Query Critique 9: Vestige

10 Feb

Dear Dream Agent,

(Paragraph about why I am contacting this particular agent eg blog, interview, etc)

Tess Garibaldi is a flight attendant turned Indiana Jones in high heels. Her past collides with the present when she discovers she’s a Vestige–a reincarnated soul sent to protect civilizations. Haunted by the failure in a past life to save her Incan soul mate and his people, Tess sets out to destroy the Trinity Necklace, an Incan artifact that causes death by incurable disease.

To end the destructive powers of the relic forever, Tess must find and stop the enemy from her past and present lives and reunite with her reincarnated Incan lover. With a handsome anthropologist and dodgy ex-husband as the only candidates for mate or foe, Tess must choose wisely. Given her history of disastrous relationship decisions, choosing between the men she loves won’t be easy. But if she doesn’t get it right, Tess will not only lose her soul mate forever, the wrong choice could set off a chain of destruction.

VESTIGE is an 83,000 word romantic adventure manuscript with mythical elements as evoked by Jessica Andersen’s Final Prophecy series, and ancient historical romance reminiscent of Michelle Moran.

I have worked as a mountain guide in Argentina and tour leader in Peru, specializing in Incan history. I am a member of RWA, Australian Society of Authors and Sisters in Crime. I am on the committee organizing the 2011 RWA Australia conference and I write a regular blog on the Novel Adventurers. Currently I am working on a novel set in Argentina.

As per the guidelines of your agency, I have (attached or pasted, whatever the agency guidelines are). Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Alli Sinclair

~~~

First of all, I think your story sounds great! I love a good adventure, and I love a strong woman who can fight in heels. There aren’t enough of those stories, if you ask me.

My first suggestion would be to move your first paragraph (the one about why you’re contacting the agent) to the end. It’s not wrong to leave it where it is, but I think the query would read stronger if you just jumped right in.

I’m a little confused, though. There are a lot of characters hinted at in your query, only one of which is given a name. Tess. Is the man she’s trying to save separate from the handsome anthropologist and her ex-husband? And who is this enemy from her past and present lives? I would suggest focusing the query on Tess and the man she’s supposed to end up with, whomever that may be. It’s important for the reader to identify with the main couple in a romance, so make sure you mention his name in the query.

I like your ‘about me’ paragraph. It shows that you have personal experience dealing with the things mentioned in your book, and it never hurts to be a member of RWA or a similar organization. I would, however, suggest you cut the mention of your current project; you’re trying to sell VESTIGE, not what comes next. Also, in the previous paragraph, you can just say it’s an 83,000 word romantic adventure — the mention of ‘manuscript’ isn’t necessary since the agent already knows that’s what you’re querying.

Overall, nice job! Good luck!

~~~

Notes in blue!

Dear Dream Agent,

(Paragraph about why I am contacting this particular agent eg blog, interview, etc)

Tess Garibaldi is a flight attendant turned Indiana Jones in high heels Love it!. Her past collides with the present when she discovers she’s a Vestige–a reincarnated soul sent to protect civilizations. Haunted by the failure in a past life to save her Incan soul mate and his people, Tess haunted how? does she have flashbacks? nightmares? or is “haunted” used more metaphorically and she just knows about this and thinks about it? sets out to destroy the Trinity Necklace, an Incan artifact that causes death by incurable disease Any specific one? Or does it just cause people to develop a random incurable disease? If the former, even if it’s a made up disease, if there are any unique symptoms (people are turning purple! oh no! :P), then mentioning it might help us get a more visual/tactile feel on the story .

To end the destructive powers of the relic forever, Tess must find and stop the enemy is this enemy a man? a malevolent spirit? from her past and present lives and reunite with her reincarnated Incan lover how does reuniting with her lover stop the relic?. With a handsome anthropologist and dodgy ex-husband as the only candidates for mate or foe, Tess must choose wisely Wait, so one is the enemy and the other is her reincarnated love? Do the men know which is which?. Given her history of disastrous relationship decisions, choosing between the men she loves won’t be easy. But if she doesn’t get it right, Tess will not only lose her soul mate forever, the wrong choice could set off a chain of destruction Bit confused as to how, but if the reason for this is really complicated and long, you might be right in leaving it out.

VESTIGE is an 83,000 word romantic adventure manuscript with mythical elements as evoked by Jessica Andersen’s Final Prophecy series, and ancient historical romance reminiscent of Michelle Moran.

I have worked as a mountain guide in Argentina and tour leader in Peru, specializing in Incan history. I am a member of RWA, Australian Society of Authors and Sisters in Crime. I am on the committee organizing the 2011 RWA Australia conference and I write a regular blog on the Novel Adventurers. Currently I am working on a novel set in Argentina.

As per the guidelines of your agency, I have (attached or pasted, whatever the agency guidelines are). Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Alli Sinclair

Overall, I thought this was great 🙂

–Kat Zhang


Advertisements

3 Responses to “Query Critique 9: Vestige”

  1. sdennard February 10, 2011 at 10:41 AM #

    I love the premise behind this story! You had me at “Indiana Jones”! 😀 😀

  2. Alli March 15, 2011 at 11:58 PM #

    Somehow I missed this! Thank you so much for the encouraging and very help comments. I appreciate your time and effort and I’ll be tweaking this for future queries. Thank you again!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Query Critique 9: Vestige « Let The Words Flow -- Topsy.com - February 10, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Eshbaugh, Let The Words Flow. Let The Words Flow said: The 9th query critique of QUERY WEEK! http://t.co/GSf0XtH #amwriting #writing #queries […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: