Query critique 11/30/23

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: Pasadena, CA

Query critique 11/30/23

Post by Nathan Bransford » November 27th, 2023, 2:50 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.

Dear [insert agent],

I am writing to you due to your MSWL desire for own voices stories and a history of representing mystery/thriller novels. At 55,000 words my novel, Invisible Illness, it is a stand-alone story with serial potential. Similar to Knecht’s Who Is Vera Kelly? the story follows an unusual protagonist in spycraft.

Invisible Illness is a James Bond style spy novel à la Stephanie Plum. In it, Carissa Wolfe’s chronic illness makes her an odd fit for CIA field agent. Her superiors, especially the perpetually grumpy Chief Farran, think it makes her a liability. But when their attempt to sideline her goes awry, her snarky attitude and personal familiarity with the medical-industrial complex may just be the best asset they have. With her perfectly predictable agency handler, Jordan Killian, as backup she’ll have to navigate mole hunts, poisonings, fashionistas, and dating in order to keep her job and save the world from an all-new bioweapon.

Colored by my experience as an MS and fibromyalgia patient, Invisible Illness avoids the ableist trap of suggesting the main character can “push through” or “rise above” their condition. I would be excited to have an agent like you who values this characteristic.

As Dr. Samantha Howe, I’ve authored a number of nonfiction works. As Anne Johnston, my short fiction has been selected as a finalist in the 2023 Hackathon contest and been published in several anthologies: Broken Promises (2020), Desiderium (2021), Dead of Winter (2022), and Untold Stories (2023).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Samantha Howe
Writing as Anne Johnston

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