Friday, June 14, 2013

Query Letter Available for Shredding

Here it is... the query letter for my latest manuscript. I've been sitting on it for a week, made some changes and am ready to open it up to hacking my my beloved writing community. Any and all comments welcome. (Especially the ones that say, "Perfect. Wouldn't change a thing!"... yeah, I don't think I'll get those, either!

Here you go:

REPLAY, a 76,000 word YA ghost story is Mean Girls meets A Christmas Carole. It can stand alone but also has trilogy potential.

Seventeen year old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an over-zealous arch angel, who has grown tired of the white wings and harps and the Hawaiian-shirt wearing Death Himself, who isn’t about to give up his control over the newly departed without a fight.

While she waits the decision of the Tribunal, a three-angel panel charged with determining whether her life is worth rewinding the history of the world, RJ wanders through the afterlife where she meets the Cornhole-playing St. Peter, Al, the handler for the 3-headed Hound of Hell, and her Guardian Angel who doesn’t seem to like her very much. Finally, the Angels present her with two options: She can remain in the Lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires or she can replay three moments in her life, aided by three departed souls, in an effort to make different choices that will produce a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no brainer. She’ll take the walk down memory lane. How hard can it be?


But with each moment, RJ begins to change her life until the self-proclaimed Queen Bee is a social pariah and she begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. 

3 comments:

  1. Yes! Hurry up and get an agent already.

    I’m boring, because my changes are always spelling, punctuation, etc. Dan is the one who’s great at conceptual changes ☺. I made some tweaks and marked some questions.

    REPLAY, a 76,000 word YA ghost story, is Mean Girls meets A Christmas Carol. It can stand alone, but also has trilogy potential.

    Seventeen year old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an over-zealous archangel — who has grown tired of white wings and harps — and the Hawaiian-shirt wearing Death himself, who isn’t about to give up his control over the newly departed without a fight.

    While she awaits the decision of the Tribunal, a three-angel panel charged with determining whether her life warrants rewinding the history of the world, RJ wanders through the afterlife, where she meets the Cornhole-playing St. Peter; Al, the handler for the 3-headed Hound of Hell; and her Guardian Angel, who doesn’t seem to like her very much. Finally, the Angels [do you use this as a title in the book? If not, lower case it] present her with two options: She can remain in the Lobby with other souls waiting to be processed, until her original lifeline expires — or she can replay three moments in her life, aided by three departed souls, in an effort to make different choices to produce a future they deem worthy of saving.

    It’s a no-brainer. She’ll take the walk down memory lane. How hard can it be?

    But with each moment, RJ’s life changes — until the self-proclaimed Queen Bee [question: is this RJ? A little vague] becomes a social pariah. Before long, she begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if it means spending the next sixty years as an outcast.

    QUESTION: “her life is worth rewinding the history of the world” — it’s not super-clear why her life would cause them to rewind WORLD history. I think I know what you mean — that if they decide her life has enough value, they’ll turn back time and change the outcome — but when you say “world history” it seems to throw me a little and seems like it would change thousands of years, not just one lifetime-worth.

    NOTE: Do you need to call it a “ghost story”? Again, I get it, but to me that conjures up (conjures — get it?!) spooky things hiding in closets, not this other world. Angels aren’t ghosts — but are the three departed you mention? Again, though, I don’t know what’s in your book to know what makes more sense. Those are just my thoughts.

    Good luck!

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