Mar 19, 2009

You...the guy who started this site, where is your query?

Well, I'm glad you asked, actually. I am not above shameless self-promotion.


FATE'S GUARDIAN was the first query posted on this site. It's a supernatural thriller about a man whose soul is in danger, and the only way he can save it is to die. The query that is posted got a request for partial, but it was rejected. I did get some very useful feedback, after some polite and professional groveling, and now I'm revising the manuscript (again). The sample pages posted here are the revision, not what I queried with at that time.

THE AMAZING TALE OF RUDY TOOT-TOOT is a manuscript for a picture book. I don't do illustrations, but it's a cute story about manners (or lack thereof) inspired by my two sons.


Will you delete a comment from my query post?

I reserve the right to delete any comments from any posts for any reason.

OK, the power trip is over. That was kind of fun. But that being said, the only comments I foresee myself deleting are those that are demeaning and without any respectful tone or constructive criticism. This is a forum for professional writers. You can (and should) act in a professional manner, even if you are not yet published.

If criticism is pointed, but still done in a manner that promotes improvement, I will probably let if fly. If something is downright mean or defacing, it's gone.


Query - shadowland

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

(Personalized comments to the agent…) shadowland, is an urban fantasy, YA with paranormal tendencies.

Tian, the new guy in school, is fascinated by the way Jordan’s eyes change color with her emotions—something only he can see. And Jordan barely notices her mind translating his words when Tian speaks the ancient language of his birth. As their relationship deepens Jordan learns that Tian is a knight from Annwn, the otherworld of Celtic mythology, who has come to stop the increasingly frequent attacks on mortals by the dark ones, evil creatures from his realm.

When Jordan impulsively says “I love you” to Tian the moment is magic, literally; she doesn’t realize she’s left the familiar forest near her home and crossed into another realm. When Tian says he loves her, too, falling leaves spiral around the young couple’s joined hands as the watching trees unite them in a handfasting ceremony. Tian and Jordan don’t immediately grasp the significance—they find out they are all but married only when Tian’s mother sees gold light circling their wrists and asks when they did it. They already planned to marry, so as far as Jordan and Tian are concerned this simplifies everything.

Tian’s father, the Lord of Annwn, doesn’t approve of his son marrying a mortal but reluctantly realizes it isn’t his decision to make. As Jordan’s life becomes more intertwined with Tian and his world, they become the focus of attacks from the dark ones, particularly one powerful creature that stalks them in both realms. It is part animal, part human, able to change not just form but gender—and she has murder on her mind.

YA Fantasy: The Mansion

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

There's a statue in the gardens that used to be a girl.
When six teenagers learn that their parents participated in a dangerous experiment before they were born, the news is life-changing. But the experiment isn't over, and now these 16-year olds must live in a creepy mansion for a year, to undergo observation. They aren't sure who is observing them or why, but when Ward and Quita start sharing visions, and the voices in Sami's head keep leading her to strange diary pages, they know that something huge is going on. Between rescuing a girl that's somehow been turned to stone, and trying to figure out why they all seem to have special abilities, these six teenagers try to deal with life and high school when everyone around them is keeping secrets.

The Mansion vol. I: The Experiment is a 55,000 word YA Fantasy. It is the first in a 3-5 book series. The original rough draft was published one chapter at a time as a Sims 2 story. It was voted Featured Under Rated Story and also became Featured Story (for multiple chapters, as determined by reader ratings at A series of Sims 2 machinima were created as a result of winning The Make My Movie Contest run by All of the videos are available on youtube, if you're interested in seeing them, though the current manuscript has changed a lot. I do want to point you to one of the promo videos that she did. It's about a minute long without the end credits and does a really wonderful job of capturing the feel of the book. It is here ( in case the link doesn't work).

Full manuscript, synopsis, and outlines of further novels in the series are available upon request. Thank you for your consideration.

Do you limit the number of queries you post?

I've had several people ask me if I plan to limit posts to once per day, or put some other volume control policy in place. The concern is that many of you want to read and comment on every query, and fear that you won't be able to keep up.

For now, I don't plan to limit the posting. When I get a submission, I post it as soon as I see it and can get it up there. I read most of them, but I admit there are a few that I just posted and didn't read because I had several at once and just wanted to get them up on the site. I want to comment on all of them, too, but I've only been able to comment on about half of them so far.

I do read all of the comments, and in blogger I can see all of the posts and number of comments per post. So far every post has comments. If any queries go a couple days with no comments, I will put up a special post with links to those queries to call special attention to them.

The reason I want to do it this way is to provide everyone with a chance to get their query online, and to minimize the queue. I've submitted to other query review sites where there is a single reviewer, and I have waited days for posting / feedback on some, weeks on some, and I am still waiting on others (read: I have given up hope on others). No fault to the people who tend to those sites...Until the earth's rotation slows and we get 30 hours days, we will have to deal with the constraints of the 24-hour clock as it relates to families, day jobs, other hobbies, etc.

Most of us play the waiting game a lot...waiting for responses to queries, responses to manuscript submissions, etc. My hope is that this site will not be another line to wait in.

One thing that makes this work is the basic format. I post the queries, but there are 50 followers to the site and a couple hundred unique visitors per day (thanks mainly to a mention by Nathan Bransford on his blog). No one person can shoulder the burden of commenting on every post, but as a group we can take care of each other.

If this system starts to fail, trust me, I am resourceful and I will find a way to fix it!



Click to Read the Original Query

Dear Agent { },

Julie Mc Nally has a lot to learn about being a cop. She is the rookie detective with the Pittsburgh P.D. when she is sent as liaison to assist with the nearby Bradford P.D., where she is paired with Michael Nolan. When they are assigned to the embezzlement case against Bradford’s former mayor, they discover he was part of a highly classified government program. The ‘Crowe Project’ is such a guarded secret that those involved are willing to commit murder to avoid exposure.

My 70,000-word suspense/thriller, JULIE’S JUXTAPOSITION, is the story of overcoming obstacles, asking for forgiveness, and falling in love. It has a strong female protagonist, a ruthless and terrifying villain, and a progression of disturbing setbacks that culminate to an uncompromising ending.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Dear Agent,

Death follows Charlotte—literally. When Charlotte was twelve, an intoxicated Death accidentally took her parents instead of another couple in a car crash. Due to his negligence, Death has been sentenced to be Charlotte’s temporary guardian till she finds a permanent home. Responsibility, though, isn’t Death’s top priorities. Instead of finding her a new home, he uses Charlotte as way to scam and steal from others to fuel his gambling, smoking, and drinking habits. With each bad deed, the ever impressionably, enthusiastic, and indecisive Charlotte finds it harder and harder to find her place in an adoptive family.

But just when Death begins to grow attached to Charlotte and feel responsible for her, a family wishes to tear their friendship apart when they begin to turn Charlotte against Death. When the family frames Death for a crime and Charlotte believes it, Death knows that Charlotte’s soon-to-be family is not who they seem to be at all. In a race against time, Death must clear his name and win Charlotte back before she is lost forever.

DEATH AND ME is a quirky 55,000 word novella.


"E.Reliant" (fake name.)

Guess the Genre.