contractors, run by a pair of guys he knew from his Navy days. Mercenaries. Men afraid of losing lucrative government contracts once America reduces its presence in the Middle East. They’ve pissed off the wrong guy, and now it’s personal.

Dead Meat weighs in at 68,700 words. I received First Place in the 1,000-Word Fiction Contest at the ---- Conference, and Honorable Mention in 2008. I am a member of the ---- Writer's Association. Upon request I can send you the complete manuscript.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my work.




Suzi McGowen said...

A great hook! (I also love the title.) I'd break up the first paragraph, right after "Professionally."

I'd also leave out the mention of "Honorable Mention in 2008", unless it's a super duper conference where authors like Steven King have received honorable mention. (I understand that it shows you've grown as a writer, but I don't think the agent will care.)

Query Shark says to leave off the "Upon request I can send you the complete manuscript" because she says she already knows that, that's why you're contacting her.

Anonymous Author said...

This is quite good. Two things I'd change. One: you have "thought" instead of "thinks", when the rest of the query's in present tense. That kind of thing jars.

The other: "pissed off". To some people (me for example) "piss" is a cussword. You don't want to use a cussword in a query letter, simply because you'd be SOL if it ticked the reader off.

RCWriterGirl said...

I think this is a good rewrite.

The only things I'd mention is I found this sentence hard to follow: "He recognizes one of the attackers: he works (worked) for one of those private contractors, run by a pair of guys he knew from his Navy days."

Initially, I wasn't sure if the second he was Becker or the attacker. The (worked) in parentheses added to my confusion. So, if there's a way to streamline this sentence or break it into two, so it's less confusing, that would be helpful.

Anyway, good query. Good luck.

Jolene said...

Love your voice. I'd read it even though it's not something I'd normally pick up.

The Generalissimo said...

Thank you all for your comments. I guess it's time to kick it out the door and see what happens.

Thanks again. You guys are great.

Anonymous said...

too short for a thriller novel. Is Gil Becker a joke about Glenn Beck, or even sort of? Just curious. May want to consider that, either pro or con on him because of readers WILL think. Leave out (worked). There are also A LOT of people introduced for a query