Mar 18, 2011

Query- REVERSAL OF PROVIDENCE- 5th revision

Click here to read the original query. 
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.
Click here to read the fourth revision.

Ex-Army security expert Ryan Anderson thought it was just his bad luck when a careless truck driver rammed into his car. He had no idea how deadly the truck's cargo was, or that the men guarding it had been given very explicit instructions- exterminate any witnesses.

But when the men from the truck hunt him down and brutally attack, Ryan retaliates with the help of attorney Jessica Webb. Turns out, she's the smart one. The one who figures out that it's not the Chechen gang posing as a trucking company that they have to worry about, but the really bad man who paid them to ferry his illicit shipment to Seattle from half a world away.

Working together, Ryan and Jessica quickly realize that his seemingly random accident has thrust them into the middle of a sinister scheme set in motion decades ago by the fall of the Soviet Union. They uncover a bloody trail that leads from Washington to Sudan to Moscow, when Jessica suddenly disappears. Turns out, he's the brave one. The one who knows that unless he can find her, and stop the one man who started it all, they'll both be dead by first light. Ashes, actually.

REVERSAL OF PROVIDENCE is an 84,000-word thriller, first in a series. Readers of authors like Vince Flynn, Frederick Forsyth, Alex Berenson, and Daniel Silva might enjoy this book.

Thank you for reviewing this query. Please let me know if I can send you a synopsis or any part of the manuscript.


Anonymous said...

I’m confused. After they rammed his car, did they think he was dead? But when they find out he’s alive, they tracked him down to kill him? And how would an attorney help stop a brutal attack or stop him from being exterminated? Did he escape that fate by himself and then go to Jessica?
Also, “They uncover a bloody trail that leads from Washington to Sudan to Moscow, when Jessica suddenly disappears.” Feels like two separate ideas to me. They uncover a trail. When she disappears, he has to...

Anonymous said...

Here I was, just about to congratulate you on a great revision (I've been following/commenting on this one), because it really read great now, nice and dynamic and I was about to say that you're good to go...

Except, I agree that there's a conflict there: normally after an automobile accident, people stop, take insurance numbers etc. Or, if they're dangerous hitmen, kill the witnesses right away. Unless it's a hit and run... which still doesn't make sense, since, if they take the trouble to hunt him down later, why not tie things up right away.

So either there's essential information missing from the query, or this is a plot hole.

That said, I didn't actually notice it -- only caught it after reading the 'other' Anonymous' comment. And I think this is partly because the language of the query convinced me to keep reading. So kudos for that.

Mark said...

Anon- thanks for your comments all through my revisions- I incorporated pretty much all of your suggestions- so thanks-

On the your plot questions here- my plot is such that what you infer is really what happens- they trade insurance info, etc- but in reality the info the bad guys give is false information, hoping to escape- they then later track Ryan down and try to kill him as a witness.

The lawyer helps Ryan track down info related to the bad guys, and as a result of HER being involved,the bad guys grab her- that is the actual plot.

In regard to this last version- I am very happy with it- BECAUSE-
I sent this last one out- and got my first request for a synopsis from a very well-regarded agent in the thriller genre! So my first "maybe" after about 10 "no" and about 10 "no response"-

I think this site is a great resource- this query is actually about my 15th version- I have spent about 100 hours on researching queries (and I think Anon pointed out that Query Shark by Janet Reid is a GREAT resource, besides this site.)

For me-I am like any other author in that I obviously think my manuscript has merit- but I will never get anyone to read it unless there is a great query to entice someone to request pages- and I got there.

Anon had another good point in that he indicated that no one would really care about my background/ credentials (noted in my first versions)- so I took those out- they were a waste of space.

Also, with my successful request for a synopsis- I did not waste any space with a preamble to the agent like "I heard about you and a particular book/ saw your interview/ I want to kiss your a**, etc"- what I have gathered through this process is that the query really will either move your forward- or not- the query must stand on its own- and pretty much nothing else matters- this final 5th version is about 250 pages- which I have heard is a good max length.

Again- THANKS for help and comments- this worked for me- and I will do what I can to review other queries on this site and offer constructive help!

Anonymous Author said...

Mark, neither of those Anonymice above is me; I always include my last name: Anonymous Author.

Congrats on your request. Hope it goes well.

I just completed my own latest agent search and even with publishing creds it's hard to get any requests these days.

Mark said...

Anon Author- THANKS- I am in Hawaii right now on vacation with family-wish I could have you join and buy you a cold beers to say thanks for your help and comments! Best of luck to you on your writing, it is a a competitive world in publishing, huh? Thanks and take care- Mark

yankinfrance said...

I'm that 'other' anonymous (I just realized I can post comments here under a pseudonym).

Congrats on getting some attention with this query, like I said up above, your hard work paid off and the query has a pretty great flow to it now.

And yes, Query Shark is a great reference. What I like about this blog here is that it's a great place for practicing query critique -- which in turn has really helped me focus on developing my own query letters.