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New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: June 29th, 2011, 9:57 pm
by Kreann
Hello, everyone. I've been watching and absorbing everyone's great feedback on the other queries. Now my time to start sending one out is drawing near. I'd appreciate your feedback!

Dear (Agent),

Jessica Hartley and Grace Sullivan are roommates and best friends. Life for both is at an all-time high as they finish college, find love, and begin their hunt for the perfect jobs. Grace finds hers first, at prestigious KM&S, leaving Jessica to focus her energy on the handsome Detective Stanley Johnson.

But when Grace suddenly begins acting strangely, and then ends up in a coma after a terrible car accident, Jessica is left confused and distraught. As she stumbles across Grace’s secret diary, Jessica learns that life at KM&S was not always the dream job that Grace had alluded to. In fact, Grace was not only being sexually harassed, but was also possibly drugged and date raped by a co-worker listed only as “MF”.

Jessica becomes convinced that the only way to bring Grace out of her coma is to go undercover at KM&S, identify “MF”, and then bait and frame him. Can Jessica, with Stan’s help, find and expose him before she faces the same fate?

REDEEMING GRACE is women’s fiction complete at 122,000 words. The ending leaves the book open for a potential series, although I am not sure if that is where this book should go.

I have an MPA in Public Policy Analysis from Indiana University, and am a married, working mother of two young boys. This is my first novel; however I gained some valuable experience working with an editor/publisher earlier this year when I had an article published in a professional journal, WE&T. I am currently working on a second, unrelated, women’s fiction novel.

I sincerely appreciate your time, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

(Kreann)

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: June 29th, 2011, 11:13 pm
by oldhousejunkie
Kreann wrote:Hello, everyone. I've been watching and absorbing everyone's great feedback on the other queries. Now my time to start sending one out is drawing near. I'd appreciate your feedback!

Dear (Agent),

Jessica Hartley and Grace Sullivan are roommates and best friends. Life for both is at an all-time high as they finish college, find love, and begin their hunt for the perfect jobs. Grace finds hers first, at prestigious KM&S, leaving Jessica to focus her energy on the handsome Detective Stanley Johnson. Maybe: "Grace lands at a prestigious [insert occupation] while Jessica pursues..." What is Jessica doing? The last line makes her sound somewhat shallow. I might make the Stanley reference at the end instead of here. Too many characters!

But when Grace suddenly begins acting strangely, and then ends up in a coma after a terrible car accident, Jessica is left confused and distraught. As she stumbles across Grace’s secret diary, Jessica learns that life at KM&S was not always the dream job that Grace had alluded to. In fact, Grace was not only being sexually harassed, but was also possibly drugged and date raped by a co-worker listed only as “MF”.

Jessica becomes convinced that the only way to bring Grace out of her coma is to go undercover at KM&S, identify “MF”, and then bait and frame him. Can Jessica, with Stan’s help, find and expose him before she faces the same fate?

REDEEMING GRACE is women’s fiction complete at 122,000 words. Whoa Nelly! Automatic reject on the word count. A debut author rarely gets more than 100,000 words and if they do, it's a fantasy or historical fiction.The ending leaves the book open for a potential series, although I am not sure if that is where this book should go. Definitely drop the last bit, it makes you sound wishy washy.

I have an MPA in Public Policy Analysis from Indiana University, and am a married, working mother of two young boys. Drop the mother and two boys. The agent won't care (as harsh as that sounds). I might connect to why your degree makes you fit to be an author but more importantly, you should come out right off the bat and say that you've been published. Drop the editor/publisher thing.This is my first novel; however I gained some valuable experience working with an editor/publisher earlier this year when I had an article published in a professional journal, WE&T. I am currently working on a second, unrelated, women’s fiction novel.
I sincerely appreciate your time, and look to forward to hearing from you soon.

Kreann
Besides the issues I highlighted, this is a good query overall stylistically speaking. But...it's not compelling. And it doesn't make me want to read your novel. I felt no connection to the characters which indicates that you are lacking voice. So maybe go back and bring out the compelling details that set your work a part from others. Make the reader care about what has happened to Grace and cheer for Jessica as she avenges her friend. You definitely have talent, so bring it on home! Good luck!

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: June 30th, 2011, 1:07 pm
by priya g.
Kreann wrote:Hello, everyone. I've been watching and absorbing everyone's great feedback on the other queries. Now my time to start sending one out is drawing near. I'd appreciate your feedback!

Dear (Agent),

Jessica Hartley and Grace Sullivan are roommates and best friends. Life for both is at an all-time high as they finish college, find love, and begin their hunt for the perfect jobs. Grace finds hers first, at prestigious KM&S, leaving Jessica to focus her energy on the handsome Detective Stanley Johnson. Is the intention to come across as them having the perfect lives? the opening is slightly cliche. how about starting with the conflict?

But when Grace suddenly begins acting strangely, and then ends up in a coma after a terrible car accident, Jessica is left confused and distraught. <- this seems to be the beginning of the story to me. bring in the conflict As she stumbles across Grace’s secret diary, Jessica learns that life at KM&S was not always the dream job that Grace had alluded to. In fact, Grace was not only being sexually harassed, but was also possibly drugged and date raped by a co-worker listed only as “MF”. This is a good plot but how does Jessica get hold of the secret diary?

Jessica becomes convinced that the only way to bring Grace out of her coma is to go undercover at KM&S, identify “MF”, and then bait and frame him. Can Jessica, with Stan’s help, find and expose him before she faces the same fate? how would it directly help Grace? I am a bit lost on how the two are related. bringing justice is correct, but maybe you can work on the reason of 'going undercover'. also, I dont know anything about Jessica yet.

REDEEMING GRACE is women’s fiction complete at 122,000 words. woaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!! The ending leaves the book open for a potential series, although I am not sure if that is where this book should go.

I have an MPA in Public Policy Analysis from Indiana University, and am a married, working mother of two young boys. This is my first novel; however I gained some valuable experience working with an editor/publisher earlier this year when I had an article published in a professional journal, WE&T. I am currently working on a second, unrelated, women’s fiction novel.

I sincerely appreciate your time, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

(Kreann)
Hope i helped. looking forward to the next draft!

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: June 30th, 2011, 4:23 pm
by glj
Dear (Agent),

Jessica Hartley and Grace Sullivan are roommates and best friends. Life for both is at an all-time high as they finish college, find love, and begin their hunt for the perfect jobs. Grace finds hers first, at prestigious KM&S, leaving Jessica to focus her energy on the handsome Detective Stanley Johnson. This seems like backstory. Maybe start with Jessica's best friend acting up, and show some creepy and intriguing events. We readers need to draw the same conclusion as Jessica does, that Grace's coma is the result of some nasty goings-on.

But when Grace suddenly begins acting strangely, and then ends up in a coma after a terrible car accident, Jessica is left confused and distraught. As she stumbles across Grace’s secret diary, Jessica learns that life at KM&S was not always the dream job that Grace had alluded to. In fact, Grace was not only being sexually harassed, but was also possibly drugged and date raped by a co-worker listed only as “MF”. Can you show us this? Suggestion: Jessica is looking forward to meeting her best friend Grace for lunch, but is alarmed by _. Grace admits that one of her co-workers has _. Jessica urges Grace to talk to _ about these events. But when she calls Grace that night to find out how it went, she discovers that Grace is in a coma at the hospital." You get the idea.

Jessica becomes convinced that the only way to bring Grace out of her coma is to go undercover at KM&S, identify “MF”, and then bait and frame him. Can Jessica, with Stan’s help, find and expose him before she faces the same fate? So catching the fiend brings her friend out of the coma? No, sorry, they are unrelated. Only medical care can bring Grace out of it.

Does Jessica meet detective Stanley Johnson as a result of her friend's coma? That would make more sense. Otherwise, as another commenter pointed out, Jessica might come across as goofing around, chasing men instead of pursuing a job.

REDEEMING GRACE is women’s fiction complete at 122,000 words. The ending leaves the book open for a potential series, although I am not sure if that is where this book should go. I agree that the length will be a problem for you. And I agree that the last phrase sounds wishy-washy.

I have an MPA in Public Policy Analysis from Indiana University, and am a married, working mother of two young boys. This is my first novel; however I gained some valuable experience working with an editor/publisher earlier this year when I had an article published in a professional journal, WE&T. I am currently working on a second, unrelated, women’s fiction novel.
Most agents seem to say that a non-fiction publication credit does not impress when the writer is selling a fiction work. I don't think any of this paragraph will help get an agent's attention.

I sincerely appreciate your time, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: June 30th, 2011, 6:24 pm
by Collectonian
Everyone else already covered the major issues I noticed, so I won't inundate you with a repeat :-)

The only other I'd suggest is drop "and look forward to hearing from you soon" from your closing. Many agents have indicated that the find it to be subtly demanding, that one they reply at all (many don't if it is a no), and that they respond "soon", when it can take weeks or even a few months to get a response.

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: July 5th, 2011, 7:00 am
by Kreann
Wow, thanks everyone! It's been interesting to see how you've responded, and interpreted the book before reading it (the others I had look at it had already read the book, and gave me completely different input). I think that's the key. I'm back to work, revising the book again (trimming, always trimming). Read a fantastic book by Les Edgerton called "Hooked", so now trying to tighten up the beginning - which I think will also help me with the query letter. I'll revise and re-post in the future.

Re: New Query: REDEEMING GRACE

Posted: July 9th, 2011, 3:10 pm
by Kreann
Sorry, I may have done this wrong, but I posted a second attempt as a new topic instead of attaching onto here. :shock:
But I would appreciate your comments on my second attempt!