Feb 16, 2011


What if, purely by accident, a young man stumbles into a terrorist plot that was set in motion decades ago by the fall of the Soviet Union?

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

Ryan Anderson, salesman in a hurry, turns livid when when a careless semi-truck driver backs into his BMW, mangling it.

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

But Ryan wouldn't have gone after the driver, 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 enlists for help.

Ryan and Jessica Web race against the clock in Seattle as they learn of a plan created by 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 the first in a planned series featuring the duo of Jessica Webb and Ryan Anderson. I have completed the outline for the second book, REFUSAL TO COMPLY. My goal is to create a modern, intelligent spy couple's adventures.

I have a BA in English literature from the University of Iowa. Like my protagonist Ryan Anderson, I am a 'security expert'. I own a manufacturer rep business specializing in security products for video surveillance, and this allows me to blend in some technical detail and insight on the future of a world where someone is always watching.

Thank you very much for reviewing this query.
Mark D. Niehus


Anonymous said...

313 words. You want 250, almost all of them describing your plot. Four and a half paragraphs in, you're still on a truck driver backing into the protag's BMW. Then you sketch in the plot in a paragraph and a half and spend a paragraph on your bio.

Read through the blogs that Rick links to. Spend some time on it. Among other things, you'll see that many agents simply loathe queries that start with a rhetorical question. (I don't agree with them necessarily, but I'm not an agent.)

D. Michael Olive said...

Interesting plot line. I have a couple of suggestions. First, go to Janet Reid's blog and read the materials she has on query letters. It's a wealth of wisdom.

Everything I've read or heard from agents says don't start with a question. Your hook should draw them into the action. Change the hook and merge it with the storyline.

You have 300 words, 134 of which are not about the story, soi I'd suggest cutting back on the non-story related material. Put the genre & wordcount after the story. Delete the information about a series. They're going to judge you on this work, so focus on it.

As to the story, I'm not sure houw Jessica enters in or why Jack would use a lawyer to pursue terrorists. You can probably clean up your language too. "Got even more angry" could be "got angrier." You've got some typo, i.e. when when and I'd cut out the adverbs.

Your credentials relate nicely to the storyline, but again, keep them short. I would say something like, "I work in the security products industry." I would infer from that that there's some good technical information in the novel.

Hope that helps.

Mark said...

Anon and Michael- thanks for the comments-

1- good point on rhetorical question, I took that out for 1st revision- I have always heard that a rhetorical question is a good way to pitch a book in one line- but I guess not in a query

2- I have read most of Janet Reid's blog and you are right there is great content there

3- This is my big question for anyone- I would think that simply stating that your manuscript is part of a series- this would appeal to any agent- yes the work being queried MUST stand on its own- but if it does- would not an agent like a series, knowing that this may lead to multiple books/ multiple sales? I appreciate any input on this topic

Again thanks for your comments- they are a big help!