Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Mania--Query Letter

One of our readers submitted a query letter for critique. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.

Critique Archive 0043:


Because of your interest in young adult fiction with a historical bent, I’m sending you the first chapter of my novel Beyond the Fortune-Teller’s Tent.

Petra Baron, a senior at Arroyo Oaks High School, enters a fortune-teller’s tent at a Renaissance faire and exits into Elizabethan England. This detour into the past radically alters her carefully laid future plans. Despite her ambivalence towards her father’s recent remarriage, Petra is desperate to return to her life in Orange County, California. The seventeenth century presents all sorts of challenges -- a gypsy hunt, a demon dog named Black Shuck, and an overwhelming attraction to Emory Ravenswood. She also meets Friar Rohan, who challenges her to ask a new set of questions, “Instead of asking how, you should ask why you are here.”

When Petra returns to the here and now, she’s reunited with her newly created stepfamily emotionally as well as physically because of the lessons of love and loss learned in the Golden Age. She’s lost Emory. Or has she? Centuries apart but drawn together by extraordinary circumstances, can Petra and Emory survive the test of time? A first in a series, Beyond the Fortune-teller’s Tent is an 80,000 word novel.

I’ve been writing for a number of years. My second novel, The Promise, received an honorable mention in an international contest. My third novel, Hailey's Comments, was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. My fifth novel, Stealing Mercy, placed second at the LDS Storymaker’s Conference first chapter contest in the historical category.

I studied English Literature at Brigham University and at BYU’s International Center in London. I’ve written for local newspapers and political campaigns. As former chapter president of a charitable organization, I’m frequently asked to speak publicly and I write my own addresses.

Currently, I’m president of Orange County Fictionaires, a local writing group. Neal Shusterman, award winning young adult author, and prolific romance writer Jacqueline Diamond, both friends and fellow Fictionaires, a have promised to speak kindly in my work’s behalf. Raymond Obstfeld, bestselling novelist, called my writing ‘intelligent, witty and strong,’ and Charles Salzberg, director of The New York Writer’s Workshops, was ‘impressed by my writing and characters.’ I hope you’ll feel the same. I look forward to hearing from you and I thank you for your time and consideration.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Mania--Query Letter

One of our readers submitted a query letter for critique. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.

Critique Archive 0042:

Address, etc

Dear Agent:

I am seeking representation for the completed novel, Balance of Powers, comprising approximately 105,000 words. Balance of Powers takes us on an epic journey where three separate worlds are about to converge. This novel weaves together what I love most about fantasy adventure, science fiction and psychology, and will likely satisfy your interest in both epic fantasy and science fiction. The advanced science of the alien world Xo’lentia and epic adventures on the magical world of Ru’unta 3 are all tied together as our hero battles the corrosive thoughts of his own mind.

The future of each world hinges on the fate of one man–¬¬–Jared. There is one small problem for our unlikely hero, however. He has no idea who he is or where he came from. Only maddening glimpses of supposed memories plague his mind with self-doubt and loathing. Finding himself in a strange and foreign world full of magical beings and ominous creatures, Jared questions his abilities and purpose. Many have faith that he is the Foretold One, destined to save the planet from destruction.

Others would just as soon see him dead.

But that’s not all. Our unassuming hero has caught the attention of an advanced alien race as well, and some will stop at nothing to exploit Jared to find his home world, Dimension Earth.

Jared may be able to overcome the challenges of this dangerous planet with the help of those determined to protect him, but will he manage to work through his own destructive thoughts and beliefs? Planet Earth, Xo’lentia and Ru’unta 3 may all depend on it.

As a mental health counselor and a life long lover of science fiction and fantasy, I look forward to publishing this novel that ties them all together in an action packed adventure, full of interesting characters and landscapes. The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.