Feb 21, 2011


Click here to read the original query.

Ryan Anderson, salesman in a hurry to deliver a critical proposal, turns livid when a careless truck driver backs into his BMW, mangling it.

He got even more angry when the driver, a stammering foreigner, gave him a bad phone number, and then tried to ditch him. So Ryan went after him, determined that the driver was going to fix his car.

But Ryan wouldn't have gone after him, if he knew where the man was from. Or what was in the truck. Or that the driver would quickly turn and go after him, and the beautiful young attorney he hooks up with later that night.

She was just supposed to be a one-night stand- until Jessica Webb saves him from men with foot-long knives who attack them at his house. Turns out she's the smart one. The one who quickly figures out it's not just the Chechens they have to worry about, but the really bad guys who paid them to ferry their illicit cargo. And unless they find a way to stop the second group, they'll both be dead by Monday morning.

Ryan and Jessica race against the clock in Seattle as they uncover a plan created by competing factions of Chechen militants and al-Qaeda to incite an all-out war between their two most hated enemies, the United States and Russia.

REVERSAL OF PROVIDENCE is an 84,000-WORD thriller, with elements of political intrigue and spy craft. Readers of authors like Vince Flynn, Frederick Forsyth, Daniel Silva, and David Morrell might enjoy this book.

I have a BA in English from the University of Iowa. Like my protagonist Ryan Anderson, I am a 'security expert'. I own a business specializing in products for video surveillance.

Thank you for reviewing this query.


Anonymous Author said...

Try to get control of your verb tenses. You want present tense all through. As it is you're shifting back and forth between present and past.

Ryan doesn't come across as likeable in this query. It may be my misinterpretation, but bear in mind I haven't read your manuscript so I'm basing my judgment entirely on your query:

*he cares a great deal about his car
*he has a terrible temper
* he appears to have something against foreigners
*he uses women

If he has a redeeming quality, it's not coming through, and Jessica still sounds like furniture, even as "the smart one" (compared to whom?)

The plot is still unclear. What, exactly are the Chechens going to do? What is their cargo? Why is a clock in Seattle being raced? Don't hide these things.

Mark said...

Anon- thanks for the comments- appreciate them- I will check with the tenses and get them to match up.

My goal with Ryan is to show not that he was angry, but that he is strong willed/ determined- your comments tell me I did not do a great job with that- and need to rework some of his description.

With the plot- I had hoped to put just enough in there to get someone interested in asking for more- that those very things you are asking about are those that would cause an agent to say "I am curious, send me the ms"- I will see if I can reword some of this to give more detail.

Again- thanks for reading and your comments- I appreciate it-

Anonymous said...

I can't really get past the first sentence. "Ryan Anderson, salesman in a hurry" is clunky -- what's wrong with "a salesman" ? And why bother mentioning he's a salesman, if that isn't essential to the story?

"turns livid" reads awkwardly and doesn't convey what you hope it does (especially since he gets "even more angry" in the next paragraph, which is hard to do, once you're livid). And the dangling "mangling it" deflates what's left of the sentence.

But by the time I reached "even more angry," I began to question your grasp of English grammar. I'd have to assume the language in the rest of the manuscript is equally stilted.

Part of the problem is that you're spending too much time on the setup, and most of the information you provide feels jumbled and doesn't show, just tells.

Start with the action, get to the point. Organize your thoughts.

Since it's a thriller, you'd be better of starting with a hook like: "When Ryan Anderson chased down the driver who smacked into his prized BMW, he never imagined he'd set off a race against time to stop a terrorist plot to spark a war between Russia and the US." (wordy, but you get the point).

The racing the clock in Seattle thing got me too. Much more fun to race a clock in Paris.