Query critique 7/9/20

Offer up your page (or query) for Nathan's critique on the blog.
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Nathan Bransford
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Joined: December 4th, 2009, 11:17 pm
Location: New York, NY

Query critique 7/9/20

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 6th, 2020, 12:22 pm

Want to see how your editing approach compares to mine?

Below is the query up for critique on the blog on Thursday. Feel free to chime in with comments, create your own redline (please note the "font colour" button above the posting box, which looks like a drop of ink), and otherwise offer feedback. When offering your feedback, please please remember to be polite and constructive. In order to leave a comment you will need to register an account in the Forums, which should be self-explanatory.

I'll be back with my own post on the blog and we'll literally be able to compare notes.

If you'd like to enter a query for a future Query Critique, please do so here.

Hello, Nathan.
The following is my Query for my completed Adult Suspense Fiction novel. Thank you very much for your assistance in getting this Query presentable. My address, phone number, and email are on at the top right corner. Then the query begins:

Dear Jessica,

When I read that you were looking for Suspense and commented, “I want twists, turns, and surprises.” I knew I could introduce you to FOOTSTEPS FORGED, my completed 93,700-word Suspense fiction manuscript of an estranged father and son reunion that takes place in a misbehaving Pennsylvania forest. Their reconciliation becomes complicated by a deranged bear, an urban legend, and a woman that as fallen out of the sky.

On the tenth anniversary of his wife’s death, ANGELO CREDENTE, a stubborn seventy-year-old man who refers to his gliomas, as the “rocks in his head,” finds a strange woman sitting in his bedroom’s rocking chair. Hallucination? He stopped his medication. A prank? The October’s full moon kicks-off the yearly haunting of the local Kara Cha legend. A visitation? He doesn’t believe in spirits or demons or angels. A guilty conscience? It’s his last chance at forgiveness for his wife’s death.

MATTHEW ‘MATTY’ CREDENTE, his wayward son, lost his money in a rigged poker game, and his girlfriend burned down his apartment. Using the hide-a-key, he creeps into his father’s house. He’ll confront his old man in the morning. Except. The following day, Matty wakes to find he’s alone. A note found among the camping equipment challenges him to “Come, follow me.”

Hours apart, Angelo and Matty have their journeys. Matty begrudges hiking on their favorite trail to bring back his father. His teenage wilderness skills, buried by adulthood, save him the first night. When he meets the exploited would-be actress and her manipulative boyfriend-director, on the hunt to prove the urban legend, Matty’s skills come to their rescue. After a bear attack, Matty treats the actress for shock and wounds. Guided by the full moon’s light is the victimized mixed-race female Park Ranger, who believes is being chased by her assailant. She barges into Matty’s tent while the bear is on the prowl. Miles away, Angelo helps a hiker with a sprained ankle. He recognizes her as the woman from his bedroom. Each time Angelo tries to escape her, the forest brings him back to her. And, each time, the mystery woman probes the penitent Angelo with the memory of his wife. Is she Kara’s ghost? His wife’s avenging friend? An Angel? Death?

All trails lead to Sagemore, the abandoned village where the urban legend began. Another one is about to be made. The Ranger, perceived as the criminal of her attack, is met by the Sheriff and his men. Guns are drawn. Shots fired. Fifteen times. When it’s over, a phenomenon, performed by the mystery woman, changes everyone’s truths. For Angelo, his gift saves a life. Forgiving saves his.

Written in the third person, Beta readers commented that FOOTSTEPS FORGED had the elements of the hit show, EVIL. The logical and the supernatural can explain the action in the story that involves characters inspired by current movements. This is my first novel. I write as M. E. Marino.

Thank you for your time with my query. I am submitting the first chapter as requested on your website. I look forward to the opportunity of presenting the completed manuscript to you.

Best regards,
Michael E. Marino

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