Sep 1, 2010

QUERY- GREEN-EYED MONSTER, 1st Revision

Click here to read the original query.

Dear AGENT NAME,

After PERSONAL TIDBIT, I believe my 80,000 word urban fantasy novel, GREEN-EYED MONSTER, may be a good fit for your representation.

Rookie detective Lucy Santone measures everything with the black and white rulebook of the Detroit Metro Police Department. Since tangling with a homicidal carjacker, she also sees demons crawling on suspects, a halo above the cleaning lady, and a stalker-angel who claims to be her Guardian. Denial’s easy until the delusions try to kill her.

During an arson investigation, Lucy uncovers the involvement of Levi Johanneson, the director of an NPO that renovates dilapidated houses. It’s all from the goodness of his shriveled heart until the contract comes due: one soul, a bit singed. Caveat emptor takes on new meaning when dealing with the agents of Good and Evil.

But Levi's not the only player in town. Another demon is vying for control over the broken souls of Detroit. Combined they have too many minions, too much power. She refuses to back down, but Lucy is in over her not-so-delusional head.

When each demon offers her an alliance, she is forced to make a choice: the citizens she swore to protect, or her own ticket to the pearly gates. Suddenly the rulebook looks a little gray.
 
GREEN-EYED MONSTER is a fantastical twist on detective fiction, researched through interviews with police/arson experts. I have a synopsis for a potential sequel.
 
The first five pages are included below. Thank you for your time.
 
Sincerely,
Mesmerix @ Scribbler to Scribe
http://mesmerix.blogspot.com/

7 comments:

Anonymous Author said...

Okay, I like the opening. It's crisp and gets the point across. Last line of the first paragraph:

"Denial's easy..."

I can believe that denial's possible, but not that it's easy.

"NPO" took me a minute. Then I figured it out: nonprofit organization, correct? But you don't want anything that will snag your reader so that she has to stop and figure it out.

"It’s all from the goodness of his shriveled heart..." would be stronger if you took out "shriveled". Otherwise we're forewarned that he's a bad guy. Also, it's not really all from the goodness of his heart. Presumably he gets paid a salary. If he's a solo do-gooder, like the guy who came and offered to take away my gypsy moths and tell me about Jesus, then it's not an NPO...

Jenny said...

The voice in this query is great. If the voice in the novel is the same, I want to read it already. However, I don't know exactly what the plot's about.

The first paragraph is clear enough, though the connection between the carjacker and Lucy's new ability to see spirits is only implied. (I love "stalker-angel.") But the second paragraph confuses me. I read it as "Levi is involved in arson through the goodness of his heart until he has to give up his soul." Or maybe somebody else's, but I don't know what's going on there. And then in the third paragraph, it sounds like Levi is a rival of this other demon, but the third sentence says they're "combined."

Then the next paragraph is very snappy and clear, with a great last line, and the closer is relevant and brief. If you can clarify what's really happening in those two confusing paragraphs, I think this is a winner.

Zee Lemke said...

Oh oh oh oh oh the little changes help so much. The first sentence about Johanneson gives me an idea of how the story's going to go. No more jarring word choices. Yes.

All right, now, it is still a wee bit confusing in a couple places. The OTHER two sentences about Johanneson aren't carrying their weight plot-wise. I want to know explicitly that he sold his sold to a demon and maybe what his end of the contract was like. (Is he using hellhounds for insurance fraud? That's awesome.) The middle sentence especially is losing me. I assume its first clause is being sarcastic, but the second clause isn't, so I'm left with only half a joke. Unless he sold his soul for reasons that were initially good, which could be made much clearer in the third sentence, I want that second sentence to have more scheming in it. Oh, and if his heart is good, why is it shriveled? Maybe it's just a pre-sale/post-sale timing issue?

Switch "She" and "Lucy" in the last sentence of P4.

Still not sure the interviews are gonna help, but at least they're not taking up space here. They make ME more interested in reading it.

Florence said...

I might be in over my head with your genre, but since it was the bread and butter in our home, I think I'll go for it.

I love the second para. It tells what is going on and I am fascinated by it. I agree with Anon that it might be better to quality how "easy" denial is.

The best part of the third para. is the last line.

Put the last line in the third para first. It follows the message in the previous para and sets up the bad guy ... Levi ...

Caveat emptor takes on new meaning when dealing with the agents of Good and Evil. During an arson investigation, Lucy uncovers corruption in a non-profit housing project. The project's director, Levi Johanneson, offers to renovate delapidated houses from the goodness of his heart until the contract comes due: one soul, a bit singed.

Fourth para. "She refuses" Who is she?

After this I get a bit confused. I know Levi is one of the demons and the end game is to cnotrol the broken souls of Detroit ...

but who is his nemesis in evil?

Is it Lucy who will not back down?

Para four and five need to be reworked.

I like that you have combined a traditional police story with urban fantasy. Excellent that you have first hand research to your credit.

Also, I love that she has a stalker angel as a guardian. You might used her angel in the last two para to nail down the ultimate conflict and decision Lucy must make.

I said, urban fantasy, is not always my thing, but this is something I would enjoy reading.

Mesmerix said...

Great comments. I will clean up and work on plot clarity. Of course, it all reads fine to me because it's my plot. I can't tell with my blinders on!

Thank you all SO much. If you think of anything else to nit-pick, feel free! I can't express how helpful this is.

Zee Lemke said...

Totally random unimportant thing because I was (uncharacteristically) reading political blogs this afternoon.

The name "Levi Johanneson" might be slightly too close to "Levi Johnston" to fly this year.

Mesmerix said...

Zee: I actually had to google to find out who that was. Funny! I'm fine with changing his last name to whatever. It's fairly unimportant. Thanks for pointing this out!