Friday, April 18, 2008


Att: Janet Reid
FinePrint Literary Management
240 West 35th Street, Suite 500
New York, NY 10001

Dear Ms. Reid:

Casey Wilson and Sam Altair were strangers, but a botched experiment in time travel has thrown them together with no one else to turn to. They are trapped one hundred years in the past, alone on the streets of Belfast, Ireland in 1906. With their old lives lost forever, the young college girl and elderly physicist must build new lives, while worrying how their existence in the past will change the future.

But a famous tragedy becomes personal when Casey meets Thomas Andrews, the man that Sam recognizes will build the doomed steamship, Titanic. In love with Tom, and determined to save his life, Casey will do everything she can to prevent history's most notorious maritime accident.

I hope you will consider representation for this alternate history novel. The Time Travel Journals: Thomas Andrews of Dunallon is complete at 150,000 words. This is my first novel.
Thank you for your time and for your consideration of this proposal. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


This is a model of brevity for sure! I'd probably ask for pages if you didn't include them with the query, but I'd also be asking for a synopsis too. This one is going to depend entirely on the writing.


Stijn Hommes said...

The whole idea of someone trying to stop the Titanic disaster intrigues me. (Every time I see the movie, I hope for an alternative history to kick in). The title, however, doesn't really attract me and the word count is a bit on the high side (admittedly, I have no idea what the going rate is in the genre). You might want to see if you can do a bit of trimming.

Nancy Beck said...

I'd agree with stijn - isn't the word count a little high? (I know SF/Fantasy has higher word counts than many genres, but even 150K is for SF/Fantasy is steep.)

I'm working on a time travel novel, although there's no change in any large-scale event like yours (but on a personal level - tons of changes!)

Sounds like it might be fascinating. Good luck with it.

Nancy Beck said...

Jeez - talk about getting my fingers in a knot.

What I meant to say was that, "even 150K for SF/Fantasy is steep."

Lousy fingers.

Merry Monteleone said...

You know, I'd worry about the word count, too, except that they did such a good job in the query of sticking exactly to the point - I think that might be a good indication that they know how to edit out the extranneous in the ms.

I'd definitely read the first few pages if I ran across this in the book store, and if they hold me, I'm buying it.

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

I would SO read that despite word count. That just sounds so romantic and tragic...I'll bet it's a beautiful novel.


none said...

150k is pushing it for a first novel, or so I hear. Try trimming it to 120k? I also hear that if you're pitching SF, it's best to present it as "SF that can be sold as Fantasy", F being the bigger seller in SFF at present. Let's say a little bird told me :).

I think "the young college girl and _the_ elderly physicist" would work better for me; otherwise it looks for a second as if they're the same person. Presumably they're not!

I love time travel stories, but I agree with those who've said the title isn't very alluring. Most people have heard of the Titanic, but I'm not sure how many of those people would recognise Thomas Andrews as the ship's designer. I'd stick Titanic in the title. After all, it's likely to be changed when the book sells anyway.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated. I'd give this one I try if I came across it in a book store. Though I agree the title doesn't really call to me.

Kathryn Hupp-Harris said...

I've never been much of a fan of books set in an era prior to the 1950s, but this sounds like an awesome story. I'd read it.