Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at page 2)

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akila
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Re: Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at post 16)

Post by akila » June 14th, 2011, 3:20 pm

First of all, thank you again for your very useful comments Quill and michelliemason. I spent several days thinking about my query and I think I included way too much information in the previous versions without getting to the heart of the matter, which led to many of your comments and confusion. So, here is a brand new version that's a bit shorter and more straightforward, I think.

Widowed attorney Adam Wesley believes his pretty new neighbor when she introduces herself as Leah Jones, a photographer on assignment to shoot scenes of small-town Georgia. He does not know that Leah lies.

Despite Adam's kind blue eyes, Leah refuses to let him distract her from the search for her missing brother. She believes that she is the last female Traveler, a member of a group of advanced humans who can teleport across borders, learn languages in hours, and alter appearances at will. She has never known the whole truth.

Descendants of the Biblical King Solomon kidnap the pair on the date with Adam that Leah wished she had resisted. They brand Leah as a mythical Jinn, a supernatural being rooted in the Q'uran, and subject to their servitude. They do not know who they are dealing with.

MOONLIGHT FALTERS tracks Adam’s and Leah’s week-long relationship as they connect Adam’s newest lawsuit, Leah’s brother's disappearance, and the Sons of Solomons’ quest for domination to one central question: what is Leah Jones? Told from Adam’s and Leah’s dual perspectives, it is a contemporary fantasy with legal mystery elements, in the vein of Danny Tobey’s The Faculty Club. Though written to stand alone, I believe it has strong series potential.
Last edited by akila on June 30th, 2011, 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

michelleimason
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Re: Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at page 2)

Post by michelleimason » June 14th, 2011, 3:44 pm

It's always interesting to see how a query changes after comments. I just posted mine and already know it's going to be quite different as a result. So, here are some comments on the new version.

Widowed attorney Adam Wesley believes his pretty new neighbor when she introduces herself as Leah Jones, a photographer on assignment to shoot scenes of small-town Georgia. He does not know that Leah lies.I like the way you introduce Leah here, although I don't know if you need the line about her lying. The way you say he believes her already makes me think he's going to find out she's not what she seems.

Despite Adam's kind blue eyes, Leah refuses to let him distract her from the search for her missing brother. She believes that she is the last female Traveler, a member of a group of advanced humans who can teleport across borders, learn languages in hours, and alter appearances at will. Interesting concept. She has never known the whole truth.

Descendants of the Biblical King Solomon kidnap the pair on the date with Adam that Leah wished she had resisted. I don't know if you need to include Leah's feelings about the date. You could just say "on their first date." They brand Leah as a mythical Jinn, a supernatural being rooted in the Q'uran, and subject to their servitude. They do not know who they are dealing with. The more I read, the more I think you could drop the last line in the first two paragraphs and put some kind of concluding sentence at the end of this one about none of them being right about her identity.

MOONLIGHT FALTERS tracks Adam’s and Leah’s week-long (is the timeframe significant?) relationship as they connect Adam’s newest lawsuit, Leah’s brother's disappearance, and the Sons of Solomons’ quest for domination to one central question: what is Leah Jones? Told from Adam’s and Leah’s dual perspectives, it is a contemporary fantasy with legal mystery elements, in the vein of Danny Tobey’s The Faculty Club. Though written to stand alone, I believe it has strong series potential.

Although I liked the earlier one just talking from Adam's point of view, I also like the fact that this one gives a contrast of where everyone is coming from. I definitely want to know what she is :D .

akila
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Re: Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at page 2)

Post by akila » June 30th, 2011, 5:24 pm

Whoever said that writing a novel was the hard part never wrote a query letter. :shock: Anyhow, taking in all your thoughts and some of my own, here is a new version:

LATEST VERSION

Adam Wesley prefers the clarity of a well-defined life. He knows who he is: a widowed thirty-one-year-old attorney at a prestigious Atlanta law firm. He married his high school sweetheart, bought a house in a yuppie enclave, and has just landed a partner-making lawsuit representing down-home folks suffering from fits of insanity.

Leah Jones—as she is called now—has never known definition. She is the last remaining female Traveler, a woman who can teleport across borders, achieve linguistic fluency in hours, and alter her appearance at will. Last week, she was a thin Japanese woman with blue polished toenails and thigh-high skirts, photographing the temples and shrines of Kyoto. Then, she discovered her brother’s disappearance. Today, she moves across the street from Adam as a caramel-toned Southerner who drawls her letters into rounded words, convinced that her brother is in Atlanta.

Though attraction draws Adam’s and Leah’s interest, it is evil that yanks them together. They survive drowning, kidnappings, and assault as they come to realize that her missing brother and his new lawsuit are tied to Leah’s identity. Neither expect their tenuous hearts to collide while they search for a definition rooted in faith and lies: what is Leah Jones?

Told from Adam’s and Leah’s contrasting perspectives, MOONLIGHT FALTERS is a contemporary fantasy with legal mystery elements, complete at 92,000 words. Fans of Midori Snyder’s mythology-based fantasies and Michael Connelly’s legal mysteries will like this novel. Though written to stand alone, I am interested in developing it into a series.

I am an attorney, technical writer, and blogger, working while I travel around the world. I am querying you because [personal info].

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Quill
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Re: Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at page 2)

Post by Quill » June 30th, 2011, 7:23 pm

akila wrote:Whoever said that writing a novel was the hard part never wrote a query letter. :shock: Anyhow, taking in all your thoughts and some of my own, here is a new version:

LATEST VERSION
I am liking it.
Adam Wesley prefers the clarity of a well-defined life. He knows who he is: a widowed thirty-one-year-old attorney at a prestigious Atlanta law firm. He married his high school sweetheart, bought a house in a yuppie enclave, and has just landed a partner-making lawsuit representing down-home folks suffering from fits of insanity.
Good. A couple nitpicks:

1. Not sure the colon after "who he is" is the best punctuation, it seems to stop the flow and draw attention to itself. How about just a comma there?

2. A bit confusing: first he's widowed and then he married his sweetheart. Maybe "he had married..." or some such, to clarify.

Leah Jones—as she is called now—has never known definition. She is the last remaining female Traveler, a woman who can teleport across borders, achieve linguistic fluency in hours, and alter her appearance at will. Last week, she was a thin Japanese woman with blue polished toenails and thigh-high skirts, photographing the temples and shrines of Kyoto. Then, she discovered her brother’s disappearance. Today, she moves across the street from Adam as a caramel-toned Southerner who drawls her letters into rounded words, convinced that her brother is in Atlanta.
Good. A couple nitpicks:

1. A bit abrupt and confusing " --as she is now called--": this aside coming before she is even introduced to us. Maybe something smoother there, like, "her present name". Or withdraw the em-dashed asides altogether. It seems to work fine without it.

2. Slightly awkward: toenails, thigh, and temples; oh, the temples are not body parts. How about putting "shrines" before "temples" or substituting another item being photographed (which might be good anyway since temples and shrines seem similar in meaning).

Though attraction draws Adam’s and Leah’s interest, it is evil that yanks them together. They survive drowning, kidnappings, and assault as they come to realize that her missing brother and his new lawsuit are tied to Leah’s identity. Neither expect their tenuous hearts to collide while they search for a definition rooted in faith and lies: what is Leah Jones?
Good info. A bit rambling and obscure, which I find intriguing in the first two sentences, but it doesn't work for me in the third sentence, "...while they search for a definition rooted in faith and lies: what is Leah Jones". This seems awkward structure and the meaning isn't clear to me, even as a whiff of connotation. There's got to be a better way of mounting the question (and suggesting why this is important).
Told from Adam’s and Leah’s contrasting perspectives, MOONLIGHT FALTERS is a contemporary fantasy with legal mystery elements, complete at 92,000 words. Fans of Midori Snyder’s mythology-based fantasies and Michael Connelly’s legal mysteries will like this novel. Though written to stand alone, I am interested in developing it into a series.
Excellent. I particularly like the length and the comparison authors.
I am an attorney, technical writer, and blogger, working while I travel around the world. I am querying you because [personal info].
Cool. Good luck with the project.

Query is much improved from earlier versions!

akila
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Re: Query - Moonlight Falters (new version at page 2)

Post by akila » July 5th, 2011, 10:05 am

Thanks so much for your advice Quill. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that this be appealing to agents.

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