The Alien Diaries - query

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gjdevlin
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The Alien Diaries - query

Post by gjdevlin » May 19th, 2017, 12:42 am

Dear Agent:

A mysterious elderly stranger offers Colin Brayton, a bookstore owner, a job of appraising old books at a restored colonial plantation. While working on the books, he stumbles across a series of diaries written by fourteen year old Kate Dibble that chronicle an alien visitation in 1781.

Grieving over the loss of his wife, Colin attempts to navigate a delicate balance between solving the mystery of the diary and simmering tensions with the beautiful, but aloof caretaker, Madeline Prentice who is smarting from a recent split with her fiance. The strained relationship reaches a boiling point as thunderstorm descends over the desolate property and prevents them from leaving. The mystery deepens with the arrival of a malicious winged being demands the presence of the ancient one in three days. Colin and Maddy are forced to put their differences aside to survive and solve the mystery of the diary that may or may not provide clues as to who is the ancient one.

The ALIEN DIARIES is a 108,000 word sci-fi novel with a mix of YA thrown in.

Thank you for your time,

Glenn J. Devlin

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: The Alien Diaries - query

Post by J. T. SHEA » May 22nd, 2017, 11:20 pm

This is fairly clear as it stands, but I am conscious of how busy agents are and therefore have a few suggestions to make it a little clearer.

It actually seems a bit on the short side at under 200 words, but contact details and possibly agent personalization would add to that. Nonetheless a bit more detail about the story might be useful.

I assume Kate Dibble lived at the time of the alien visitation she wrote about. It might be a good idea to make that clear.

I also assume Colin's wife died rather than divorced him, for example. Again, it might be good to specify that.

I would capitalize 'The Ancient One'.

I assume the 'mix of YA' refers to the teenaged Kate Dibble, but unless she is the narrator and/or most important character I don't think the book would be shelved in the YA section of a bookstore.

Some Science Fiction fans dislike the term 'Sci-Fi' and prefer 'SF', but I don't think it's that big a deal.

I hope this is of some assistance, Gjdevlin.

Dear Agent:

A mysterious elderly stranger offers Colin Brayton, a bookstore owner, THE job of appraising old books at a restored colonial plantation. While working on the books, he stumbles across a series of diaries written IN 1781 by fourteen-year-old Kate Dibble that chronicle an alien visitation.

Grieving over the DEATH of his wife, Colin attempts to STRIKE a delicate balance between solving the mystery of the diary and DEALING WITH simmering tensions with the beautiful, but aloof caretaker, Madeline Prentice who is smarting from a recent split with her fiance. The strained relationship reaches a boiling point as A thunderstorm descends over the desolate property and prevents them from leaving. The mystery deepens with the arrival of a malicious winged being WHO demands the presence of the Ancient One in three days. Colin and Maddy are forced to put their differences aside to survive and solve the mystery of the diary that may or may not provide clues as to who the Ancient One is.

The ALIEN DIARIES is a 108,000 word Sci-Fi novel.

Thank you for your time,

Glenn J. Devlin

gjdevlin
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Re: The Alien Diaries - query

Post by gjdevlin » May 23rd, 2017, 12:29 am

Terrific response J.T. Shea - thank you!

SEWhiteBooks
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Re: The Alien Diaries - query

Post by SEWhiteBooks » June 15th, 2017, 12:22 pm

Hi Glenn,

The first part is great. Very enticing, it made me want to keep reading. Diaries from 1781 written by a teenage girl? Interesting. An alien visitation?? What?

Second paragraph a run-on sentence stopped me. " . . . dealing with simmering tensions with the beautiful, but aloof caretaker, Madeline Prentice who is smarting from a recent split with her fiance."

Coming at the end of an already info packed sentence, it was a little awkward. Could you split it into two sentences? "Colin attempts to strike a delicate balance between solving the mystery of the diary and dealing with simmering tensions with the beautiful but aloof caretaker. Madeline Prentice is smarting from a recent split with her fiance, and wants nothing to do with Colin." Something like that. Just an idea to help it flow better. If possible, could you add what the malicious winged being threatens to do to them if they don't hand over The Ancient One on time? That would add more tension, to know the threat they're under. Your wording makes it clear it will be bad, but how bad?

Overall, great job. Main characters, stakes, climax, all present. I would be interested in reading this Sci-Fi mashup.

best wishes,
S.E. White

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