Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

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amyashley
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Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by amyashley » September 11th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Read all the input and incorporated. I am very pleased with this one. I don't think I will be making many more revisions. I had some good help from someone at AW that gave excellent advice and boosted my confidence about following my instincts on humor. I think when it comes to something like this book there are going to be people that hate it or just don't get it, and there will be those that love it. Instead of rewriting it to look like a totally different book, I need to make sure it reads and feels like MY idea of what my book is. I appreciate all the advice I have gotten, I just can't incorporate everything or I'd have a 3 page synopsis.


Dear Agent,

After the hype over Twilight and True Blood, Reece Paine is certain the world isn’t ready for the truth about paranormals. Being a working “vampire” mama, married to a “demon” dad, with a flying toddler tyke might be more than the neighbors could swallow. Like any hot blooded American family, sibling rivalry, spaghetti night, and sleeping in on Saturday are major for the Paines. They sure aren’t as freaky as freaks are made out to be in fiction.

Consulting at a secret paranormal bureau, Reece encounters odd cases while juggling diaper duties, like cookie-craving trolls on protest, or stripping succubi on a flashing foray. This week she’s asked to investigate her first normal case and it has her spooked. Someone is kidnapping paranormal children out there, and it’s up to Reece to find them. There’s a huge risk. Since the bureau isn’t a police force, if the perps are human they have to get turned over to the real cops and paranormals could be exposed.

Love and friendship carry more weight than her reputation, and for the sake of the kids, hers’ and her friends’, she takes the risk. Reece ropes in a few paranormal pals and employs tactics like genii hypnotism and angel terrorism. This week may be turning out to be a a pain, but she’s sucked down some extra coffee, and Reece heard there’s a sale on at Dillard’s this weekend. She’s ready to rock and roll.

WHAT A PAINE! is a 71,000-word urban fantasy. I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Amy Ashley

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by JadePhoenix » September 11th, 2010, 1:30 pm

I don't think you have to worry. Your query reminds me of the "Carpe Demon" books by Julie Kenner about a demon hunting mom living a quiet, normal life in the suburbs, when demons aren't following her home from Walmart to kill her that is. Her books are awesome and you seem to have the same style of humor. She has an entire series of the books and they're doing quite well so not only do people get the humor, but a lot of them do! I think you'll do just fine! :)

I haven't read any of your other queries but I really liked this one! I only noticed a few tiny things that are of course up to you. Like you said, there comes a point where you do have to stop and call it good or you'll never get to the actual querying stage. Anyway, good job and good luck!
amyashley wrote:Read all the input and incorporated. I am very pleased with this one. I don't think I will be making many more revisions. I had some good help from someone at AW that gave excellent advice and boosted my confidence about following my instincts on humor. I think when it comes to something like this book there are going to be people that hate it or just don't get it, and there will be those that love it. Instead of rewriting it to look like a totally different book, I need to make sure it reads and feels like MY idea of what my book is. I appreciate all the advice I have gotten, I just can't incorporate everything or I'd have a 3 page synopsis.


Dear Agent,

After the hype over Twilight and True Blood, Reece Paine is certain the world isn’t ready for the truth about paranormals. Being a working “vampire” mama, married to a “demon” dad, with a flying toddler tyke might be more than the neighbors could swallowwhy are vampire and demon in quotes? It makes it seem like she isn't really a vampire and he isn't really a demon - like literary air quotes.. Like any hot blooded American family, sibling rivalry, spaghetti night, and sleeping in on Saturday are major major what?for the Paines. They sure aren’t as freaky as freaks are made out to be in fiction.

Consulting at a secret paranormal bureau, Reece encounters odd cases while juggling diaper duties, like cookie-craving trolls on protest, or stripping succubi on a flashing foraythat's awesome. This week she’s asked to investigate her first normal case and it has her spookedhow is a case involving the kidnapping of paranormal kids normal and cases involving cookie-craving trolls or stripping succubi isn't normal?. Someone is kidnapping paranormal children out there, and it’s up to Reece to find them. There’s a huge risk. Since the bureau isn’t a police forcethen what does it do?, if the perps are human they have to getbe turned over to the real cops and paranormals could be exposed.

Love and friendship carry more weight than her reputation, and for the sake of the kids, hers’ and her friends', she takes the risk. Reece ropes in a few paranormal pals and employs tactics like genii hypnotism and angel terrorismThat. Is. AWESOME.. This week may be turning out to be a a pain, but she’s sucked down some extra coffee, and Reece heard there’s a sale on at Dillard’s this weekend. She’sReece is ready to rock and roll.

WHAT A PAINE! is a 71,000-word urban fantasy. I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Amy Ashley

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by amyashley » September 11th, 2010, 1:56 pm

I wasn't sure about the quotes, and I'm still not. She's a vampire and he's a demon, but my paranormals are REALLY mild compared to the standard version. I wanted to convey that without a huge explanation. If it seems hokey I'll ex it.

Thanks! I'm excited about the book.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by notw » September 11th, 2010, 4:14 pm

Amy,

I liked your query. Thought it was good and to the point which is always nice. :) Good luck!
amyashley wrote:Read all the input and incorporated. I am very pleased with this one. I don't think I will be making many more revisions. I had some good help from someone at AW that gave excellent advice and boosted my confidence about following my instincts on humor. I think when it comes to something like this book there are going to be people that hate it or just don't get it, and there will be those that love it. Instead of rewriting it to look like a totally different book, I need to make sure it reads and feels like MY idea of what my book is. I appreciate all the advice I have gotten, I just can't incorporate everything or I'd have a 3 page synopsis.


Dear Agent,

After the hype over Twilight and True Blood, Reece Paine is certain the world isn’t ready for the truth about paranormals. Being a working “vampire” mama, married to a “demon” dad, with a flying toddler tyke might be more than the neighbors could swallow. I really liked this opening :) Like any hot blooded American family, sibling rivalry, spaghetti night, and sleeping in on Saturday are major for the Paines. They sure aren’t as freaky as freaks are made out to be in fiction.

Consulting at a secret paranormal bureau, Reece encounters odd cases while juggling diaper duties, like cookie-craving trolls on protest, or stripping succubi on a flashing foray. This week she’s asked to investigate her first normal case and it has her spooked. Someone is kidnapping paranormal children out there, and it’s up to Reece to find them. There’s a huge risk. Since the bureau isn’t a police force I agree with Jade you might want to consider saying what they are., if the perps are human they have to get turned over to the real cops and paranormals could be exposed.

Love and friendship carry more weight than her reputation, and for the sake of the kids, hers’ and her friends’, she takes the risk. Reece ropes in a few paranormal pals and employs tactics like genii hypnotism and angel terrorism. This week may be turning out to be a a pain, but she’s sucked down some extra coffee, and Reece heard there’s a sale on at Dillard’s this weekend. She’s ready to rock and roll.

WHAT A PAINE! is a 71,000-word urban fantasy. I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Amy Ashley

lachrymal
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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by lachrymal » September 11th, 2010, 4:49 pm

I think this query is solid. I only have two comments:
1. I suggest removing the quotes around vampire and demon. When you use quotes, it sounds like you're saying they're not really those things. It doesn't convey that they're more mainstream or mild versions of those things. Your query implies they're living in an ordinary neighborhood, and I would think that's enough.
2. I'm confused by your use of "hot blooded". That generally means easily aroused/quick to anger/hot tempered. Do you mean "red blooded"? When paired with "American", that phrase usually means patriotic, and essentially serves as a synonym for "really"--like, they're really, truly American.

Best of luck--I hope you find a lot of success in your querying!

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by Bartle001 » September 11th, 2010, 5:32 pm

amyashley wrote: Consulting at a secret paranormal bureau, Reece encounters odd cases while juggling diaper duties, like cookie-craving trolls on protest, or stripping succubi on a flashing foray. This week she’s asked to investigate her first normal case and it has her spooked. Someone is kidnapping paranormal children out there, and it’s up to Reece to find them. There’s a huge risk. Since the bureau isn’t a police force, if the perps are human they have to get turned over to the real cops and paranormals could be exposed.
I kind of agree that this is confusing. If the bureau is secret, sort of like the Section One from La Femme Nikita, then why would it care about police? Wouldn't it do whatever necessary to prevent exposure?

I guess that's a pretty puny comment. If that's all I can think of to criticize, you must be doing fine!

amyashley
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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by amyashley » September 11th, 2010, 6:22 pm

Lachrymal, I think I AM going to change it to red-blooded, and the quotes are definitely getting trashed!


Bartle001- Thanks. I can't go into great detail about the bureau in the query without it getting too bogged with backstory, but when I didn't have the "secret" on there I had people confused about whether paranormals were out to the public or not. FYI, they are more of a help agency for paranormals that pays for medical and scientific research too. I can't leave it out completely either, so I'm hoping the rest of the query is good enough to get an agent hooked.

Thanks to everyone for the help! I think this is ready to go FINALLY. I've made a few adjustments to it, but I'll have it sitting for a little bit as I'm letting my Beta review the MS.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by cheekychook » September 11th, 2010, 10:10 pm

I don't believe the word "hers" should have an apostrophe---it's already the possessive form.

Good luck with your query.
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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by JadePhoenix » September 12th, 2010, 12:29 am

I think you need just a little more about the bureau. You don't need to go into nitpicky detail but, as it is right now, it sounds like an organization that does nothing which raises the question, why is it there? You could even do something like call it the "Paranormal version of the Red Cross" or something small that just gives us an idea of what it does.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by Quill » September 12th, 2010, 11:08 am

amyashley wrote:Read all the input and incorporated.
Not necessary or advisable to start a new thread for each version. Just post it in line in the thread and note that in the thread title. Then we can follow the awesome progress.

Let's have a look.
After the hype over Twilight and True Blood, Reece Paine is certain the world isn’t ready for the truth about paranormals.
I would think the opposite would be true. I think most of the "hype" over those books was positive. No?

Being a working “vampire” mama, married to a “demon” dad,
What do you mean by putting the words in quotes. Are they those things, or not. Sounds like they are maybe sort of those things, which isn't specific enough.

Words in quotes, being unclear, are rarely a good choice in a query.
with a flying toddler tyke
Omit either "toddler" or "tyke" as redundant to the other.
might be more than the neighbors could swallow.
The cliche "could swallow" doesn't work here. Picturing neighbors swallowing isn't helping your pitch.
Like any hot blooded American family,
I would rather see "hot-blooded" so it doesn't first appear that they are hot and blooded.
sibling rivalry,
How is this possible with just the one son?
spaghetti night, and sleeping in on Saturday
Surely not any American family does these.
are major for the Paines.
I like the voice but not sure using "major" here is clear enough. "Are major" is an odd combination and takes a second to comprehend. You don't want stopping when an agent is speed reading.
They sure aren’t as freaky as freaks are made out to be in fiction.
The double "freak" also slows the reading, and the other words in this sentence do not excite.
Consulting at a secret paranormal bureau,
We plunge into this next part in an odd, offhand way that makes us wonder at first if this refers to the previous. Is she receiving a consultation about her abnormality re the neighbors at home?
Reece encounters odd cases while juggling diaper duties, like cookie-craving trolls on protest, or stripping succubi on a flashing foray.
"Encounters" seems rather remote. How about "handles" cases or some such.

Odd to hear about cases and then about diapers before hearing what are the cases. Any way to put the diapers at the end of the sentence or before the cases?
This week she’s asked to investigate her first normal case and it has her spooked. Someone is kidnapping paranormal
It may just be me, but I don't think the frequent comparison of normal and paranormal is all that effective. Why not make the point once at the beginning of the query and then just give us the story, "This week she's involved in a case where someone is kidnapping paranormal children," or something.

children out there, and it’s up to Reece to find them.
Why is it only up to Reece. There is no support staff? No trained detectives? No paranormal police? Why not, nothing like this has ever happened before? Not entirely believable.
There’s a huge risk. Since the bureau isn’t a police force, if the perps are human they have to get turned over to the real cops and paranormals could be exposed.
Without further explanation, this comes across as a tenuous hook on which you've hung this plot. Like I say, there have never been crossover crimes? And there is no organization or professional in place to handle such things, in the whole country?
Love and friendship carry more weight than her reputation, and for the sake of the kids, hers’ and her friends’, she takes the risk.
Much is unclear. What weight do love, friendship, and her reputation carry? What do you mean by weight? What risk is she taking?
Reece ropes in a few paranormal pals and employs tactics like genii hypnotism and angel terrorism. This week may be turning out to be a a pain, but she’s sucked down some extra coffee, and Reece heard there’s a sale on at Dillard’s this weekend. She’s ready to rock and roll.
Doesn't sound like risk at all, it sounds like PARTY TIME!

Is there a main conflict in this book? It comes across as light comedy.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by amyashley » September 12th, 2010, 3:57 pm

Quill, while I appreciate your advice, the only query you have liked that I have presented has been the one that universally was met with criticism and didn't convey any sense of the personality that MY actual novel held. While you cited that it was the one you felt had a voice (others have felt that different versions had voice), I felt very strongly that whatever voice it had wasn't the one I wanted to convey.

Also, you are asking at the end of this query if this is a light comedy. Have you been reading anything I am writing here at all? It IS a light comedy! Some of your advice was redundant if you looked a little further up in the thread, where I said that I was going to remove the quotation marks and also talked about changing the words hot blooded to red blooded. So your repeated insistence that I stick to the same thread is aggravating when you seem unwilling to even read the posts within this new thread before you critique this.

As I said, I appreciate your critique, as I appreciate anyone's. I don't however think that you are one of the people who is going to get the type of humor this book is written in. I am being EXTREMELY selective about the agents I am sending to and hopefully that will help. If not I will rewrite. I would like to say though, that you are in the minority in finding this confusing and horrible.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by Quill » September 12th, 2010, 5:08 pm

amyashley wrote:Quill, while I appreciate your advice, the only query you have liked that I have presented has been the one that universally was met with criticism and didn't convey any sense of the personality that MY actual novel held. While you cited that it was the one you felt had a voice (others have felt that different versions had voice), I felt very strongly that whatever voice it had wasn't the one I wanted to convey.
Okay. But I did think the story elements and emphases were nicely put in that one.
Also, you are asking at the end of this query if this is a light comedy. Have you been reading anything I am writing here at all?
I think I've read all your versions in all four or so threads. My point was that even light comedy has to have a conflict, and I am concerned that yours isn't coming through.
It IS a light comedy! Some of your advice was redundant if you looked a little further up in the thread, where I said that I was going to remove the quotation marks and also talked about changing the words hot blooded to red blooded.
Sorry if that's the case. I thought I was critiquing your latest version. Wasn't I? I sometimes go straight to the query letter and don't read all the ancillary notes.
So your repeated insistence that I stick to the same thread is aggravating when you seem unwilling to even read the posts within this new thread before you critique this.
I did not insist, of course. I find the multiple thread method confusing to follow, and merely pointed out what was in the forum guidelines, anyway. Sorry you felt aggravated.
As I said, I appreciate your critique, as I appreciate anyone's. I don't however think that you are one of the people who is going to get the type of humor this book is written in.
Whether that's true or not, the query must still accomplish clarity of communication and be organized to get its hook across. That is what I've attempted to address.

For the record, I don't respond to any query I don't relate to on some level.

I think your story is cool.
I am being EXTREMELY selective about the agents I am sending to and hopefully that will help. If not I will rewrite. I would like to say though, that you are in the minority in finding this confusing and horrible.
Sorry if my opinions go against the preponderance of others' critiques. And for the record, I don't find your query horrible in any way.

Again, I certainly don't intend to antagonize and am happy to refrain from further comment.

Good luck with your project, amy. I sincerely mean that.

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Re: Brand New WHAT A PAINE! Funny UF

Post by amyashley » September 12th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Thanks Quill. I am sorry. When I did post changes in the same thread I didn't get responses, which Is why I tried it this way.

I was getting the impression that you just disliked everything, and I can't please everyone, I just can't.

I've revised the query without the quotes and changed the wording to red blooded, but it is a small change and I didn't feel the need to repost.

I DO appreciate your input, because it takes time, and intentions are always well meant.

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