Query:THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL UpmarketFiction

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bernhard6804
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Query:THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL UpmarketFiction

Post by bernhard6804 » August 30th, 2022, 8:11 am

THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL
Some people run from their lives.
Some people run for their lives.
Refugees know the difference.
When the Privileged meet the Powerless somebody’s life will change.

John Moradi has never felt anything other than American. He is the celebrity chef with the hottest eatery in LA. Out of the blue, his father informs him that John’s cousin, whom he has never met has become a refugee. The boat that has smuggled Hamid Moradi away has vanished off the Australian coast. John seizes the chance to escape his own legal troubles and searches for Hamid. In an Outback Motel he joins a group of strangers. Each of the five guests is there for a purpose. Their secrets, delusions, crimes and magic are exposed. They reveal the difference between the way we picture ourselves and the complexities of who we really are. What happens to Hamid is the catalyst for the transformation of these Motel guests.

Word Count 80,000
‘Big Little Lies’ meets ‘White Lotus’ with speculative elements.
Hello
I am so excited that you nurture debut authors and by the literary themes that you seek in your Manuscript Wishlist! They reflect the ideas conveyed in “The Outback Grace Motel” and makes you my ‘Moon-shot’ agent.
All the mainstays of a Thriller can be found in this character-driven Book Club Fiction manuscript. It contains the search for a vanished refugee, speculative elements, the spirits of the Outback and an attempted (successful?) murder. This manuscript would sit well alongside Hermione Hoby’s “Virtue” with mystical elements, “Nine Perfect Strangers” Liane Moriarty and the scope of themes in Jodi Picoult’s novels. Rather lofty ambitions but I shall let you be the judge.

Synopsis:
THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL
‘If you stay long enough compassion and mercy may just find you here.’

John flees LA to escape the criminal allegation made against him. He heads to the Australian Outback in search of Hamid.
But, is John guilty? Not even he can be sure.
A conflagrating sun rules this red dirt country and a river called Katherine flows through the town. The lonely figures of the Grey-Ghost Gumtrees are the quiet witnesses of this land. They look out accusingly at the razor wire and steel meshed fences of a Refugee Detention Centre. The Outback can be a mysterious and unnerving place. A land where a presence, a shadow not your own, walks in the silence alongside you.
There, John Moradi meets four disparate strangers at a Roadhouse Motel: Bob Everton, the BBC investigative journalist, Kaitlynn Zhang, the human rights lawyer, Scott Hoffnagel, the Refugee Facilities manager and Rebekkah, the activist. Some are there to seek salvation for others, some for themselves.
Hamid tries to hold on to hope amidst the suffocating boredom, the isolation and the threat of violence of the Detention Centre. The refugee has become one of the forsaken. As he meets other detainees his confinement alternately becomes more tolerable and more dangerous to himself.
Peculiar things start to happen around Hamid. Everyone who comes into contact with him experiences some form of change. Before anyone can get to the bottom of Hamid’s alchemical enigma a horrific dust storm envelopes the town. In its aftermath Hamid’s body is located outside the Detention Centre. Suffering heinous injuries, the refugee is put in a medically induced coma.
All of a sudden the Press, the politicians, the public and the police become interested in Hamid’s fate. Who has assaulted him, who has tried to kill him? Is the culprit another refugee or is it a Detention guard? Is there a shadowy intersection of politics and commerce at play?

My name is B*** H****. I am an ex-Chef de Cuisine (Michelin accolade) and a passionate lyricist/songwriter/musician. I have lived in Australia as a migrant for a big part of my life and worked for years in the Middle East.
I fervently hope this story is of interest to you and thank you for your time
sincerely Bernhard Hagen

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GaoYuQing
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Re: Query:THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL UpmarketFiction

Post by GaoYuQing » August 31st, 2022, 8:44 am

Interesting premise. My initial impulse was a Canterbury Tales vibe from your query, though I see its more from your synopsis.

query:
I liked the hook, up until the last line. "When the Privileged meet the Powerless somebody’s life will change"
The term "Privileged/Privilege" is being bandied about a lot of late and carries some political baggage I don't know if you want.
Now this could hurt or help you, I'm not sure which, but there's a chance you could turn some people off with its use, as it seems to advertise that you're making this a political statement, with the story as the vehicle. On the flip side, having read many many agent bios of late, it might be something they latch onto for that very reason. Many agents seem to be very upfront about their personal politics and how that drives their judgment, to an almost cookie-cutter degree. So, might be a good hook for an agent (which is the point of a query) but might turn off readers. Just my two cents.

made some minor changes. added some punctuation, tightened some sentences, you use "has" a lot, which seems a bit passive. Tempted to merge the first two sentences.

John Moradi never felt anything other than American. He is a celebrity chef with the hottest eatery in LA. Out of the blue, his father informs him that John’s cousin, whom he has never met, has become a refugee. The boat smuggling Hamid Moradi has vanished off the Australian coast. John seizes the chance to escape his own legal troubles to search for Hamid. In an Outback Motel he joins a group of strangers. Each of the five guests is there for a purpose. Their secrets, delusions, crimes and magic are exposed. They reveal the difference between the way we picture ourselves and the complexities of who we really are. What happens to Hamid is the catalyst for the transformation of these Motel guests.

synopsis:
From what I've been reading about how to write synopsis lately, you want to tone down your colorful descriptions. Like this one:
"A conflagrating sun rules this red dirt country and a river called Katherine flows through the town. The lonely figures of the Grey-Ghost Gumtrees are the quiet witnesses of this land. They look out accusingly at the razor wire and steel meshed fences of a Refugee Detention Centre. The Outback can be a mysterious and unnerving place. A land where a presence, a shadow not your own, walks in the silence alongside you."

The purpose of a synopsis is to give a slimmed down outline of your story, not an excerpt from it. The colorful language, while nice, is out of place here. To quote them:

"Too much emotional language takes up room in your synopsis. Just give as much detail as is needed."

lundam
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Re: Query:THE OUTBACK GRACE MOTEL UpmarketFiction

Post by lundam » December 18th, 2023, 10:16 pm

Feedback on "The Outback Grace Motel" Query
Strengths:

Intriguing premise: The combination of refugee crisis, Outback Pokemon Infinite Fusion mystery, and personal transformation offers a unique and timely hook.
Compelling characters: The diverse backgrounds and hidden secrets of the motel guests create suspense and potential for development.
Evocative setting: The descriptions of the harsh Australian landscape and the oppressive refugee detention center paint a vivid picture.
Genre blend: Successfully blends elements of thriller, character-driven drama, and speculative fiction.
Areas for Improvement:

Clarity and focus: The synopsis introduces numerous characters and plot threads, making it feel cluttered. Focus on John's search for Hamid and the impact it has on the motel guests.
Suspense and stakes: While intriguing, the synopsis lacks a sense of urgency or immediate danger. Highlight the threat to Hamid and the potential consequences for the other characters.
Speculative elements: Tease the presence of the Outback's "mysterious and unnerving" aspect and how it connects to the characters and plot.
Comparisons: While references to established authors can be helpful, they should be strategic and relevant. Focus on specific qualities that resonate with your own work.
Revision suggestions:

Start with a strong hook that focuses on John's urgency and the search for Hamid.
Introduce the motel guests gradually, highlighting their relevance to the main plot.
Build suspense around Hamid's situation in the detention center and the potential danger he faces.
Emphasize the transformative effect Hamid has on the other characters and the secrets he unearths.
Briefly hint at the "peculiar things" and the Outback's presence, leaving the reader wanting more.
Overall:

"The Outback Grace Motel" has a strong foundation with its complex characters, intriguing setting, and blend of genres. By tightening the focus, building suspense, and further defining Pokemon Fusion the speculative elements, you can create a truly captivating query that will grab agents' attention.

Additional Notes:

It's commendable to mention your chef and music background, but keep it brief and focus on how it shaped your writing voice.
Consider offering a short author bio with relevant publications or achievements.
I hope this feedback helps you revise your query and refine your novel!

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