Mar 18, 2013

Query- BOOM

Boom isn't supposed to be a safe cracker. Sure, her nickname comes from her talent with dynamite, but she has an honest job. For almost as long as she can remember, she and her grandfather have worked the Transcontinental Railroad with the other Chinese. But when a friend of the foreman shows up and buys out her contract, she soon finds herself crossing half the continent for a job that's anything but honest.

Miles Anderson's old army chaplain is offering spiritual absolution for Miles' dirty work for the Union. All it requires is one last act of reparation: cracking the safe of a riverboat casino before it gets to New Orleans and donating the cash to an orphanage. With over 1000 miles between Miles and his destination in St. Louis, he's short on time to find a blastman for the job. A 16-year old Chinese girl isn't what he has in mind, but it's the best he can do on short notice.

When Boom learns what she's been hired to do she faces becoming a criminal for charity or a very long walk home. Taking a riverboat south brings Miles closer to the sins of his past and vigilantes out for his head. Then there's the little matter of breaking into the monstrous casino safe without ending up in prison or at the end of a noose.

BOOM is a western novel, complete at 71,000 words.

1 comment:

gj said...

Even when a story is told through two POVs, it's generally a good idea to stick to one for the query. You set this up so we care about Boom, and then -- boom! -- you tell us (in effect) "never mind about her, I really want you to care about this other person." Except I'm irritated with you, because, if I liked and was interested in Boom, I want to know HER story, not someone else's. Plus, you've already pulled the rug out of me once (promising Boom's story and then giving me someone else's), so I'm going to be cautious about caring for the next character, for fear you'll do the same thing again. The absolutely last thing you want is for the reader (agent, editor or end reader) forcing herself to remain distant from your characters. Try again with just one character's story, mentioning the other one only by reference to how it affects the first one. E.g., "Boom is hired by a guy named Miles, who tells her they're going to ...., but she quickly figures out he's not telling her the whole truth, because ...." That's not great writing, just an example of how the subject of the verbs should be ONE of the two characters, with the other one being the object or a subsidiary clause. Keep the focus on one protagonist, even if the story has two.