Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

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Tara Queries
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Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by Tara Queries » February 19th, 2010, 9:16 am

Thank you for your feedback, in advance. This is my first novel and my first time to query an agent, so feedback of the more knowledgeable/expereinced is much appreciated.

Dear Awesome Agent,

Eighteen-year-old Amelia never imagined her afterlife would be like this: wandering unseen through the wooded mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, armed with no memories of her life and doomed to continually relive the final moments of her death. Add the fact she’s been wearing the same outdated dress for at least a decade, and she’s pretty sure she’s wound up in some nasty version of teenage purgatory.

Amelia’s afterlife is forever altered on the night she saves a boy from drowning in the very river in which she died. She suddenly finds herself haunting an all-too-willing Joshua Mayhew, who not only sees her, but also seems determined to reintroduce her to the world of the living. Despite Joshua’s dogged optimism, Amelia knows that their growing romance faces a few unusual hurdles. As the pair deals with problems that range from her patchy memory to the glorious disaster of their first kiss – how does one make out with a ghost, exactly? – Amelia can’t help but feel alive, especially when she begins to recall the details of her life and her mysterious death on High Bridge Road.

But someone doesn’t want Amelia to remember her life – or her death. A malevolent spirit has long been watching Amelia from the shadows. Now, it’s decided to make a final play for control of Amelia’s afterlife, and it doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. Amelia must find a way to stop this spirit, before it makes good on its threats against Joshua. After all, only one thing could be worse than teenage purgatory itself: watching someone you love get sent there.

HEREAFTER, my 87,000 word YA paranormal romance, is intended to be the first in a trilogy. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing from the University of Oklahoma, and I currently work as an attorney for an energy company.

Please contact me if you would like to review the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Me

CoachMT
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by CoachMT » February 19th, 2010, 10:53 am

Tara Queries wrote: Eighteen-year-old Amelia never imagined her afterlife would be like this: wandering unseen through the wooded mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, armed with no memories of her life and doomed to continually relive the final moments of her death. Add the fact she’s stuck wearing the same outdated dress for eternity, and she’s pretty sure she’s wound up in some nasty version of teenage purgatory. Okay, nitpicky here but just an observation: If she has no memories of her life, how does she know she never imagined it like this?

Amelia’s afterlife is forever altered on the night she saves a boy from drowning in the very river in which she died. She suddenly finds herself haunting an all-too-willing Joshua Mayhew, who not only sees her, but is also seems determined to reintroduce her to the world of the living. Despite Joshua’s dogged optimism, Amelia knows that their growing romance faces a few unusual hurdles. As the pair deals with problems that range from her patchy memory to the glorious disaster of their first kiss – how does one make out with a ghost make out, exactly? (From her point of view) – Amelia can’t help but feel alive, especially when she begins to recall the details of her life and her mysterious death on High Bridge Road. Thought she died in a river

But someone doesn’t want Amelia to remember her life – or her death. A malevolent spirit has long been watching Amelia from the shadows. Now, it’s decided to make a final play for control of Amelia’s afterlife (soul maybe? what would it gain from control of an afterlife?), and it doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. Amelia must find a way to stop this spirit, before it makes good on its threats against Joshua. After all, only one thing could be worse than being in teenage purgatory itself: watching someone you love get sent there.

HEREAFTER, my 87,000 word YA paranormal romance, is intended to be the first in a trilogy. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing from the University of Oklahoma, and I currently work as an attorney for an energy company.

Please contact me if you would like to review the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Me
Overall, I think this is excellent. My notes are just observations and some minor technical questions. You're well on your way from what I see, good luck! Please have a look at mine viewtopic.php?f=12&t=881 and give me some feedback. Thanks! *** Edit: Have you googled the title? Seems like I recall something very similar recently title-wise... may just be my fuzzy memory.
Last edited by CoachMT on February 19th, 2010, 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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maybegenius
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by maybegenius » February 19th, 2010, 10:58 am

I like this! It's interesting, conveys your plot, and has a good hook. I do think you could tighten it in places and make it a little snappier. For example:

"Eighteen-year-old Amelia never imagined her afterlife would be like this: wandering unseen through the woods with no memories of her life and doomed to continually relive the final moments of her death. She's been wearing the same outdated dress for the last decade, so she's pretty sure she's in some nasty version of teenage purgatory."

Read it out loud to yourself to see if any of the sentences are too convoluted or long, and trim them accordingly. Other than that, I think it's pretty good! It lays out your main character, her opposition, her stakes, and the overall plot.
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Tara Queries
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by Tara Queries » February 19th, 2010, 1:56 pm

Fantastic suggestions, Coach and Genius! I'm awfully new at this, but I'd love to provide my feedback on your queries as well!

bcomet
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by bcomet » February 19th, 2010, 4:29 pm

I like this very much just as you wrote it.

lachrymal
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by lachrymal » February 19th, 2010, 4:55 pm

I have to say, this query made me smile! It made me want to read the book! The earlier suggestions for cleaning it up are good--I also did a double take about the death in the river vs. on High Bridge road. And I don't think you need to say that you're an attorney in your query, as that's not really relevant to the book (like it would be if you were writing a legal thriller or something like that).

Overall, I'd say this query is thisclose to being ready! Fantastic!

Tara Queries
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by Tara Queries » February 19th, 2010, 6:04 pm

I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments today. I took your advice and a big risk, and sent out a revised query to just a few agents. And...I just got my first full MS request! Even if it ultimately results in a rejection, I think I might explode from excitement. I intend to return to this forum often, both to seek your advice and provide my own, newbie comments if you want 'em!

bcomet
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Re: Query: HEREAFTER, YA Paranormal Romance

Post by bcomet » February 19th, 2010, 9:13 pm

Congratulations. Keep us informed on your progress. Best of wishes!

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