VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Satirical Thriller

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kbaumeister
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VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Satirical Thriller

Post by kbaumeister » November 30th, 2010, 8:23 pm

Dear Mr. Agent,

Set in 2034 in an America drunk on religion and consumerism Virtual Jerusalem is the tongue-in-cheek epic of Ken Clarion, a retiring spy on a seemingly simple final mission that blossoms into a global crisis, forcing Ken to choose between his life and the plans of enemies who see the Apocalypse as a winning business model. Combining elements of commercial and literary fiction with wit, mystery, philosophy, and politics, and written in sparkling prose, Virtual Jerusalem is a fast-moving, dialogue-rich novel of 117,000 words.

Accepting his final mission with the sort of ambivalence that can only lead to trouble, Ken and his young, evangelical partner, Tuck Squires, travel to Boston to retrieve the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt, Dr. Diana Cross. Learning firsthand that Diana’s technology, SpiritWare, allows its users to communicate with something that may or may not be God (and that the President sees SpiritWare as a way to head off a rapidly-escalating crisis in the Middle East) Ken and Tuck are nonetheless convinced that the bungling kidnappers have long since given up. When a second kidnapping attempt succeeds Ken and Tuck set off on parallel investigations that lead them to New Orleans, the Caribbean, and beyond. Winding their way through a world gone horribly yet comically wrong they ultimately come face-to-face with Diana’s kidnappers, Christian mogul and Jesus Burger founder, Ravelton Parlay, and his chief henchman, Iraq War hero, Jack Justice. Featuring an ending filled with high stakes political intrigue, biting satire, and revelations about the nature of humanity itself, Ken’s final mission forces him to come to terms not only with death but the meanings of justice, sacrifice, and freedom.

I hold an MFA in Fiction from Emerson College. A few years ago I left a career in corporate strategy to write full-time. Virtual Jerusalem is my first novel. Authors that have influenced my work include Martin Amis, Don Delillo, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you.


Best Regards,
Last edited by kbaumeister on December 2nd, 2010, 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

fishfood
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Re: VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Literary-Satire-Espionage

Post by fishfood » November 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

kbaumeister wrote:Dear Mr. Agent,

Set in 2034 in an America drunk on religion and consumerism Virtual Jerusalem is the tongue-in-cheek epic of Ken Clarion, a retiring spy on a seemingly simple final mission that blossoms into a global crisis, forcing Ken to choose between his life and the plans of enemies who see the Apocalypse as a winning business model. Combining elements of commercial and literary fiction with wit, mystery, philosophy, and politics, and written in sparkling prose, Virtual Jerusalem is a fast-moving, dialogue-rich novel of 117,000 words. General advice is to start with the action not a summary of your novel, and not to praise yourself too much.
Demonstrate your ability with a witty query. I think you've also combined too many genre elements into your description. Just say, literary satire, complete at 117,000 words.


Try starting with: Ken Clarion is near retirement as a spy. He only has one final mission to complete...
Accepting his final mission with the sort of ambivalence that can only lead to trouble, Ken and his young, evangelical partner, Tuck Squires, travel to Boston to retrieve the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt, Dr. Diana Cross. Learning firsthand that Diana’s technology, SpiritWare, allows its users to communicate with something that may or may not be God (and that the President sees SpiritWare as a way to head off a rapidly-escalating crisis in the Middle East) Ken and Tuck are nonetheless convinced that the bungling kidnappers have long since given up. When a second kidnapping attempt succeeds Ken and Tuck set off on parallel investigations that lead them to New Orleans, the Caribbean, and beyond. Winding their way through a world gone horribly yet comically wrong they ultimately come face-to-face with Diana’s kidnappers, Christian mogul and Jesus Burger founder, Ravelton Parlay, and his chief henchman, Iraq War hero, Jack Justice. Featuring an ending filled with high stakes political intrigue, biting satire, and revelations about the nature of humanity itself, Ken’s final mission forces him to come to terms not only with death but the meanings of justice, sacrifice, and freedom. What's the ultimate choice he has to make or the final turning point in the novel?
I hold an MFA in Fiction from Emerson College. A few years ago I left a career in corporate strategy to write full-time. Virtual Jerusalem (Novel title should be in all caps) is my first novel. Authors that have influenced my work include Martin Amis, Don Delillo, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you.

Best Regards,
I've no doubt you've written an excellent novel, it's just that your query does a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. Queryshark mentioned a decent guideline to follow when writing the query. Hopefully I'm not violating copyright by pasting this, or if I am. Ms. Reid is forgiving (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2010/11/187.html) :

What does the protagonist want?
What's keeping him from getting it?
What choice/decision does he face?
What terrible thing will happen if he chooses A; what terrible thing will happen if he doesn't.


Here's another form of the same thing:
The main character must decide whether to ________. If s/he decides to do (this), the consequences/outcome/peril s/he faces are______. If s/he decides NOT to do this: the consequences/outcome/peril s/he faces are________.

kbaumeister
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Re: VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Literary-Satire-Espionage

Post by kbaumeister » December 1st, 2010, 12:05 am

Thanks for the notes, fishfood. Cheers, KGB

Lil Tailor
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Re: VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Satirical Thriller

Post by Lil Tailor » December 2nd, 2010, 11:30 pm

kbaumeister wrote:Dear Mr. Agent,

Set in 2034 in an America drunk on religion and consumerism Virtual Jerusalem is the tongue-in-cheek epic of Ken Clarion, a retiring spy on a seemingly simple final mission that blossoms into a global crisis, forcing Ken to choose between his life and the plans of enemies who see the Apocalypse as a winning business model. Combining elements of commercial and literary fiction with wit, mystery, philosophy, and politics, and written in sparkling prose, Virtual Jerusalem is a fast-moving, dialogue-rich novel of 117,000 words.

Accepting his final mission with the sort of ambivalence that can only lead to trouble, Ken and his young, evangelical partner, Tuck Squires, travel to Boston to retrieveThis seems like the wrong word here. Why retrieve? Also, why are they going there because of the kidnapping? the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt, Dr. Diana Cross. Learning firsthand that Diana’s technology, SpiritWare, allows its users to communicate with something that may or may not be God (and that the President sees SpiritWare as a way to head off a rapidly-escalating crisis in the Middle East) Ken and Tuck are nonetheless convinced that the bungling kidnappers have long since given upwhy are they convinced of this? it doesn't even seem to matter, wouldn't it be better to delete it and just start with the next sentance?. When a second kidnapping attempt succeeds Ken and Tuck set off on parallel investigationswhy are their investigations parallel? I thought they were partners working together? that lead them to New Orleans, the Caribbean, and beyond. Winding their way through a world gone horribly yet comically wrong they ultimately come face-to-face with Diana’s kidnappers, Christian mogul and Jesus Burger founder, Ravelton Parlay, and his chief henchman, Iraq War hero, Jack Justice. Featuring an ending filled with high stakes political intrigue, biting satire, and revelations about the nature of humanity itself, Ken’s final mission forces him to come to terms not only with death but the meanings of justice, sacrifice, and freedom.

I hold an MFA in Fiction from Emerson College. A few years ago I left a career in corporate strategy to write full-time. Virtual Jerusalem is my first novel. Authors that have influenced my work include Martin Amis, Don Delillo, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you.


Best Regards,
I agree that you should delete the first paragraph as well.

kbaumeister
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Re: VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Satirical Thriller

Post by kbaumeister » December 2nd, 2010, 11:41 pm

Dear 'Lil,

Thanks for your input.

KGB

kbaumeister
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Re: VIRTUAL JERUSALEM, a novel--Satirical Thriller

Post by kbaumeister » December 3rd, 2010, 6:57 pm

Dear Ms. Agent,

What could bring together a Marxist heiress, two disillusioned spies, and a gang of born again criminals…other than Rush Limbaugh’s pornographic dreams? The answer is Virtual Jerusalem, a satirical thriller complete at 117,000 words.

Set in 2034, in an America drunk on religion and consumerism, narrated by Ken Clarion, an agent who died on this, his last mission, Virtual Jerusalem is the story of SpiritWare, a software program designed to put its users in touch with God; a program that could, in the wrong hands, become a powerful brainwashing tool.

In response to a bungled kidnapping attempt, Ken and his young, Bible-thumping partner, Tuck Squires, fly to Boston to take SpiritWare’s creator, Dr. Diana Cross, into protective custody; but when a second kidnapping attempt succeeds on their watch, Ken and Tuck must set off on parallel investigations that lead them from Boston to New Orleans and the Caribbean. As the world stumbles towards a man-made Apocalypse, the President considers the use of a “super weapon” that may only deepen the crisis, and Ken trails the kidnappers to an island in the Devil’s Triangle. There, a mortally wounded Diana tells him that she has given away SpiritWare’s security code in a failed attempt to bargain with their enemies. She does, however, carry one final secret, a failsafe that will destroy SpiritWare if someone can escape the island to use it.

Ordering Tuck to leave, Ken fails in an attempt to stop the kidnappers then dies when the island is destroyed. Grateful for Ken’s sacrifice, Tuck escapes the island. Rightly seeing its destruction by the military as an attempted cover-up, a disillusioned Tuck leaves the government, uses the failsafe, and ultimately takes his vengeance on the man responsible for Virtual Jerusalem, someone who has, quite literally, been taking his instructions from God all along…

A dialogue-rich novel that should appeal to fans of Bill Maher, viewers of MSNBC, and readers of Martin Amis and Don Delillo, Virtual Jerusalem is my first book. Your work with _____ and _____ makes me wonder whether you would be interested in representing it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best Regards,

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