Mar 6, 2010


*I've changed the story a bit since the last time I was here, so I had to start over with my query. Thanks in advance for your comments and advice*

You can search for the original query, but since this is more of a fresh start I'm not adding the links to the top like I do with most revisions.
- Rick

The why I picked you paragraph.

Atlanta vampires are a gentler breed than most, but that is not true for the out-of-towners that are flocking to the downtown hotels for this year’s annual DragonCon. The vamps use this opportunity to take off their disguises while blending in with the costumed humans, but there are rules and Adam Bristow, forensics biologist by trade and vampire slayer by design, is there to enforce them and to keep the vampires’ existence secret.

Meanwhile, straight-laced, Felicity Johnson, is looking forward to an escape from the norm. And DragonCon, the convention that celebrates everything science fiction and fantasy, is the perfect prescription. Throw in a scrumptious attorney named Blake, and she’s landed in her own gothic paradise. However, Felicity gets an overdose of adventure when she stumbles upon one friend’s mangled body immediately after her best friend vanishes.

Felicity is introduced into the dark world of vampires when the leader of Bristow’s team and her new crush, Blake, offers to help Felicity find her missing best friend, leading her down a road that could leave her either dead or with the ultimate makeover, one that cannot be undone without a stake to the heart.

Iron Thirst is a 90,000 word urban fantasy told through the eyes of both Felicity and Bristow, inviting the reader into the dark world of the vampire while Felicity slowly discovers that things are not as they seem.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


David F. Weisman said...

Your first hint of tension or a hook is at the very end of the first paragraph, and you don't say anything specific until more than halfway through.

You might start with Felicity discovering a mangled body, and discovering a friend has vanished. Than mention she is caught in a conflict between two powerful groups of vampires.

Emily J said...

So I had a problem with the first sentence:

"Atlanta vampires are a gentler breed than most, but that is not true for the out-of-towners that are flocking to the downtown hotels for this year’s annual DragonCon."

Of course they aren't gentler than most, they're out-of-towners... I had problem with the construction of this sentence. Also your first sentence needs to grab the attention and pull someone in. This doesn't for me, not yet.

In paragraph 2 you need to take out the comma after straight-laced and the comma after Felicity Johnson. Also it sounded weird to call finding a corpse an over-dose of adventure. Maybe it's just me, but I think of adventure as more positive, less corpse-y.

In the last paragraph I would consider taking out the last part of the sentence where "Felicity slowly discovers that things are not as they seem." I think with the whole con-going vampires we already know this and this doesn't add anything to the query.

One more suggestion, is it important to include Adam Bristow's name? It seems like Blake is the more important character. Maybe just mention that Blake, her new crush, is part of a team of vampire-slayers.

But I must admit I really dig the idea of a story at a con. If your book captures the quirky sub-culture of cons I think it would make a great read.

Good luck querying-

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This story sounds like fun, and the setting is great. You've done a good job, but I suggest getting to the conflict sooner, and there are a couple of confusing sentences.
I don't think it matters that Atlanta vamps are gentler than out-of-towners. You could say simply: Vampires flock to Atlanta's DragonCon because they can drop their disguises and blend in with costumed humans.

"but there are rules and Adam is there to enforce" meant nothing to me. Whose rules? Why is he an enforcer? Why does he keep their existence secret? And why is this important to your main plot?

Next graph can be tightened to get to the heart of matters: Felicity Johnson thinks she's landed in a gothic paradise when she mets a scrumptious attorney named Blake, but it turns to horror when she ....

I really like your voice in this, just tighten it up.

And I understand how frustrating query rewriting is because I've been doing it over and over myself. Best to you!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.J. Frey said...

Thank you all for your help so far. I knew going into this that I had a nasty case of the "can't see the forest for the trees."

Tricia - Those are great transformations of the sentences. Thank you!

I'm starting to think I should type
- Vampires @ DragonCon -
thanks for your time. haha said...

This one is about ready to go. There will always be minor flaws in a query letter, but I can clearly see the book here.

I am curious, though, why the word "Iron" is in the title? Does this have any connection to the content?

Best of luck!

A.J. Frey said...

Ghostfolk- thank you for saying that. Like most writers, these things give me fits. As for the title (im about to reveal my geekdom), iron represents blood. Protagonist's name is Felicity but goes by the nickname Fee. FE is the symbol for iron. Oh wait, we're not done. Thirst refers to both definitions, representing her choice. Craving as in obsession and also as to want a drink. Vampires, blood. Choice of becoming dinner vs. a vampire herself. symbolism is more clear upon finishing the book.

Sorry you asked? LOL

Emily J said...

Sorry to play devil's advocate, but although I like this query I think it still needs another revision to catch as many grammatical mistakes as possible, but also to beef up the hook.

Also, over at Query Shark there was a comment about using the word "meanwhile" so I would suggest culling that from the query.

However, I do want to point out that the line about the makeover is awesome, I thought it had humor and voice. Maybe incorporate that into the hook? Just a suggestion. But I do want to say there are a lot of good things in this query, maybe just one more time through with a red pen?

A.J. Frey said...

Emily- no need to apologize for playing devil's advocate; it's one of my favorite games. ;-) I wholeheartedly agree with you. Thanks for the support for the makeover line, that's one of those that could either be a hit or a flop. Like "overdose of adventure" which was a play off the prescription comment above it - that didn't seem to work.

Much love for all the comments guys! I'm going to let this all simmer, and then I'll be back.