Sep 3, 2010

Query: BOUND

Dear (NAME)

Private investigator, Grant Stevens, has been watching Morana Lewis her entire life. When the daughter of his long time acquaintance turns up brutally murdered he’s called in to track down the killer. Morana tops the list of suspects because she’s like Grant, half vampire, only she doesn’t know it.

Grant eliminates Morana as a suspect, and finds she’s started the transition that will bring her vampire traits out. He’s been waiting for the day to no longer be alone in limbo between two species and to gain freedom from the vampire council, but both come with a price—Morana. And he’s fallen in love with her.

Determined to stop the murders rocking Seattle’s shoreline and keep Morana from transitioning, Grant’s focus is split. The body count continues to grow and he loses Morana to a vampire. Grant knows the vampire will force Morana through the transition, but he doesn’t know the vampire intends to seal the blood bond with her.

That’s just one of the many things Grant doesn’t know.

As he closes in on the killer, pieces to a puzzle he didn’t know existed fall into place. As they do, Grant’s world tips upside down. He’s forced to do two things he never thought himself capable of: kill a friend and make an alliance with a vampire, all to protect a woman he can never have; a woman that if allowed to fulfill her purpose for existing, will bring about the decimation of humans and vampires alike.

I am unpublished and seeking representation for BOUND, an 87,000-word adult urban fantasy novel about murder and evolution.
Thank you for your consideration,

(NAME)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first thought is, why is PI Stevens watching Morana Lewis HER WHOLE LIFE?!? That’s a long-term gig. Then when we get to the second line, I second-guessed that the long-time acquaintance WAS Morana Lewis. Obviously not by the next line if she is a prime suspect, but I’d be clearer in the first paragraph. Also, I don’t know if we need to know it’s the PI’s acquaintance’s daughter. That detail doesn’t matter right now.

Second paragraph: great hook! I like the transition bit. But then, I’m back to confused. Is PI Stevens ALSO a vampire? Or what is he? Between species is eluding me. I think some reorganization would work here. Is he following her because she’s like him?

The whole “paying the price” section really loses me. Paying to the Vampire Council? Why is there a price? What’s the deal here?

Murders again. If Morana and the PI are your MC, the murders should be a one-line point. Let us know out of the gate there’s an ongoing murder spree and she’s not the killer. Next.

So now he’s lost her to a vampire? Lost her? I never knew he had her. I knew he wanted her, but did she choose someone else? And this blood bond? What is it going to do?

Killer’s back. Pieces of a puzzle he didn’t know? Ugh. I’m tired. And SNARKY. Anything like this that’s meant as a “teaser” ends up as a “confuser”. Only you know what you mean.

On to the end. If there’s no way there’s any conclusion other than some kind of vampire/human apocalypse then there’s no shot I’m going to want to read about it.

If the PI is “watching her” lovingly and not stalkingly and he’s a good guy, then I want him to have SOME kind of win here. You’ve written Morana as completely doomed and there are too many things going on in this query. Focus.

The half human-half vampire bit is good. Reminiscent of drinking the blood in Lost Boys, but not turning until you drink blood. I’m interested in that. How one character’s transition can doom the whole world, well, that’s another issue that needs to come through in the query. How and Why does everything hinge on her? How does the PI know her? Seems the murders are incidental to the query other than that he’s investigating one and she’s a suspect. That promises some good tension.

I like a lot of the ideas, but I don’t think this makes me want to read your ms.

Sorry for being nit-critty, but don’t feel alone. I was on the receiving end this morning and I'm only trying to help. Oh, and DON’T say you’re unpublished. If you don’t have publishing credits or if they’re impertinent to the genre you’re writing in, don’t say anything at all. You’re better off.

Good luck! I'll be watching for a revision.

Anonymous said...

My first thought is, why is PI Stevens watching Morana Lewis HER WHOLE LIFE?!? That’s a long-term gig. Then when we get to the second line, I second-guessed that the long-time acquaintance WAS Morana Lewis. Obviously not by the next line if she is a prime suspect, but I’d be clearer in the first paragraph. Also, I don’t know if we need to know it’s the PI’s acquaintance’s daughter. That detail doesn’t matter right now.

Second paragraph: great hook! I like the transition bit. But then, I’m back to confused. Is PI Stevens ALSO a vampire? Or what is he? Between species is eluding me. I think some reorganization would work here. Is he following her because she’s like him?

The whole “paying the price” section really loses me. Paying to the Vampire Council? Why is there a price? What’s the deal here?

Murders again. If Morana and the PI are your MC, the murders should be a one-line point. Let us know out of the gate there’s an ongoing murder spree and she’s not the killer. Next.

So now he’s lost her to a vampire? Lost her? I never knew he had her. I knew he wanted her, but did she choose someone else? And this blood bond? What is it going to do?

Killer’s back. Pieces of a puzzle he didn’t know? Ugh. I’m tired. And SNARKY. Anything like this that’s meant as a “teaser” ends up as a “confuser”. Only you know what you mean.

On to the end. If there’s no way there’s any conclusion other than some kind of vampire/human apocalypse then there’s no shot I’m going to want to read about it.

If the PI is “watching her” lovingly and not stalkingly and he’s a good guy, then I want him to have SOME kind of win here. You’ve written Morana as completely doomed and there are too many things going on in this query. Focus.

The half human-half vampire bit is good. Reminiscent of drinking the blood in Lost Boys, but not turning until you drink blood. I’m interested in that. How one character’s transition can doom the whole world, well, that’s another issue that needs to come through in the query. How and Why does everything hinge on her? How does the PI know her? Seems the murders are incidental to the query other than that he’s investigating one and she’s a suspect. That promises some good tension.

I like a lot of the ideas, but I don’t think this makes me want to read your ms.

Sorry for being nit-critty, but don’t feel alone. I was on the receiving end this morning and I'm only trying to help. Oh, and DON’T say you’re unpublished. If you don’t have publishing credits or if they’re impertinent to the genre you’re writing in, don’t say anything at all. You’re better off.

Good luck! I'll be watching for a revision.

Anonymous said...

My first thought is, why is PI Stevens watching Morana Lewis HER WHOLE LIFE?!? That’s a long-term gig. Then when we get to the second line, I second-guessed that the long-time acquaintance WAS Morana Lewis. Obviously not by the next line if she is a prime suspect, but I’d be clearer in the first paragraph. Also, I don’t know if we need to know it’s the PI’s acquaintance’s daughter. That detail doesn’t matter right now.

Second paragraph: great hook! I like the transition bit. But then, I’m back to confused. Is PI Stevens ALSO a vampire? Or what is he? Between species is eluding me. I think some reorganization would work here. Is he following her because she’s like him?

The whole “paying the price” section really loses me. Paying to the Vampire Council? Why is there a price? What’s the deal here?

Murders again. If Morana and the PI are your MC, the murders should be a one-line point. Let us know out of the gate there’s an ongoing murder spree and she’s not the killer. Next.

So now he’s lost her to a vampire? Lost her? I never knew he had her. I knew he wanted her, but did she choose someone else? And this blood bond? What is it going to do?

Killer’s back. Pieces of a puzzle he didn’t know? Ugh. I’m tired. And SNARKY. Anything like this that’s meant as a “teaser” ends up as a “confuser”. Only you know what you mean.

On to the end. If there’s no way there’s any conclusion other than some kind of vampire/human apocalypse then there’s no shot I’m going to want to read about it.

If the PI is “watching her” lovingly and not stalkingly and he’s a good guy, then I want him to have SOME kind of win here. You’ve written Morana as completely doomed and there are too many things going on in this query. Focus.

The half human-half vampire bit is good. Reminiscent of drinking the blood in Lost Boys, but not turning until you drink blood. I’m interested in that. How one character’s transition can doom the whole world, well, that’s another issue that needs to come through in the query. How and Why does everything hinge on her? How does the PI know her? Seems the murders are incidental to the query other than that he’s investigating one and she’s a suspect. That promises some good tension.

I like a lot of the ideas, but I don’t think this makes me want to read your ms.

Sorry for being nit-critty, but don’t feel alone. I was on the receiving end this morning and I'm only trying to help. Oh, and DON’T say you’re unpublished. If you don’t have publishing credits or if they’re impertinent to the genre you’re writing in, don’t say anything at all. You’re better off.

Good luck! I'll be watching for a revision.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, computer glitch triple posted and won't let me delete.

Mesmerix said...

This is exactly the kind of book I read (and write), so I'm already interested.

Here's your major problem: too much going on. I'm confused for most of the way through the query. There are way too many plotlines. There can be only one, like Highlander. :) Let me break it down for you...

1) PI is following girl for her entire life
2) Girl's father murdered
3) Girl's turning vampire
4) PI wants a companion
5) PI is in love with girl
6) More murders are assumed to be happening that PI must solve (I assume this somehow relates to the girl's dad, but I don't know.)
7) Another vampire kidnaps girl
8) PI kills friend for reasons unknown
9) PI makes deal with vampire (assumably the one who kidnapped girl) again, for reasons unknown
10) THEN SOMEHOW, girl + PI = apocolypse

What is the main plot? Is it a murder mystery? A love story? Why do I care about these characters?

Right now I'm just confused.

Queries require a massive paring down to a single plot, the main one only. Everything else needs cut. You can hint at an attraction AND characterize without bringing in those plots.

I would rewrite this with a focus on whatever the main plot is, murder mystery I'm guessing. Setup the conflict, what's at stake, the characters involved, and why I should be interested. Right now it's too vague and confusing.

I want to read about PI's and vampires and unrequitted love and heroic deeds and all this awesome stuff that seems to be IN YOUR QUERY somewhere. Now, bring it out.

Dominique said...

I can see a few obvious problems here.

1) You've got a lot going on, so it's hard to keep track of everything.

2) It's unclear. This is probably due to the fact that you're trying to explain too many things at once. Such as the whole transitioning plotline. How does her changing, his stopping the change, or a blood bond work?

3)Excess. Don't forget, you only get around 250 words to do this. I suggest cutting everything not essential to the main thread of the tale. (ie: the Vampire Council, who you only hear about once in the query, and the blood bond, which also only comes up once, as neither has an apparent relation to the main plot of the query.)

4) Decimation does not mean what you seem to think it means. To decimate something is to destroy one-tenth of it.

Erin A said...

Sounds like a great story. I'm with everyone else, too confusing. The first paragraph threw me off course, and I had to reread it a few times to understand if Morana was the one killed.

Also, some advice I got yesterday, seems too long. I would cut it back.

I can't wait to see the revisions.

good luck!

Jason Myers said...

I agree with what the others say. It's very rambling and not tight enough.
Start with ONE sentence. What is the driving sentence that gave you the original idea for the story?

Start with that. Build on it.

Zee Lemke said...

The above, yes.

My creep-o-meter went off when I read that bit about him watching Morana. The next sentence doesn't elaborate (I actually didn't get them confused), so I have to assume he's either a guardian or a stalker. When it turns out he's in love with her, I'm leaning towards stalker. We don't need to know he's been watching her. If you MUST tell us, give us the reason instead of the duration. (Is it because she's another half-vampire? You can put that in the first sentence without too much hassle.)

I would not read this book based on this description, SOLELY because I am uncomfortable with the image of a man falling in love with a woman who doesn't know he's there. If I'm going to make an exception, you've got to give me a reason.