Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Monday Mania--Query Letter

Critique Archive #54

One of our readers has submitted a query for critique. Please offer only constructive comments. 

Agent/ OR name
Agent/ OR address

Dear Agent/OR,

Doesn’t everyone wonder when it’s their time to die?

One mother, Vera, seems to know.

Statements of, “If I make it till Christmas” are heard quite often.

And what would you do if you thought you had killed your own mother?

When Vera dies and comes back from the dead to tell her daughter, Kathie, “I am alive, I did not die!” Kathie is not surprised by her mother’s courage and strength to reach through the veil, after all, her mother had hitch-hiked thousands of miles with her three small children without a penny to her name in order to save her children’s lives while she was alive. Why would she not continue to watch over them?
Vera leads her daughters, Kathie, and Donna, to greater Awareness and Healing through her 'Watching over them while in Spirit' and at times 'PLAYING TRICKS' to get their attention. While Kathie learns to communicate with the dead, Donna wants nothing more than to be left alone.  The experiences detailed are astounding. 

This book was first written on the devastation of a beloved mother's journey through three major strokes and the decision of whether or not to prolong her life.  It soon expanded into a most amazing ‘Afterlife’ story that will astonish even the harshest skeptic for once this portal from another dimension is opened numerous soul’s follow.

This book is also written about the extraordinary life Vera’s daughter, Kathie, has experienced. After being abducted as a very young child and then almost dying by electrocution at the age of seven only ‘Divine Intervention’ could bring such a child into the world of the fully living. And this is only the beginning for now Kathie has been given several gifts to share with others such as messages given by Divinity, specifically, Mother Mary, and our Lord. Included also, a miraculous spirit photograph given as confirmation of an earlier visitation. And, Kathie no longer thinks of so-called death, as an end – only the most precious of beginnings for she has seen her mother’s Spirit - ‘THE VERY ESSENCE OF GOD’ exit her mother’s mouth upon her final breath.  Kathie experiences both a Heavenly state and a Heavenly place, talks to the dead, receives spiritual teachings, has psychic visions, and remains present in the dreamscape.  How can Kathie actually be aware enough in a dream to ask her mother, “Momma, is there really a Heaven?” And further, ask God, “Please God, let me wake up!”

And what would you do if you saw your brother who committed suicide alive and well when you’d been told he’d gone to Hell?

I have enclosed the beginning of my manuscript ‘I AM ALIVE, I DID NOT DIE!’
along with a few key sections.  Included also is a SASE for your convenience.  Thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to an opportunity to share the entire manuscript with you soon.




Anonymous said...

The beginning is very strong, but toward the end, I felt like there was "too much" for a query letter. Also, when you start talking about the brother, it seems the focus is changed. Also, you should add the genre in the beginning, I wasn't sure if it was going to be fiction or non-fiction at first, and also include the word count.

Josi said...

The content of this query is intriguing, but it left me with a lot of questions. Is this fiction or non-fiction? How long is it? What's the genre/audience? As for how much to tell us, I feel like we're getting too much information. I suggest looking at this content and choosing three focuses to spotlight in your query--perhaps 1) Kathy coping with the death of her mother and brother 2) Communicating with them and learning about the afterlife 3) Kathy coming to realize her own spiritual gifts through communicating with spirits on the other side. Keep it tight, to the point, and confident--not more than 6 or 7 sentences of description meant to whet the agents appetite for more. Be careful about asking too many questions, it can give a 'preachy' tone to the query.

Sounds like a great book, good luck!

Julie Wright said...

I agree with the first two comments. It goes too long. You want it to be tight and tidy. Who is the main character or focus? What is the main conflict here? Is it a rift between the two sisters who are left trying to pick up the pieces of their lost loved ones?

I also agree with the too many questions. I would keep it to one question (and even then, I've heard agents complain about how much they don't like getting queries with a hypothetical question). So if you keep one, make it one that really packs a punch.

The main body of the query where the book is explained needs to be short--as Josi said, 6-7 lines.

But then in closing you should put a line or two about who your audience is, what the word count is, and to what other books it might be similar. For example:
‘I AM ALIVE, I DID NOT DIE!’ is a non fiction book similar to (place favorite after life experience book that is truely similar here). It's a book that will help those who've lost loved ones feel hope again. It's completed manuscript at XXXX words is available upon your request.
you need a bio.
What are your credentials? What other writing credits do you have? Are you a counselor or psychologist who helps people cope with loss, or what makes you the right person to write this book? This should be just a few lines to show who you are.

It does sound like a good book! Good luck!