Aug 4, 2010

Query- The Hunted of 2060 (revised)

Click here to read the original query.

HERE IS A RE_WRITE THANKS TO COMMENTS. Please let me know if I am any closer:)


The Hunted of 2060
Paranormal ChickLit with a side of SciFi
85,000 words


America 2060. Three Lovers. Two Species. One Way to Survive.

An original, dark paranormal chick-lit with a side of sci-fi. Nineteen year old April discovers the secrets within herself are the very secrets that are being hunted by a group dubbed the Rogue Militia. As April uncovers that she is a mixed of human and alien DNA, she finds herself on a dangerous path of self-discovery, belonging to a hybrid species on the verge of extinction.

At University, Robert, the love of her life, is put at risk as she struggles with who she was and who she is becoming, while a hybrid family she never knew existed enters her life, a hybrid male pursues her, and her existence becomes a cat and mouse game with enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. Under General Raul, the military has no mercy for a foreign species that invaded earth in 2020 and when April realizes the General has secrets of his own, which have robbed her of her birth mother, grandfather and involve stolen hybrid DNA, she knows she must save more than herself or the world will fall into the hands of a madman.

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and a theme of wildlife conservation, April speaks to the core of what makes us human. Fans of Gena Showater's 'Teen Alien Huntress', and Maggie Steifvarter's 'Shiver', as well as fans of the movie 'Cursed' starring Josh Jackson, and fans of Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson series will enjoy this Hunted of 2060 series.

3 comments:

gj said...

It's better in that it's shorter, but you've still got two basic issues.

First, if this is already self-published, I'm not sure why you're doing a query at all. If you are submitting it to agents, they're not likely to be interested unless you can start with "I have sold X THOUSAND [preferably a large number of thousands] copies of the self-published book, TITLE, in __ [small number] weeks, and would like to investigate commercial publication of the book."

Second, ignoring the self-publishing aspect, the query is mis-focused -- too much generic phrasing and emphasis on themes instead of story and even hints that you don't know the market (as a definitional matter, stories are EITHER paranormal romance or SF romance, but not BOTH).

For a line edit: The first line is fine as a tag line or something on a cover, but it doesn't work in a query. It's too vague, and queries need specifics. Cut it.

Second paragraph: Don't judge your own work ("original") and pick one genre. I'd recommend avoiding chick lit, since most agents agree that the genre, per se, is dead, although the voice (which is probably what you're intending) is alive and well. But claiming it as a genre is a kiss of death. Chose either paranormal or SF, not both.

Now, to the meat of the query -- be specific. Avoid vague phrases that don't mean anything to a person who hasn't read the book, and that could describe pretty much any story:

secrets within herself
secrets that are being hunted by a group dubbed the Rogue Militia.

[If the secret is interesting enough to be hunted, then tell the reader what the secret is. Same for the bad guys; if they're interesting, then give a hint of how they're interesting, not just their name, so they're not just another group of generic bad guys.]

mixed of human and alien DNA, [generic -- what makes this interesting? What kind of alien?]

finds herself [passive and generic; says nothing about her choices and actions]

dangerous path of self-discovery [pretty much what every protagonist does]

a hybrid species on the verge of extinction. [still don't know what the species is or why I should care if it's going to be extinct]

the love of her life, [generic; doesn't tell me anything about him or her or what either one does to come to that conclusion]

is put at risk [passive, generic]

struggles with who she was and who she is becoming [could apply to every protagonist in every book]

The remaining paragraphs are equally riddled with vague phrases. I have no idea what the protaognist wants, what's interesting about her or what she DOES to get what she wants.

Anonymous Author said...

I agree with everything gj said. And I have a few things to add.

1. The first paragraph is off-putting to me too. Whether it would be off-putting to most agents is another question, but it is a risk you run. It isn't till the second sentence of the second paragraph that you use a complete sentence. This draws attention to your writing rather than your story-- not a good thing.

2. In the second paragraph, you mean "a mix," I think.

3. "At university" sounds British-- and they don't capitalize it.

4. There's a lot of excess verbiage here. This is a problem I have myself, which is how I recognize it. As a result some of your sentences get a bit unwieldy.

Consider this:

"Under General Raul, the military has no mercy for a foreign species that invaded earth in 2020 and when April realizes the General has secrets of his own, which have robbed her of her birth mother, grandfather and involve stolen hybrid DNA, she knows she must save more than herself or the world will fall into the hands of a madman."

might read better as:

General Raul has no mercy for the invading species. But April realizes the General has secrets of his own--secrets which killed her mother and grandfather. She must save more than herself, or the world will fall into the hands of a madman.

(I didn't want to leave in "save more than herself," but I don't know what it is she has to save.)

We don't need to know the exact date the species invaded, but we do need to know what the General did and what he might do (specifically).

Finally, yes, there is still the issue of this book having been self-published. Honesty is the best policy. And, as gj observed, without some impressive sales it's going to be hard to interest agents.

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind. - Joseph Rudyard Kipling said...

Thanks for all your input. I will use all of it, except the bit on self-publishing. Not necessary unless they are interested. My friend also self-published and was picked up by a publisher.