Need Help With Query

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garnell wallace
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Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 10th, 2012, 12:38 pm

Hello everyone,
I'd love some feedback on my query. I am concerned about creating a voice and giving a good sense of what my book is about.




Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with overly-religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

The line blurs a little after Raine helped her first ghost bring her killer to justice, but Raine knew being a medium was just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The line becomes a chasm after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to make Raine an unwilling sacrifice in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. As she tries to change her fate, Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti. Her qualms about sleeping with the undead pales against the feelings he brings to life in her heart. She has no idea Roman has been assigned to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacered Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and garnered the support of its leader. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine, and though he knows what she will become, Roman cannot deny his attraction to her. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential which is targeted at Harlequin's Nocturne line. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



I look forward to sharing the full manuscript with you.

Garnell Wallace.

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klbritt
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by klbritt » August 10th, 2012, 7:23 pm

I think the story within the Query sounds intriguing, good job. My suggestions are in blue, red means I'd consider removing/rewriting.

=============

Dear Agent,

[Seventeen-year-old (or however old she is)]Raine Jensen grew up with overly-religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil. [This first sentence is great! I'm struggling the the "overly-religious" comment, I feel like this could be worded better to get an even greater image/sense of parents.]

The line [what line? I mean I know, but saying something like: the black and white her parent's taught her to see blur to gray after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice...] blurs a little after Raine helped her first ghost bring her killer to justice, but Raine knew being a medium was just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The line [again, what line?] becomes a chasm after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to make Raine an unwilling sacrifice in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. As she tries to change her fate, Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti. Her qualms about sleeping with the undead pales against the feelings he brings to life in her heart. This sentence can probably be left out. [color=#FF0000She has no idea Roman has been assigned to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacered Anastasia's coven.[/color] I think this sentence should tie into the sentence above: Raine seeks advice and solace in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbenownst to Raine, has been assigned to kill her.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and garnered the support of its leader. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine, and though he knows what she will become, Roman cannot deny his attraction to her. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return. [This last paragraph talks way more about Roman - almost making it seem like he's the main character in the story at this point - which I'm guessing he's not. Either switch this into more Raine info, or take out.]

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential which is targeted at Harlequin's Nocturne line Let agent decide this. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.

I look forward to sharing the full manuscript with you. [Thank you for your consideration,]

Garnell Wallace.

=============

~Kristie
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

garnell wallace
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Revision of Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 10th, 2012, 9:43 pm

Thanks to Kristie, here is the improved version.


Dear Agent,

Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

The black and white her parents taught her to see blur to gray after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium was just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to make her an unwilling sacrifice in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. As she tries to change her fate, Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, has been assigned to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and garnered the support of its leader. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't. Raine must decide to either see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.

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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 11th, 2012, 8:07 pm

Red is something I'd consider deleting, and blue text is linked to [a comment]

"Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was [were] definitely evil.

The black and white her parents taught her to see blur to gray [Her black and white world blurs to gray] after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium was [is] just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to make her an unwilling sacrifice [pet peeve - of course she's unwilling] in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. As she tries to change her fate, Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, has been assigned to kill her* to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven. [Anastasia's vengeance for his clan's massacre of her coven]

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and garnered the support of its leader. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat [lots of redundancies here - unbreakable connection...two kids; can't walk away...feelings deepen; etc. you can probably streamline this part quite a bit by carefully re-working], he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't. Raine must decide to either see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century [huh? Do you mean half millennium? half century is 50 years] and Anastasia's triumphant return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace."

* Caveat - I'm not a romance guy, so if this type of plotting is considered appropriate for the genre, please disregard the following comment... I get a little worried when I see something start with "assigned to kill her," since it sounds like the bad guys are inept and rather two dimensional. Raine's not the president, has no personal security, and the assumption is that her death wouldn't have to look 'natural.' If you want to kill somebody like that, especially if the motive is mystical and therefore not going to be considered by the police, you just bloody shoot them. Wherever. Gas station. Grocery store parking lot. 7-11. Doesn't matter. Random crimes are the hardest to solve, especially with no apparent motive and criminals with literally centuries of experience. There's no reason to make it a complex assignment, or if it's that critical a task, to hand it off to somebody untested. Smart bad guy sends her most experienced killer, he walks up to the lady as she's getting out of her car at Von's and puts a couple rounds into her head from behind. Clan-destroying catastrophe averted.

Having said that, I like the idea of having Roman caught between Raine, his clan, and his own kids. I think it's an interesting set up with lots of potential for conflicts between all the major players. It just takes me out of the setting when bad guys are set up one hand to be menacing and powerful (ancient clan of vampires) but their tactics are overly complex and derpy, making me wonder how they've actually managed to survive this long. Clearly their extermination of Anastasia's coven was more successful, and that against a more resourceful and powerful foe. If there is something special about Raine that prevents direct action against her, it needs to be explained.
"Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." -Carl Sagan

garnell wallace
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 12th, 2012, 12:59 am

Hello Lurking Virologist,
Thank you so much for all your suggestions, I think many of them were very good. There are some choices I'd like to explain though.
LurkingVirologist wrote:Red is something I'd consider deleting, and blue text is linked to [a comment]

"Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was [were] definitely evil.

The black and white her parents taught her to see blur to gray [Her black and white world blurs to gray] after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium was [is] just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to make her an unwilling sacrifice [pet peeve - of course she's unwilling] in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. As she tries to change her fate, Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, has been assigned to kill her* to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven. [Anastasia's vengeance for his clan's massacre of her coven] This suggestion makes it seem to me that Roman had something to do with the massacre, he didn't, it happened half a century before he came to the clan.)
Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and garnered the support of its leader. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat [lots of redundancies here - unbreakable connection...two kids; can't walk away...feelings deepen; etc. you can probably streamline this part quite a bit by carefully re-working], he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't. Raine must decide to either see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century [huh? Do you mean half millennium? half century is 50 years] oops! Will revise! and Anastasia's triumphant return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace."

* Caveat - I'm not a romance guy, so if this type of plotting is considered appropriate for the genre, please disregard the following comment... I get a little worried when I see something start with "assigned to kill her," since it sounds like the bad guys are inept and rather two dimensional. (Roman is not the bad guy, he is the hero, romance novels are about two people who conquer the odds to find their happy-ever-after. He has to be a character who struggles with conflicts but he has to be a good person otherwise Raine nor the reader will not fall for him.)Raine's not the president, has no personal security, and the assumption is that her death wouldn't have to look 'natural.' If you want to kill somebody like that, especially if the motive is mystical and therefore not going to be considered by the police, you just bloody shoot them. Wherever. Gas station. Grocery store parking lot. 7-11. Doesn't matter. Random crimes are the hardest to solve, especially with no apparent motive and criminals with literally centuries of experience. There's no reason to make it a complex assignment, or if it's that critical a task, to hand it off to somebody untested. Smart bad guy sends her most experienced killer, he walks up to the lady as she's getting out of her car at Von's and puts a couple rounds into her head from behind. Clan-destroying catastrophe averted. ( The reason why Roman is assigned to kill Raine is explained in the first chapter of the book but maybe I should make it clear here. Also the book opens with Roman going to kill Raine but something happens that makes him realize he needs to keep her alive for a little longer and during that time his feelings start to develop. I understand your points and if I were writing a thriller or crime novel it would fit, but a romance novel is different and in a query I think the agent is more concerned about the two main characters and the obstacles they have to overcome on the path to true love. It's hard to explain it all in a query but I'll try to rework it to make sure I hit all the major points.)
Having said that, I like the idea of having Roman caught between Raine, his clan, and his own kids. I think it's an interesting set up with lots of potential for conflicts between all the major players. It just takes me out of the setting when bad guys are set up one hand to be menacing and powerful (ancient clan of vampires) but their tactics are overly complex and derpy, making me wonder how they've actually managed to survive this long. Clearly their extermination of Anastasia's coven was more successful, and that against a more resourceful and powerful foe. If there is something special about Raine that prevents direct action against her, it needs to be explained.

garnell wallace
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query revised

Post by garnell wallace » August 12th, 2012, 3:33 pm

Revised Query

Dear Agent,

Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

Her black and white world blurs to gray after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan and must kill Raine to prove himself worthy of a seat on the consul. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't.

Raine must decide to either see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.

gnf
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by gnf » August 12th, 2012, 11:39 pm

Comments in bold.

Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil. [Works better in present tense.]

Her black and white world blurs to gray after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Start with 'When Raine'. Who is the ghost she helps? Anastasia? Name Anastasia after 'a ghost'. If it's not Anastasia, I'm one confused agent. Still Raine fears? Why is she still fearing? We haven't seen an example of what she is already fearing. Raine meets Anastasia how (assuming she's not the ghost Raine has already helped?)? How does Anastasia know of Raine's existence? Because she is Raine's ancestor? If not, whose ancestor? Why must Anastasia sacrifice Raine and not someone else? Would you be seeking solace in the arms of anyone if a ghost was about to sacrifice you? How does Count Roman know about Raine? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just having a hard time with the logic.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back Rewrite deleting on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise [How? Show don't tell] through his clan and must kill Raine [ But why Raine?!?!?!] to prove himself worthy of a seat on the consul. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't.

See the conflict, good. Now just tighten up the wording.

Raine must decide to either whether to see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return. This is a complete left-curve ball. Why is Anastasia returning? Why triumphantly? And what is important about the half century?

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines [Name these] and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the pen-name Jordan Grace.

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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

Hello gnf,
Thanks for your advice on my query. It always helps to have fresh eyes look at something you've read a thousand times. My comments are in red.



Thirty-year-old Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil. [Works better in present tense.]

Her black and white world blurs to gray after Raine helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers she always felt simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Start with 'When Raine'. Who is the ghost she helps? Anastasia? Name Anastasia after 'a ghost'. If it's not Anastasia, I'm one confused agent. Still Raine fears? Why is she still fearing? We haven't seen an example of what she is already fearing. Raine meets Anastasia how (assuming she's not the ghost Raine has already helped?)? How does Anastasia know of Raine's existence? Because she is Raine's ancestor? If not, whose ancestor? Why must Anastasia sacrifice Raine and not someone else? Would you be seeking solace in the arms of anyone if a ghost was about to sacrifice you? How does Count Roman know about Raine? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just having a hard time with the logic. I don't think the ghosts she helps needs a name since it is not a part of the book. It is mentioned only to show the shift in their views about her gift. I will revise and state that she's thirteen when this first happens to further illustrate that it is only a point of reference to show her journey. What she fears is first seeing ghosts and then even after she accepts that she still fears this power she feels deep inside that she knows nothing about. Anastasia is Raine's ancestor, I did mention that, so there is a link and she finds Raine the same way any ghost would find a medium. I don't think those particulars are revelant in a query. I also mentioned why she wants to sacrifice Raine; because of her powers. Also I think she would be in Roman's arms if a ghost was after her! He's trying to help her and in them spending time together they develop feelings for each other.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back Rewrite deleting on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise [How? Show don't tell] Can't tell everything in a query.through his clan and must kill Raine [ But why Raine?!?!?!] Again mentioned in the first paragraph.to prove himself worthy of a seat on the consul. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine. As his feelings deepen and he comes to see Raine as more than a lover and less of a threat, he has to protect her from a slew of vampires thirsty to do what he won't.

See the conflict, good. Now just tighten up the wording.

Raine must decide to either whether to see Roman as a traitor, or to trust him as her savior, all while the clock ticks down the half-century and Anastasia's triumphant return. This is a complete left-curve ball. Why is Anastasia returning? Again first paragraph. Why triumphantly? Will look for better word.And what is important about the half century? Explained in the book.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines [Name these] I don't think it needs to be mentioned.and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the pen-name Jordan Grace.[/quote]

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Query Revision

Post by garnell wallace » August 13th, 2012, 5:12 pm

Here is the revised query.
Any feedback welcome.





Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks solace and advice in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacered Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise through his clan but must kill Raine to prove himself worthy of a seat on the consel. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have been given such an honor. He is a single parent to two mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down the half-millennium and Anastasia's vengeful return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.

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klbritt
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by klbritt » August 13th, 2012, 7:24 pm

This is a vast improvement from the first version you posted - congrats!

I do have some nit picky things to clear up and then a couple other suggestions.

============

Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen, Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. The gray fades to black after [I really don't like this phrase here, it's just too similar to the beginning of the prior sentence.]Raine's world turns upside down when she meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks solace and advice [I would still switch these to: advice and solace - just being nit picky here] in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacered massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has had a meteoric rise [I have no idea what this is, can you explain - outside the query?] through his clan but must kill Raine to prove himself worthy of a seat on the conselcouncil. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't have beenbe given such an honor. He is a single parent to two young mortal little girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down the half-millennium and Anastasia's vengeful returnAnastasia returns with a vengence. [Is Raine immortal? I just don't quite understand the reference here to the half-millennium. Does she somehow overcome time and relive the past 500 years in past lives? I feel that perhaps this conflicts with the otherwise tight query...either expand upon this or possibly take it out...]

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word completed [no need for this as you wouldn't be querying the agent if it wasn't finished] stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.
~Kristie

-: Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx :-

http://www.BKRivers.blogspot.com

garnell wallace
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 14th, 2012, 11:12 am

Hi Kristie,
Thanks again for your wonderful advice. Instead of explaning some of the areas that were a little confusing I decided to just revise them and hopefully now it's better. An agent could have the same reaction you did but I won't get a chance to explain myself and if I have to it means the query still needs work. One note though, the half-millennium referred to 500 years since Anastasia was killed, not to Raine and I can see the sentence is better without it.



Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen, Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. Raine's world turns upside down when she meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks advice and solace in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has risen up the ranks of his clan but must kill Raine to prove himself worthy of a seat on the council. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't be given such an honor. He is a single parent to two young mortal girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down to Anastasia's vengeful return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.

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LurkingVirologist
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 16th, 2012, 1:08 am

I like this version, it flows nicely. One suggestion: your comment earlier implied that something specific happens that prevents Roman from killing Raine, and thus allowing time for his (conflicted) feelings towards her to develop. Is there a way to work that into the query? I feel like it would raise the tension a bit, and bait another plot hook. I don't think you'd necessarily have to be too specific about it.
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garnell wallace
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 16th, 2012, 2:14 pm

LurkingVirologist wrote:I like this version, it flows nicely. One suggestion: your comment earlier implied that something specific happens that prevents Roman from killing Raine, and thus allowing time for his (conflicted) feelings towards her to develop. Is there a way to work that into the query? I feel like it would raise the tension a bit, and bait another plot hook. I don't think you'd necessarily have to be too specific about it.
That is a very good suggestion! I've revised the query a bit and I hope this new addition (in blue) makes it better.


Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen, Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. Raine's world turns upside down when she meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires. Raine seeks advice and solace in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has risen up the ranks of his clan but must bait Raine into embracing her powers thus making her a powerful opponent to prove himself worthy of a seat on the council. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't be given such an honor. He is a single parent to two young mortal girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down to Anastasia's vengeful return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.



Thank you for your consideration.

Garnell Wallace.

geogstacey
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by geogstacey » August 17th, 2012, 11:59 am

Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen, Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. Raine's world turns upside down(that is the most cliche sentence used...be original, I know you have it in you bc this query is awesome) When Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires, Raine seeks advice and solace in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has risen up the ranks of his clan but must bait Raine into embracing her powers thus making her a powerful opponent to prove himself worthy of a seat on the council. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't be given such an honor. He is a single parent to two young mortal girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down to Anastasia's vengeful return. I need more stakes!

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.

Over all, it was really good!

garnell wallace
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Re: Need Help With Query

Post by garnell wallace » August 18th, 2012, 5:32 pm

Hi geogstacey,
Thanks for your advice. Hopefully this raises the stakes without giving too much detail and slowing the flow of the query.

Dear Agent,

Raine Jensen grew up with devoutly religious parents who labeled everything as good or evil, and seeing ghosts was definitely evil.

At thirteen, Raine's black and white world blurs to gray after she helps a ghost bring her killer to justice. Still, even now at thirty, Raine fears being a medium is just one manifestation of the powers simmering just beneath the surface. The delicate balance of her world tilts sharply to the dark side when Raine meets Anastasia, a pissed-off ancestral ghost who wants to sacrifice Raine and harness her powers in order to resurrect her coven and destroy a legion of vampires, Raine seeks advice and solace in the arms of Roman Conti, who, unbeknownst to Raine, plans to kill her to thwart the 500-year-old vendetta made against his clan after it massacred Anastasia's coven.

Raine is not the only one with a target on her back. Roman has risen up the ranks of his clan but must bait Raine into embracing her powers thus making her a powerful opponent to prove himself worthy of a seat on the council. But there are many who feel that as a young vampire with one unbreakable connection to the human world, he shouldn't be given such an honor. He is a single parent to two young mortal girls he just can't walk away from. Nor can he seem to walk away from Raine who he soon sees as more than a lover and less of a threat and he's determined to protect her from the slew of vampires willing to do what he won't.

Raine must decide whether to see Roman as a traitor, or the man she has fallen in love with; all while the clock ticks down to Anastasia's vengeful return.

THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is a 75,000 word stand-alone paranormal romance novel with series potential. I've published short stories with British and American magazines and have two e-books published by Whiskey Creek Press and Phaze Books under the penname Jordan Grace.

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