Jul 24, 2010


Click here to read the original query.


I hope no one minds me showing back up here. I know it's been a while. My original query has proven completely ineffectual, so I'm rewriting it from the ground up. I'm hoping to get some feedback on the new version, if anyone is willing.

Dear XXX,

Jeanne Delacey doesn’t believe in God or Heaven or angels; it’s no surprise she doesn’t believe the psychic who tells her she’s the reincarnation of Jeanne d’Arc. Still, when a demon attacks her in the French Quarter, she realizes her beliefs need to bend at least a little. Sure, she might be able to shrug off nightmares of burning to death as coincidence. Ignoring the reincarnation of Pierre Cauchon, Jeanne d’Arc’s head judge and worst enemy—not so easy. Especially since he’s leading Hell’s vanguard in a war against Heaven.

The angel Jeanne finds sitting in her living room isn’t terribly Biblical, but he is a pain in the ass; he thinks she can stop the war if she stops Cauchon. She just wants her normal life back. But no matter how much she wants to run from the problem, she can’t. Because Heaven wants to bring the fight to Hell, which will land the mortal world in the crossfire. Now she must rely on a powerful bracelet that turns into a sword, and Luca Griffith—tall, dark, and definitely hiding something—for aid. Worse, she has to rely on herself. If she can’t find the courage to fight, Cauchon will send her to the stake again. And this time, the entire world will burn with her.

REINCARNATE is an 82,000 word adult urban fantasy set in modern day New Orleans.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

July 24, 2010 5:36 PM


Jolene Perry said...

nobody minds people showing up back here.

I would break the paragraph after "her beliefs need to bend at least a little" - I'd also make that line stronger. It probably actually shatters her beliefs. I understand how you were saying that line, but you might want to think about it a little.

I'd break the second paragraph after "she can't." I'd leave out "because."

I like the line, "Worst, she has to rely on herself." It gives good insight into the character.

You might not need the line of her wanting her normal life back. I think you show that, or there's ways to show that.

I love the line, "not terribly biblical, but he is a pain in the ass."

I'd simplify the line that starts with "Now she must."
One of the criticisms that I always get, is to use short, concise sentences in a query.
You have a lot of good stuff here, good luck!

gj said...

What does the protagonist DO?

You spend a lot (too much) of words on what she does NOT do -- believe in reincarnation, etc. -- but nothing about what she DOES do.

Cut way back on the set-up (the time when she's resisting her destiny) so it's a single, clear, startling sentence or introductory phrase: She finds out she's the reincarnation of Joan of Arc when SOMETHING HAPPENS, and she decides to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, but the antagonist is opposing her in actions that are more concrete than just a vague "├źnd of the world" sort of thing.

Anonymous Author said...

This is an interesting story idea, but I agree with gj. We need to see her doing something, instead of trying to shrug things off and ignore them.

Since this is a reincarnation of Joan of Arc, I sort of expected her to hear voices. I also wondered why she was in the US (albeit the French Quarter) instead of France, but these are presumably cleared up in the mss. The phrase "pain in the ass" stopped me, because I wouldn't use such a phrase myself (and remember this is business correspondence). Literary agents may be made of sterner stuff than me, however.

Something else that snagged me-- if she's a skeptic, why does she go to a psychic?

If you follow gj's suggestions on the rewrite it will be interesting to see what you come up with.