Mar 13, 2009


A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.
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Dear Agent,

While standing on a busy London street, American psychologist Alec Sumner spots Eli Burke and likes the look of him, but there’s no way for him to know that behind the man’s bright blue eyes lies the memory of his lover’s murder.

Having relocated after a failed love affair, Alec is not eager to launch the next, but when he unknowingly rents the attic in the house Burke shares with his loving, if flawed, family of friends, he’ll have little choice.

My 80,000 word gay fiction manuscript, BROKEN, explores the idea that whatever scars you carry, there might be someone out there who will see beyond them and love you through the pain.

I worked as a copy editor for a daily newspaper. This is my first novel.

Thank you for your consideration.



Dear X,

[Intro explaining why I think agent X might be interested], I think you might like my YA fantasy novel EVONALÉ. Sprinkling elements of Shakespearean comedy in with modernized female gothic, it tells the tale of a justifiably paranoid girl in 70,000 words.

Tales of loathesome tyrants, seduced maids, prophesied saviors—many a child loves hearing such stories and wishes he could be the hero. But if you are the helpless, hapless prophesied-savior-but-still-little-girl stuck in the middle of the would-you-(please)-die? group, things aren't so fun. Evonalé has therefore fled the enslaved remains of her grandmother's kingdom, her two half-siblings who should've been her cousins, and her father who really should've stayed her uncle.

Trapped between a prophecy she sees no way of fulfilling and a realization that any ruler would do well to return her to her powerful and deadly father, she's terrified of being recognized. Due to her elf quarter, even her terror can cause problems for her. Fear makes her body temperature drop. (She's also justifiably afraid of her lethal and not quite insane faery godmother, but that's a side issue.)

But then King Aldrik inexplicably picks her up from his hunting grounds and personally ensures that she is unusually well-cared for, despite her uncanny ability to turn chicken feeding into a life-threatening experience. She's being taught in private lessons beside the king's own son and heir. His prophetess is giving her magic lessons. What does King Aldrik think he's doing?

Thank you for your time and consideration. May you have an excellent day (or evening, or whatever it is when you're reading this).


"Carradee" [actual name and penname to be included in actual query]

Query- The Stolen Moon of Londor

Dear Mr. Blank:

My name is Aaron Stephens, and I would like to submit my fantasy novel The Stolen Moon of Londor (93,200 words) for representation by your agency.

The era of peace among the elves, men, and dwarves comes to an end when one of Londor's twin moons disappears from the heavens. Without the moon's balancing effect, evil forces grow bold, and warfare, sickness, and chaos threaten life itself.

Hearing the prayers of desperation that ride on the violent winds, the ancient wizard Randor Miithra, servant to the elf-gods, takes it upon himself to mend the world he has sworn to protect. The task will not be an easy one, though, for the wizard, too, has begun to feel the effects of the world's imbalance. As Randor struggles to maintain some semblance of his powers, he meets a secretive band of colorful characters from all walks of life, drawn together by a common goal: to find the stolen moon, whatever the cost. It does not take Randor and his motley company long to see that someone or something does not want the moon returned to the heavens. After encountering werewolves and magical monks along the perilous journey, they learn that the warlock Lord Adian has used his dark powers to pull the moon from the sky, only to give it as a bauble to a beautiful enchantress. Randor and company must hasten to Adian's stronghold, which is protected by legions of soldiers, and reclaim the moon before it is too late.

My extensive background in theater and martial arts has also aided me in fleshing out action sequences and building compelling, diverse characters. You can find a sample chapter, an audio excerpt, and artwork for The Stolen Moon of Londor at my website, I have been writing for seven years.

The Stolen Moon of Londor is the first book of my WHITE SHADOW SAGA trilogy, and would appeal to readers of Terry Brooks as well as other fantasy readers. I would be happy to send you sample chapters or the entire manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Chapter One: A Great Downfall

Chapter One: A Troubled World

In the dawn of Londor’s greatest tragedy, the elf-mercenary, Gildan, sat near his campfire—pondering the fate of the world. The summer night was bitter, yet calm in this mysterious time. Gildan was accompanied closely by two fellow elves, Faragen and Telsar, as they rested uncomfortably underneath a large oak tree before their soldiers of the Obinoth Kingdom. The elves took refuge from their travels at the edge of the Plains of Erogd, a place which was all too familiar to them.

Many other campfires laid a short distance behind Gildan and the two Obinoth officers as the mercenary granted the soldiers under his authority short respite after two strenuous days of marching back into the west. Soft songs and inaudible conversations hazed the night air.

Gildan looked over to the trunk of the tree where the famed wizard, Randor Miithra, rested peacefully, sitting propped up with his wide-brimmed hat of blue felt covering his face. His cloak lay motionless in the weak breeze from the vast fields. Gildan smiled slightly as he brushed his tall, green hair back, forever grateful to the wizard’s role in the recent victory of the mercenary and the elves of Obinoth.

As Gildan led the remainder of his army towards the Obinoth Kingdom, his thoughts were consumed with many items of business—with no apparent answers thus far.

“Is there anything either of us can do for you, sir?” Telsar asked.

“No,” Gildan replied, looking at Telsar, a sturdy young elf, who reminded Gildan of himself in his younger days. “Just try and rest. We will be on the move again shortly.”

Telsar nodded and shifted his silver armor before leaning back on his elbows. “I hope Obinoth is safe. I have much to attend to once we are returned.”

“As do I,” said Gildan. “Though I will no longer be able to assist you or your king, my future days are now certain to be full of work from those wishing to solve this mystery.”

“Indeed, sir.”

Gildan laid back in the soft grass and looked into the heavens. The memories of the recent night of catastrophe charged to the forefront of his mind, and he embraced the details of his victory, once again.

Two nights ago, Gildan and his elf-knights drew up at the edge of a dark, wooded valley—once again on the heels of the Obinoth’s ancient foes. The twin moons rode high in the clear night sky, casting muted double shadows beneath the trees. For forty miles the army had crossed the Plains of Erogd, a region once known for its placid rivers and lush fields. But now the beauty of this land was tainted, its rivers polluted with blood and its fields heaped with the bodies of the slain enemy. None of the Obinoth had ever traveled this far east, and now fatigue weighed heavier on them even more than even their pierced and dented armor.

Gildan paced alone before the awaiting ranks, his finely crafted, short yellow cape billowing in the constant breeze. The cape was the only personal clothing effect he kept with him, leaving his usual wardrobe of extravagant jackets, pants, and boots behind. These were set aside for uniformity of Obinoth’s black clothing and silver armor, not very pleasing to Gildan’s taste. His green eyes scanned the valley below, seeking out his next move, as his fingers tapped the silver buckle on his precious leather belt.

Telsar and Faragen approached quietly and stood at attention.
“We await your command, Gildan,” said Faragen.

Gildan turned, looking beyond them to the gathered troops, seeing the fading morale written on every face. “We need to end this tonight,” he said at last. “Send a small squad of scouts to get the lay of the land. I do not know much about this place. Have them search out the Rhingar forces, but tread with caution—the scouts must not be seen.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Faragen.

“Report to me once the sweep is complete.” Gildan paused. “Now I must speak with our advisor.”

The two lieutenants saluted and returned to the ranks.

As Gildan strode to the boulder at the dark wood’s edge, he looked uneasily up at the mountains that surrounded the small valley on three sides.

For centuries the Rhingar had attempted to overthrow their neighboring country, the Obinoth Kingdom, yet had never been successful. The Rhingar wished nothing more than to seize the Obinoth capitol, Handefel, and destroy it—for it was in Handefel that the founding fathers of the Rhingar Kingdom perished during the Dark War. For the past two hundred years the Rhingar burdened the Obinoth, bent on vengeance for the spirits of their ancient heroes.

For months on end both armies
waged war at the edges of the Obinoth Kingdom until, at last, the Obinoth drove their enemies outside its borders. Yet they pursued the Rhingar into the east with orders from their king to eliminate them—no matter the distance traveled. The Obinoth were determined more than ever to convey to the Rhingar that they would never yield to them.

There, standing alone upon one of the many boulders and puffing a long-stemmed pipe, was Randor Miithra, the eldest servant of the elven god, Ethindar. Randor, as he was simply called, was invested with all the magic and arcane wisdom of his famed order of wizards. He stood tall, shrouded in his deep-blue cloak, uncowed by the continuous battles and lack of rest. Though he had seen eight thousand winters, he looked like a human of thirty. His face was shadowed from the moonlight by his ever-present hat.

This campaign was not the first encounter for Gildan and Randor, befriending one another many decades ago. Gildan always welcomed the opportunity to fight alongside his oldest friend and closest confidant.

Gildan stepped up onto the boulder and held silent.

“I see you have finally sent scouts about the perimeter, my old friend.”

“Indeed. You have tracked the Rhingar for me across Erogd, but I will let these elves survey this instance,” Gildan replied. “But…what do you make of this, Randor?”

“That is a good question,” the wizard replied. He slid his dark-tinted spectacles up his narrow nose and puffed again at his pipe. “Do you know where you find yourself?” Randor grinned slightly.

“No. I have traveled far and wide, but this place has no particular memory for me.”

“Before you lies the Valley of Siln.”

“Siln,” whispered Gildan. “What can you tell me of this place?”

“A featureless, barren place, with neither inhabitants nor wildlife—unless you love the company of scorpions.” Randor paused to savor the pipe’s comforting taste. “Only one road leads into and out of the valley…” Gildan turned his head and looked at the wizard. “This lonesome road is the one that you and the Obinoth now control.”

“Are you certain of this?”

“Although many years have passed since last I was here, I doubt anyone has altered this land.”
Before the elf-mercenary could reply, Randor raised his hand and added, “I cannot be certain of their strategy here, but nevertheless, we must not falter now. You hold the advantage, Gildan, and you must keep it this time. I grow weary of all this cat-and-mouse.”

“Trust me, Randor, when I say that I will hold true to my vow and see this to its end. The Rhingar are fools, and we shall slaughter every foul one of them. Besides, the gold I was paid is wearing thin to my terms of this job.” Gildan scanned the forest, looking for some clue to evil’s whereabouts. Even aided by the light of the two moons, his green eyes picked up nothing helpful. “They are unpredictable this night,” the elf observed. “Not one campfire, nor a single piercing shriek. Yes, the Rhingar are behaving most strangely.”


A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.
Click here to read the second revision.

Dear Agent,

The undead are everywhere in popular culture, from video and board games to novels and films. Even my two-year-old nephew claims that zombies live in grandpa’s garage. HOUND IN BLOOD AND BLACK is speculative fiction, and explores a new kind of future where existing isn’t just about running from and killing the undead, but about the survivors who turn humanity’s leftovers into something spectacular.

The world is dirty. The centers of the continents are filled with dust and undead. Clean water and peaceful sleep are things of the past. After all, a barricade of rusted metal, broken glass and people with guns isn’t always enough to keep the dead out. And for some, it’s all about letting them in.

Kumari is a wrangler, a poacher and a gambler who catches undead and fights them against one another in the pit as gladiators. It’s not pretty, but it’s good enough. All Kumari has ever wanted to do, just like everyone else, is to live and die without becoming a monster.

Kumari’s simple life is tested with a wager against her fiercest rival – a gamble that could cost her everything. The bet yields complicated results and Kumari finds herself in possession of the slave and child-whore Heaven. Granting the girl freedom is the first in an avalanche of events, and Kumari faces the death of a treasured friend after she is forced to pull the trigger. From there, mere survival becomes much more complicated.

As Heaven struggles between the acceptance of misery and the chance to live for herself, Kumari stares in the maw of her greatest fear when she is bitten by an undead and the death she believes so strongly in is threatened.

HOUND IN BLOOD AND BLACK, complete at 101,500 words, is capable of standing on its own, but also leaves the door open for a possible sequel.

I currently work for Costco Wholesale where I write for a magazine, Costco Today, with a circulation of more than 140,000 employees. In January 2009, my short story “Savage” was published in “Monstrous: 20 Tales of Giant Creature Terror” by Permuted Press. I have samples of both my professional writing and fiction posted on my blog at

Thank you for your consideration,


Hound in Blood and Black

Part I

I remember the first time I met Kumari. I recall, most vividly, that she smelled of gunmetal, blood and death.

I hated her.

Chapter 1


Kumari screamed the words over the howl of the battered engine. It revved as Bastion punched the gas pedal, dust and pebbles spraying the side of the jeep in peppered graffiti. Driven by the wind, coarse bits of the world clawed her face and scratched the surface of her smoke-glass shades. She tugged the bandana across her nose and lips, turning around to stare at the back of his head.

“I said harder, Bastion.” Her voice barely broke the wind. The driver twisted his neck only an inch to the left, an affirmation that he indeed heard her over the grinding engine. The jeep jumped in speed again, spewing more of the broken earth into the sky.

She stepped down from behind the seats, striding easily through the back of the moving bed. Bending low, she scooped the collar from her feet, turning the seven foot pole around in her grip. She checked the prongs at the tip of the weapon, satisfied that the horseshoe was intact and strong. Only a fool, or an inexperienced wrangler, would jump the bed with a broken collar.


His response was swift, and the jeep veered hard to the side, tires skidding and jumping over the roadless plain. She caught herself with a hard foot to the wheel well, the span of the collar keeping her upright as it rammed against the crossover bars above her head. Despite the murky air, she saw her quarry, clear against the horizon.

“Again, harder!” Her throat was dry. It was only daybreak, but the heat was already climbing. Best to get done and home before noon. The jeep jerked again, this time right, and she checked her arsenal as they closed the gap. Handgun, kukri, rifle, bootblade and collar. Her shields, the gauntlets that covered her fingers to her mid-bicep and metal boots that stood to her upper thigh, were in place and secure. She flexed her hand around the collar pole. She remembered a time when she thought the armor heavy.

Today she didn’t feel the weight when she jumped.

The landing jarred her knees, but she rolled with it as she’d practiced for years. She was on her feet in a heartbeat, grunting as her armored feet dug into the drought-ridden soil. Her grip was solid still, the collar light as air.

She heard the jeep and Bastion turning to come back for her over the wind. She inhaled the exhaust, savoring the smell before it faded away and was replaced by the ripe taste of decay. The bandana was to block the unpleasant scent, but she always felt it limited her capacity when she hunted. And while she knew her prey understood little, she still wanted them to see her smile when she won.

She was running, the pounding of her stride lost in the ocean of noise. The hunted paused, its shambling canter stumbling to an unbalanced halt. It smelled her. Kumari licked her lips and ran harder.

Less than twenty more feet.

The shape, human and hunched over, finished its rotation, facing full on the incoming attack. She planted the spike of the collar in the dirt, using her weight and momentum, to vault through the air.

Her weighted feet slammed into the undead’s chest, flattening the creature to the dirt. She bellowed as they connected, the cry coming from deep in her belly. They both collided hard, but she was ready. She was quicker. She was alive.

On her feet before the monster moved, she lifted the collar high up and above her head, before driving it around the neck of her catch. The undead flailed, roaring and moaning in the broken voice of what was once a man. She wrinkled her nose at the smell and sight of one this close. The pole of the collar vibrated in the hair, flapping like an empty flagpole.

She backed away, leisurely taking off her glasses as she watched the undead struggle. As she tucked the sunglasses on the front of her tank, she ran her other metal-cased hand across her forehead. The heated metal stung her skin, but it kept the sweat and salt out of her eyes. She cracked her neck, a tangle of braided black hair slipping forward over her shoulder.

She sunk slowly to her knees, a pace away from her catch, and forced herself to swallow the thickness in her mouth. As she considered it, the sun warmed what was exposed of her tanned skin, her ability to burn under the rays vanquished years ago.

She didn’t turn around at the sound of the jeep pulling up behind her, or even at the sound of Bastion’s footsteps as he walked over to gauge her handiwork. She was thinking.

“It’s thin, don’t you think?”

His voice was gruff, but light. She turned her head, cupping a hand over her eyes to block the light. Bastion shifted to his right, positioning his mass between her and the rising sun. She lowered her hand, staring into his face.

“So am I.”

A grin tugged at the edge of Bastion mouth, before he shrugged his shoulders in retraction.

“You’re the wrangler, Kumari. Not me. If you think it’s a good catch, let’s pack it and go.” Bastion peeled back the sleeve of his tattered windbreaker, staring into the face of a solar watch. “Rem’s up by now. I’m sure he’s wondering where we are.”

Kumari snorted, shaking her head as she turned to the flopping body.

“He’s a brilliant man. I’m sure he can guess.” Kumari reached a hand out to grab one of the undead’s jerking limbs. The muscle tissue was soft, denting under the pressure of her hand. The thing roared, and with its predictably above-human strength, it tore easily from her grip. The undead left the meat of its forearm behind, draped over Kumari’s palm. A vicious stench wafted up, and Bastion took a step back with a frown.

Kumari sighed, hauling herself slowly to her feet and dropping the chunk of rancid meat next to the struggling corpse.

“Mushy.” Bastion wrinkled his nose. “It’s been dead too long, or found a damp place to keep home.”

She nodded, reaching out to grab the waving pole.

“You’re right. This one’s no good. It’ll never make it in the pits.” Kumari twisted the collar, snapping the undead’s neck with a single flick of her wrist. She leaned her weight against the pole, easily separating the head from the shoulders once the neck was shattered. The sound was one of tearing meat, tendons stretching and snapping apart. The flailing ceased. “How long do we have left?”

“Noon is four hours off. Right now we’re two hours out from the barricades.” Bastion held out a hand as he spoke, and Kumari passed the collar into his palm. Together they walked back to the jeep, leaving the bloodless, rotting corpse to bake in the sun and be eaten by vultures. Black wings were already dotting the horizon, aggressively coming for a meal.

“Plenty of time.”

Bastion raised a brow, looking down at Kumari. She was fierce, of all things, but he still stood nearly two feet taller. He watched her as she climbed into the back of the jeep, checking for the things she always ignored. She appeared hydrated, no signs of fatigue, no injuries from the scuffle. Of course, that collaring had been flawless, as most of hers were.

He watched as she pulled up her hair, winding the tangled dreads away from her face. It was normal, he knew, for women to keep that hairstyle, at least the few who didn’t run in the prostitution rings or keep house. Glints of silver caught in the dim sunlight, the marks of her victories in the arena for all to see, displayed in the form of the valuable metal decorating her hair. To Bastion it was less trouble to simply shave his head with grease and a dull blade.

“What?” Kumari caught his attention, narrowing her gaze just before she slipped the sunglasses over her dark eyes. Bastion shrugged, leaving the gnawing nostalgia behind with the dead as he climbed back into the driver’s seat.


Dear Agent,

With a pro-environment motif similar to Carl Hiaasen's HOOT, THE UNICORN TAMER is Greek mythology meets Pokémon.

Try being 13 and discovering that your parents spent your whole life lying to you.

Try being 13 and having to deal with a kidnapped dad.

Try being 13 and learning that your mom - yeah, she can create fire with her bare hands.

When Emma Brown's dad mysteriously disappears, Emma is catapulted back to her birthplace - a dimension where fairies are anything but tales. In the wonderland called Drualtys, teenagers study to become Tamers - people who for unique bonds with legendary animals to save them from extinction. Through this bond, Tamers absorb the creatures' majick, special powers ranging from the ability to control lightening, run on water, or see through skin.

Emma embraces her taming lessons to rescue her dad from the Hunters, a ruthless clan of humans hell-bent on proving that man is the most powerful beast of all. Their mission: murder the creatures of Drualtys and steal their majickal abilities. The prize: a unicorn's cloak of invisibility. Together with her newfound friends, including a half-pixie who's too pretty for his own good and a whimsical boy who can talk to animals, Emma must stay one step ahead of the Hunters and save her dad and the unicorns - before she is hunted herself.

THE UNICORN TAMER is approximately 100,000 words and is the first in a middle-grade fantasy trilogy. Upon your request, I'd be more than happy to send you the complete manuscript.

I graduated from Santa Clara University with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Creative Writing. I worked on my university's literary magazine as well as a Children's Storyteller at Barnes and Noble.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you.



Query- Angel Undercover (Revision 1)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Mr./Ms. Agentperson

A heart of gold and shy as a mouse. That was Paige Moss before the adventure that led to her saving her city and becoming the hero no one, leastwise herself, ever thought she could be. A real angel undercover.

Getting kidnapped turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to Paige Moss. She is brought to an exotic rainforest, where myth and magic exist, where her new friends teach her aerial acrobatics and underwater horse riding. She gets reunited with her older sister, Savannah, who set up the abduction to save Paige from dangerous thieves back home. And best of all, she finds the chance to escape the shyness that has always held her back.

But Savannah is actually working for her kidnapper, Maisen, training an army for his vision to unite the three sister races of the world. While Maisen’s aims are noble, he’ll use any means necessary to accomplish them. So when Paige learns of the covert mission, he drags her through an arsenal of magical tortures before leaving her to die in a sea cave, just so she cannot interfere.

When Paige is rescued, the truth comes out and Maisen flees. Weeks later, an entire city is leveled overnight and Paige is positive he’s involved. She rounds up her friends and allies and returns to her turbulent home city, a shy girl no longer. With her sister at her side, Paige expects one final showdown with the person she fears most, but it turns out that Maisen has become the victim of one of his own plans. The rogue firestorm he sparked is out of control and it’s up to Paige and her team to stop it.

Angel Undercover is a YA fantasy and is complete at 94,000 words. It is the first in a planned quartet.

Kind Regards,

Revised Query: The Legend

Zinnia always thought she would be able to do whatever it took for the greater good, until now. Zinnia, a Nature Maker, whose kind represents a race made of two parts, Nature Makers and Weather Makers, a race that fled from humans’ centuries before in order to preserve their kind, now living in a world hidden, with the Fairy’s help, from them. But when Zinnia discovers that she is one of two destined to fulfill an ancient Legend in order to preserve her world, life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

When Zinnia and Stephan, the other half of the Legend, meet for the first time neither of them can deny the instant and powerful attraction they feel, however, even more alarming is the fact the everyone else around them can sense it too, including those that seek to destroy them to ensure that the Legend is never fulfilled. Learning to harness and control a power that neither of them asked for is only the beginning of things Zinnia and Stephan are asked to do for the greater good. But, when faced with making the ultimate sacrifice, Zinnia alone must decide just how much she is willing to lose for the greater good.

The Legend, a Young Adult Fantasy is complete at 93,000 words, and I would be happy to send you the complete manuscript.



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