I'm interested right away because the Loyalist perspective is different than the usual POV I see in historical novels. What puzzles me is that he's banished for his refusal to embrace the rebellion. A lot of Loyalists lived in the Colonies right up to the end of the war. It wasn't a crime to be a Loyalist. So, why is he banished? And why does he blame his neighbor?
NEW: There's a comment below that talks about the laws in Connecticut specifically. Including THAT specific info in this query will strengthen it.
NEW: I've seen this kind of thing before in historicals: a fact that isn't well known is the basis for a plot or a character. I read it and wonder if it's accurate. A line of explanation in the query letter would have been really useful.
(Loyalist info link here)
A couple more sentences here will help set the scene, maybe even just a few more words.
He engineers a daring escape, and as the smallpox epidemic of 1775-76 stalks the countryside, he makes his way home. He intends to retrieve his savings and take refuge with his brother on Long Island. (Fully half of New York is Loyalist so this makes sense)
I am a former radio and TV news reporter with an Emmy nomination for feature writing. I now work for the public library in (redacted), and sit on the executive board of the (redacted) Library Association. I believe Both Sides Burning will appeal to readers who enjoyed the adventure and romance of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.
whoa. Hang on here. Outlander is set in Scotland in the 1700's right? It's about time travel, isn't it? This seems like a jarring comparison.
***After reading the comments section, I'm going to change my advice here. If you want to compare it to Diana Gabaldon's books you might consider adding that the later books in her series are historicals set in this time period. I don't think you can assume agents know that (I read the first books in the series several years back so I had the wrong impression here)
Both Sides Burning is my first novel. It is 139,000 words.
Yowza! 139,000 words is about 39,000 too many. I'm going to STRONGLY suggest that you get someone with an eye for slicing, dicing and paring to take a good look at this. Even if you like long ass books (and historicals can run long, this can probably be chopped by 20,000 words and be an easier sell)
You don't need these sentences. Use the space for more description in the first paragraph.
Thank you for your consideration.
I'd probably read pages on this one but I'm concerned that it's too long and there's not enough story. I like the concept though.