Tuesday, April 29, 2008

#15

Dear Query Shark:

Architect Ryan Friedricks wanted to add some excitement to his life. He found it. Now it may kill him.

In FAKE, a 77,000-word novel of intrigue, Ryan meets pretty tourist Laurie Carson in Florence, a city that has seen six hundred years of deceit and double-crossing. He takes her to bed and wakes up with his life turned upside-down. Laurie tells him she’s investigating a scam that separates Holocaust survivors from their Nazi-looted art. She persuades Ryan to help her by impersonating a wealthy art collector with his sights set on an extraordinary stolen portrait. But once Ryan finds himself in the middle of a Russian gang war, targeted by a police death squad, followed, beaten, bugged, and hijacked,he and discovers Laurie lied about everything – everything – after she said “Hello.”

FAKE will appeal to fans of the classic “innocent man” story epitomized by North by Northwest and Alan Furst’s The World at Night and Kingdom of Shadows.

The completed manuscript of FAKE, 77,000 words, is available for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,


The heck with critiquing this. Send pages at once.

18 comments:

Joel Sparks said...

Wow. Score for somebody!

freecycler said...

Good stuff! I like it when somebody scores!
:)
Jean

Amie Stuart said...

Me likey too!

BuffySquirrel said...

woot!

Dave F. said...

It's a very tried and true story. Always a fun time when a guy takes a pretty woman to bed and she turns out to be filled with deceit. There's always a fun time when a love-struck boob starts running for his life because she's tricked him.

The query is right there, all the elements in their proper place, succinct, to the point and easily understood. If the novel is written in the style of the query - plain, straightforward, compact English, - that's a winner. That's why style matters in a query.

Conduit said...

I have to agree with the others, this packs a punch. Well done to the author.

Word verification: Powhu - exactly what this query had. :)

beth said...

Score! Good job!

jjdebenedictis said...

Congratulations to the writer!

And obviously I'm not the target audience for this, because I didn't find the query very intriguing. I feel like I don't know enough about the story to really be hooked by the scenario.

All the same, who cares? It's the agent's opinion that counts! Great work, writer. :-D

Josephine Damian said...

Kudos to the querier! Let's hope it leads to bigger and better things.

Margaret Yang said...

Solid query in the right genre to the right agent at the right time.

We have a winner!

Margaret Yang said...

Ohhh, and did anybody else notice that the author listed no previous publishing credits?

Just goes to show ya...

Ken said...

I find it interesting that Janet did not say anything about the references to other books. Is this a standard bit for a query letter? If so, should I mention the DVC in my query #14 or will it turn off an agent?

Amie Stuart said...

>>If so, should I mention the DVC in my query #14 or will it turn off an agent?

OUt of curiosity, I'd like to hear Janet weigh in on this too. I almost wonder with a mega-bestseller like TVC if the comparison could be more of a hindrance than a help whereas the reference to a Hitchcock classic seems to work in this particular query.

ChrisEldin said...

Put me down in the YAY column as well!!
Very nice!

Lehcarjt said...

This is the first time a "will appeal to readers of..." type statement in a query has ever worked for me. I think the reason it does work is because I don't feel like the writer is saying his book is either similar to the named stories or some kind of hybrid. He's saying that Fake is an 'innocent man' story in the same way that NbyNW is and 'innocent man' story. Wow! That gives me a really good picture.

She's Lost Angeles said...

Always nice to see a positive example! Congrats and here's hoping.

To Ken: What I've heard from agents is that comparisons to DVC or HP don't do the querier any favors. Even if you're in the same genre, Brown and Rowling are so wildly successful they're really sui generis.

You'd do better to have a comparison to other, more modestly successful works in the genre. Just my .02 based on conversations with others in the biz.

JDuncan said...

Ok, Janet, I'm curious. What was the grabber in this query? Is it the concept? Was it the 'innocent man' comparison combined with the setup? As far as queries go, this seems to me to leave out just what's at stake here. Is it one of those things where there's just enough interesting elements listed that you are intrigued to find out more? Of course, if that's the case, that's really all a writer needs to do, because no matter how incomplete the query may be, if you want to read more the writer has done their job well enough.

Janet Reid said...

I liked the writing. It's crisp and clear. It has energy.

I can fill in the blanks pretty easily on the plot that wasn't there, and I'm always ready to read a story about art.