Jul 13, 2010

Query: Pawn's Gambit

Dear Agent,

I have been following your blog for the last few months and etc, etc. I hope that you will consider representing my contemporary fantasy novel, PAWN’S GAMBIT.

Steven Bauer always thought chess was just a game, until the sexy brunette in the black dress did her level best to incinerate him. He is rescued from this literal baptism of fire by a world-weary mystic known only as Grey, who introduces Steven to the world of the Game, an ancient conflict that takes the form of a nightmare version of the game of kings. Steven draws his preordained chess piece from Grey’s mystical pouch and assumes the role of the White Pawn, the first of a chosen few fated to take their places among the White and fight until only one side remains. Before the Game can begin, though, the remaining Pieces must be gathered, and that job falls to Steven. Armed with only the weapons of his station, he goes in search of the others. But he isn’t alone in seeking his brethren among the White, as the opposition led by his attempted assassin, the Black Queen, is also on the hunt. At every turn, the stakes get higher, leading to a showdown in the heart of Atlanta between the forces of light and darkness for the fate of the world.

PAWN'S GAMBIT, complete at 114,000 words, should appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series and Piers Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” series. It is a complete story with a satisfying ending, though I do imagine this book as the beginning of a series, all culminating in the playing of the Game in the final book. Of note, I had the pleasure of meeting Lou Anders, the editorial director at Pyr, at DragonCon last September. He found the concept of my story interesting and asked that I submit there once I obtained representation.

When I’m not writing about mystical chess games, I work as a family doctor based out of Charlotte, NC. I recently finished eight years as an Army physician during which my ten and a half month stint in Iraq allowed me to write the first half of my novel. I have spent the last couple of years completing and preparing this manuscript for the next step and am excited to share it with you. With my background, you might ask why I’m not writing medical thrillers or military memoirs, but telling Steven’s story has become my passion.

Please find the synopsis and first chapter below. Additional information is available at my website as listed. Thank you for considering my manuscript.

Darin Kennedy


Dear Mr. Torrence,

After countless horror movies, books and video games, Paul Thomas-an unemployed shock jock-always dreamed about what if a real life zombie outbreak happened like this. Not that he had wanted this to happen, but, outside of Sophia, he had had little to lose, which made the adventure of it attractive to his day dreams. Real life was so boring. Two weeks ago, movies and games were just entertainment, an escape from the mundane rigors of life. Today, they were training. In this world, he was the one with the edge. However, in all of his corpse-infested fantasies it had never been this damn cold.

He could feel her shivering against him now in the flickering candlelight. The snow covered farmhouse was deserted and drafty, caught in the clutches of Iowa’s third worst winter in state history. The nine-millimeter strapped to his leg was cold as ice. He would have to get Sophia to warmer weather and fast. If he had learned one thing over the past five years they’d been dating, it was to make her bring a sweater to the movies. Even if it was ninety degrees out. She was always cold and if the zombies didn’t get them, the freezing temps would. Sun, margaritas and bikinis in the Gulf of Mexico was the only way to go. And guns. No crappy jobs or relentless bills. Hell, it would almost be romantic, especially with the right boat. But when she gets bitten along the way and painfully turns, all of that changes. He blames himself for failing her. Now he must decide wether to give up altogether or to carry on with Wendy, a pretty dancer they had met while seeking shelter in a small town Kansas strip bar. She is no replacement for his Sophia, yet ironically, he is able to save her life time and time again. Months of hiding together leave them entangled in a true test of the limits of love in a world with no rules. Things move too fast now, but old ghosts are hard to shake.

Like Paul, I am also an unemployed radio guy, devoted fan of all things horror and my girlfriend’s best chance of surviving the inevitable zombie infection. STRAPPED is 90,000 words and my completed manuscript is ready to be sent at your request. I would love to work with you and thank you for your time.

Sean F


Query- Crucible of Silver (revision 4)

Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.
Click here to read the second revision.
Click here to read the third revision.

Click here to read the synopsis.

One more try. Any feedback is welcome at all.

Silver squirrel has tried everything and failed. “God!” he cries out. “I want to live! ”

Silver’s faced predators, bitter cold and embitterment inside, and all because the squirrel leaders burned down his home, starting this tangled chain of natural events. Silver sits in the snow after a tiny bird stole his last few morsels of food, contemplating how it all came to this, and he wonders: does he have to forgive the leaders now?

He’s come a long way from insignificant beginnings under a stump. He was timid and inexperienced. Now, he’s just ruined, but perhaps he’s learned how to love others. He loved Sandy Brown, that’s for sure. Maybe he has grown. Maybe it was a refining fire that got him here.

An idea begins to form, a plan, not just to save himself, but all of them. Old Jacob used to say he had a special destiny. It can’t end like this. He’s faced a hawk and lived, battled ermine hand to hand, and even wooed a female. His plan very well could be a disaster, but if it works, he’ll have this one treasure, Sandy by his side.

Crucible of Silver is a coming of age story completed at 70,000 words.

I have been published in several trade publications including Keyframe Magazine. I studied screen writing, and have completed three novels. I worked in film (Star Trek, Spiderman 2) and animation (Roughnecks, Dan Dare, Mystic Knights), before finishing my books.

The book has been professionally copy edited. There are two completed sequels, Silver Squirrel in Uneasy Pieces, and Silver Squirrel and The Court of Animals, forming a trilogy. The series has been in the works for 16 years, while I spent time in the wilderness. There are allusions to the Bible, similar to the Narnia books, but its not religious in nature. The Newbery winning Mrs. Frizby and the Rats of NIMH was a big influence as well, existing in a similar universe.

According to your submission guidelines, I have included a synopsis. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Query - It's All About the Music

Corinne’s best friend Heather breaks into her house to steal lyrics to enter her in the songwriting competition she’s been begging Corinne to do for more than a year. A bewildered Corinne gets a phone call from the manager of Christian Meyer, Chris, a man whose music she’s loved for years.

A week later she’s on a plane for California leaving her tidy home and six year old twins behind. After a weekend of writing music with Christian and swapping stories about their youth, Corinne heads home. Chris shows up a week later.
Corinne is suddenly in the most passionate relationship of her life. Chris immerses himself in her beloved routine and adores her children. Almost immediately the chaos of his life creeps into hers and she begins to realize the complexities of being with someone like him. With tour dates set and a long separation looming in the very near future, Corinne is forced to choose between the man she loves and the quiet, stable life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

It’s All About the Music is a 108,000 word work of women’s fiction written in Corinne’s first person view. This is my first novel and I am seeking representation.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
Jolene B Perry

This is one of two that I've written. If you guys tear it to shreds - and please feel free - maybe I'll post number two.