Friday, May 16, 2008

#27

Dear Query Shark:



Recipe for Disaster, New York City style:
Take one seriously toned single girl. Add a pinch of “please-God-just-kill-me-now” blind dates and some hard core vigilante justice under the cover of darkness. Mix in a handsome cop who should be off-limits and blend violently with a killer skilled in mind-control and focused on destroying New York City. Put on a pair of Manolo Blahniks, your best little red dress, and slam it down.

Alexa Tate is more than human. She can swim underwater without holding her breath, scale a brick building in five seconds flat, and hear the emotions of those about to commit a crime. A secretary by day, she uses her skills to hunt down evil at night. She is stronger, faster, and more lethal than anyone she’s ever met.

Until now.

A non-human hunter has come to town. Using mind-control to inhabit his victims and through them commit unspeakable crimes, the hunter leaves a trail of bodies leading right to Alexa’s door.

Suddenly, Alexa is the prey in an ancient war whose rules she is just beginning to understand.
To stop the hunter and save those she loves, she must uncover the truth about her origins, keep a certain handsome cop from suspecting her of crimes she may have committed, and unleash the tremendous power locked inside of her without becoming what she fears most: a killer.
Living in New York City can be murder.



Shadowing Fate is a paranormal thriller complete at 94,000 words. Thank you for considering my work. I appreciate your time.


Send pages at once.
Do not pause to sleep or eat.

31 comments:

jjdebenedictis said...

I agree. I wasn't wild about the first paragraph, but everything after that slurped me right in. Congratulations on a job well done, writer!

Julia Weston said...

That was great. I'm also a secretary by day, but by night I mostly just cook and chase my toddler around. From the looks of the query, I'd love to read this story - and live vicariously through Alexa.

Congratulations.

nightsmusic said...

ME TOO! I want to read it NOW!! I'm no agent, and not big on contemporaries, but that sounds awesome! I would definitely pick this one up.

Phoenix said...

I've seen this query in a couple of its earlier drafts and each one has just gotten better. It's so great watching a writer hone their writing to this point. That ability to analyze critiques, choose what's really applicable and apply it appropriately is, sadly, a rare talent. Kudos to this author for having the talent and the motivation to take their query to this level. Best of luck!

calendula-witch said...

Oh MAN. That's fantastic.

R. Lyle Wolfe said...

A secretary by day?

With those skills, she could have been a professional athlete for a few years and become the female Bruce Wayne.

Great query, but it'd be better if she acquired (or discovered)her powers later in life.

And I'm sure that this post will survive for about twenty seconds.

Kiersten said...

Seriously cool query. Not my genre preference, but I'd read it.

freecycler said...

Well, I may as well just shoot myself now and save myself years of misery as my query will never be that good nor gripping. Damn!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great query. Great voice. I'd read it.

Amie Stuart said...

LOL I LOVE THIS! It's got everything--a great voice, a great story. Good luck!

Jinx said...

Ok, at first, I thought this was a joke, but I kept reading... This is an awesome query letter! Congrats to the talented writer! You've certainly sold me on the tale. Wow!

jjdebenedictis said...

R. Lyle Wolfe said:
And I'm sure that this post will survive for about twenty seconds.

Why? You think your comments are that edgy? Opinions with bite are hardy disallowed here. I mean...you have met our gracious hostess, right?

Over there? The one with the double row of serrated teeth?

Janet Reid said...

Comments are ruthlessly moderated.

talpianna said...

You mean Ruth the Moderator quit?

I agree this sounds great--but what element would you stress most in marketing it? Paranormal? Mystery? Romance? It sounds like it would fit right in with the Kim Harrison/Patricia Briggs/C.E. Murphy (and possibly) Laurell K. Hamilton) crowd.

R. Lyle Wolfe said...

Janet, I'm laughing right now.
The inside joke is that she just deleted my last comment.

Melissa Biemans said...

Congats.

I wasn't crazy about the "pinch of this, dash of that" but the rest made up for it.

There's hope for the rest of us yet.

jjdebenedictis said...

Oh, I see! My apologies, R. Lyle Wolfe. I just didn't hear the cries of "SHARK ATTACK IN THE COMMENT TRAIL!!" last time you lost a limb, er, comment.

C.J. Redwine said...

Wow. I am thrilled at the positive response to this query...and yes, this is the fourth incarnation and I admit to shuddering any time I read the first two.

Thanks for the comments! Hopefully you'll be able to find Alexa's story in a book store near you soon. :)

beth said...

The best part about this query, IMO, is that the voice of the writing shone through. It wasn't the formulaic this-then-this, but it was in a style that gives a sense of what I hope the book's voice is. Well done!

ChrisEldin said...

I love the voice!! I'd definitely read this one!

Julie Weathers said...

Janet, I'm laughing right now.
The inside joke is that she just deleted my last comment.~

*Giggles like a schoolgirl*

That is a seriously good query.

shreela said...

THIS!

BuffySquirrel said...

Score!

I'm not sure you "hear" emotions, but who am I to talk. I shall just drivel on for a bit so Sharky gets bored reading this and won't bother even to think about deleting it because it's so dull.

talpianna said...

I agree with Buffy; I think "sense emotions" would work better. But one wrong word doth not a fabulous query destroy!

Lexi said...

A book blurb that includes anything along the lines of 'the protagonist must uncover the truth/face her deepest fear/track down those responsible' etc. etc. is utilising the most common cliché around.

I'm a beta member of Authonomy, so am currently reading a lot of summaries of novels; and I've seen this phrase so often it's become an old friend.

Lehcarjt said...

Like everyone else, I thought this was great. However I read the first line incorrectly at first. My version:

Take one seriously stoned single girl.

Can I have that version? It made me snort water.

Beth said...

OK, that first paragraph can go -- it's just confusing -- but from the first sentence of the second paragraph I was hooked. This query rocks. It does everything right.

talpianna said...

Take one seriously stoned single girl.

Can I have that version? It made me snort water.


Well, if you want to read about Britney Spears, it's your funeral.

Merc said...

Can't say I'm thrilled with the idea of yet another kickass heroine in the paranormal/urban fantasy side of things, but EXCELLENT query! You captured the voice and tone well.

I agree with Lexi's comment on the one line--we can seriously do without it by now, IMHO. I wasn't super-grabbed by the opener, either (personal preference), but all that aside, I can still see why Query Shark likes it.

Good job and good luck! :)

~Merc

Molli said...

Great query! May I post it on my website? I'm a former publisher, now a publishing coach, helping writers learn how to write effective queries, synopses and first pages. Check it out at www.getpublishednow.biz. Thanks for your consideration of my request.

C.J. Redwine said...

Sure thing, Molli. =)