Jul 27, 2009

QUERY- Killing Time on the Highway

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

Large amounts of money bring large problems. State patrol investigator Cade Dawkins is assigned the case of a lifetime when a bloody highway shootout leaves behind eight dead bodies—and $300 million in cash. Recovering from a disastrous assignment that left his partners dead and his career on life support, Cade knows this will either be his biggest case—or his final case.

As Cade races to solve the case and find redemption, the money’s owner has his own plan to steal it back. Violent diversions are used—including an amazingly catastrophic attack on Minneapolis-St. Paul’s busiest highway—to slow down Cade’s investigation and help an audacious thief break into Patrol headquarters to get the money back.

Killing Time on the Highway, my 68,000 word thriller, is a tribute to the Prey series of John Sandford that has captivated me for the last 20 years. His novels have taught me that strong characters, tight plotting and plenty of action are important ingredients to a successful thriller.

Having written professionally for the last ten years, focusing on advertising, marketing and public relations, I quickly learned the value of powerful ideas and concise execution. Enjoying writing for the fun of it, I am currently 40,000 words into my second novel—an unrelated thriller.

Best regards,
Allan Evans

Query Revision 2 - Kingmaker

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the sample pages.

Dear [Agent],

Sixteen-year-old Shale Peterson doesn’t believe in magic, but she does believe that willpower can accomplish anything. All her life she’s succeeded at sports and academics through sheer stubbornness, and for the past three years she’s concentrated on one thought: wanting her mother’s malignant brain tumor to remain small and non-fatal. When she meets Grey, her soon-to-be stepfather, her carefully-cultivated control over her life begins to slip away.

Grey, the CEO of an international headhunting corporation called Kingmakers, challenges Shale, using her competitive nature to lure her to join Kingmakers. Unbeknownst to Shale, Grey’s company is the public face of a hidden world—a world of otherwise normal people who believe that willpower and magic are one and the same and who use it to achieve success in business, sports, and politics. Grey intends to make Shale his heir, but they have enemies, only some of whom are known to them: the growing number of dissenters who want to use magic for personal gain more than global advancement and Grey’s spoiled son Duncan.

Shale learns that Grey and her mother have disappeared while on their honeymoon, leaving Shale alone and vulnerable. Her anger and determination grow after she survives a hit-and-run attack followed by a number of other murder attempts. Shale has had enough. It’s time to rely on the one tool that has never failed her, her considerable willpower. With it, she’s going to lay a trap for her attackers, rescue her mother, and change the face of magic forever.

KINGMAKER is a young adult novel, complete at 83,000 words.

[Personalized.] I am a student in [redacted]University’s MFA in Creative Writing program.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have included the first five pages below. I would welcome the opportunity to send sample chapters or the complete manuscript.