Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #6

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my 93,000 word adult urban fantasy novel, RAVENOUS DUSK.

Necromancer Blake Killan has the glamorous job of Dusk nullification: de-possessing people inhabited by ghosts of the dead. Dealing with possessed people who go on murderous rampages, and those whose original souls can’t be found, leaving their bodies permanently possessed, are added perks. Things change when she meets Kieran, an infuriatingly gorgeous demon who informs Blake that he is Reaper and she is his vessel, meant to help him channel Dusks into the Underworld.

Because nullification makes Dusks nonexistent, there’s a Dusk shortage in the Underworld, which means weakened barriers that can’t keep their creatures at bay. Blake thinks the demons would desire hell on earth, but soon realizes why the Underworld must keep their monsters locked away. And the more she’s forced to help Kieran, the more she finds herself tangled up in demon politics, which include nightmarish trips to the Underworld.

As Blake struggles with her detest for her role as Kieran’s vessel, and the magnetic pull she feels towards him, she and her partner are put at the head of a murder investigation involving Dusk possessed humans. Blake will follow the trail directly to the power hungry Witch’s Council, whose hidden agenda has been endangering necromancers, and getting on the wrong side of the Underworld’s leaders. Blake will also discover that Kieran is withholding information that could jeopardize her life, and a dangerous risk could cause her partner to lose his soul forever.

RAVENOUS DUSK is based in New York City, and has the potential to be a series, but can stand alone. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
A.M.


RAVENOUS DUSK

The room was spinning, no wait, maybe I was the one spinning. I stopped and wobbled onto a bar stool.

“You know, it pisses me off that I live in a world where people just don’t go away when they die,” I said. “I mean, isn’t death supposed to be the ultimate end? The grand finale? The Big Bang?”

“Actually, the Big Bang is that theory by scientists about the formation of the universe…”

“Now, Liam? Really?” I said, glaring at him.

“Sorry, I forgot logic isn’t welcome during ‘drunken times with Blake’.”

“Exactly. Now, where was I?” I got up again and started pacing. Liam was sitting hunched over the one beer he’d been nursing for the past hour, and watched as I chugged the rest of my beer, then demanded another from the bartender.

“Raving about people not being gone when they die,” Liam said dully. He actually took a drink; I must really be annoying the h*** out of him tonight.

“Right! What’s with all the d*** ghosts Liam? Did you know when I was twelve my grandmother’s ghost decided to jump into some old lady, ring my doorbell, and offer me candy from her purse?”

“Yes, I knew…”

“But she was in an Asian lady’s body! That was my first clue something was off.”

“Maybe the first clue should have been that you already knew she was dead,” Liam said around a yawn.

3 comments:

The Agent said...

Your query feels long. This is a combination of long sentences and a complicated world that isn't clearly explained (I also had to read it twice to make sure Blake was a girl and Kieran was a boy). I also worry about you telling me later that it's set in New York--I worry that this telling will also be in your ms. If it's that important, say it when you're describing the world.

Sample Page: I would keep reading only to get past the dialogue and into narrative to better judge the voice. Using dialogue in your opening scene like this is borderline telling (not showing).

Jessica said...

The query: I felt like I was reading excerpts from a text book. I am not sure if you need to spell it out so much in the query. Make the agent curious as to what the glamorous job of dusk nullification really is. And i also agree that your character names are very confusing.

The first page:Wow lot's of dialogue... And even with the dialogue I still feel like your telling. It seems obvious that Liam is not interested but Blake keeps telling him about the incident.

Good luck!

Emily said...

This query has good elements. If you clean up the sentences (some are long winded and confusing) it should help.

Necromancer Blake Killan has the glamorous job of Dusk nullification: de-possessing people inhabited by ghosts of the dead.
(this first line is interesting but I get tripped up with the words a bit after the semi-colon)

Dealing with possessed people who go on murderous rampages, and those whose original souls can’t be found, leaving their bodies permanently possessed, are added perks.
(I like the detail but the long winded sentence could probably be cut.)

Things change when she meets Kieran, an infuriatingly gorgeous demon who informs Blake that he is Reaper and she is his vessel, meant to help him channel Dusks into the Underworld.
(people are having a hard time figuring out who is what gender because of the way this sentence is worded. It's very confusing.)

Maybe something like: Then she meets the infuriatingly gorgeous Kieran, a demon who calls himself a Reaper. He wants to use Blake as a vessel to help him channel Dusks into the Underworld.
(At this point I'm guessing she'd say "yeah right" because her life work is getting rid of pesky demons and dusks)

Because nullification makes Dusks nonexistent, there’s a Dusk shortage in the Underworld, which means weakened barriers that can’t keep their creatures at bay.
(this sentence is so technical and I don't get it. Show it from her point of view to get more voice in it. Maybe she doesn't believe him? ex: Kieran seems to think we actually NEED dusks.)

Blake thinks the demons would desire hell on earth, but soon realizes why the Underworld must keep their monsters locked away.
(I don't understand this sentence. If they're trying to keep monsters locked away then why does she think they want hell on earth? She's just NOW realizing its a good thing to lock up monsters? Are you saying that she doesn't believe Kierlan because she thinks he wants hell on earth but then she starts to believe that he is truthfully trying to lock up monsters like he said?)

And the more she’s forced to help Kieran, the more she finds herself tangled up in demon politics, which include nightmarish trips to the Underworld.
(this is the point where I started to get interested)

I like the next paragraph. It's informative with interesting detail and shows Blake's active role in the story. The last sentence is interesting though only slightly confusing having the two different discoveries together in the same sentence.

Its better to have the book info put together. I would remove the book name from the beginning and at the end have something like:
RAVENOUS DUSK is a completed 93,000 word urban fantasy based in New York City. It is a stand alone novel with series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sample page: I'm not sure I like this beginning. Could you start it off with her in the middle of depossessing someone?