Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #8: DRIVERS

Title: DRIVERS
Genre: Science fiction
Word count: 84,000

Query:

Ash Palmer sold his life for 150,000 dollars. The money will go to his parents, and he’ll go to his grave. All he has to do is drive a supposedly unmanned vehicle into battle for a foreign army, and it will all be over. This time, the inevitable second thoughts won’t steal the ending Ash seeks.

It’s the suicide to end all attempts, but Ash just isn’t any good at dying. When he and Zephyr, another driver, make it back from their first mission, Ash discovers that she understands him better than he thought possible. So many reasons to die, yet one reason to live might overrule them all.

Unfortunately, their employer won’t let either of them quit. He’ll kill them to advance his career. They know too much. And inside each vehicle is a self-destruct to destroy all evidence of the human drivers if anything goes wrong.

Ash has a plan to override the self-destruct and escape, but it’s a suicide mission in and of itself. The future looks darker by the hour. Giving his life to save Zephyr’s is a far better death than Ash has ever faced. But is it really the best thing for her? Maybe the question isn’t whether he has the courage to die for Zephyr, but whether he has the courage to live for both of them.

First page:

I don’t exist anymore. Not as a real person, anyway. I’m more like cargo. Expensive cargo, with my own guard and a corporate jet. The steps down to the tarmac are steep but sturdy. The sky arches overhead, splashed with clouds. A city squats nearby, skyscrapers reaching. And the air smells foreign.

I’m not a prisoner, exactly. I’m an employee. My first day on the job has been everything they promised--exciting, new, well-paying. My last day on the job is less than a week away, though they’re not certain exactly when. That’s too bad, because I’d really like to know when I’m going to die. Mostly, I just want to get through the days until then.

My guard hands a passport to another man who must be airport security.

“Ash Palmer,” he mutters, glancing up at me. I guess it’s my passport. This ain’t normal airport security. There’s no metal detector, no customs, not even a desk. Just the one guy who writes something in a book and doesn’t bother stamping passports.

There were three others like me on the plane, each with his--or her--own guard. Mine looks like Yul Brynner: bald, sharp jaw line, intense manner. He collects the passports of the two recruits who went through security first, drops them into a small vinyl pouch with mine, and waits for the girl behind me.

She’s the only girl. The guards, security guy, and the other recruits are all men. I suppose that applies to me as well, though I’m still more comfortable with “boy.”

26 comments:

Michelle Mason said...

This query is strong from start to finish, and I love the opening page. Go #TeamKrista!

Alaskan Ninja said...

Another adult science fiction! Good concept, good luck!

Noelle Henry said...

Wow. This is awesome. Such a great premise. You had me at the first line of the query, and your opening is fabulous! I'm not even a huge sci-fi reader, but I'd pick this one up.

Sarah Henson said...

I can really see the scene and picture the kind of guy Ash is. Love it. Go Team Krista!

Becky Mahoney said...

Oooooh, I got chills from that query, and I can tell the story is going to deliver!

Ann Bedichek said...

This concept is A-MAZing!

And the writer sure lives up to it.

Good luck with this!

loritayseastep said...

Oh, snap, what a premise! Your query is killer. Go Team Krista!

Suzi said...

This really is fascinating. I love the last line of your query. Good luck.

Ryan said...

I love the changes you made to the first part of your query! Very HOOKING! Isn't Krista great?!
You're one of my favorites! Good luck!

Lisa K. said...

Now that's a query with a great hook! And though my penchant for science fiction means I might be a bit biased, this is one of my favorites so far! Go Team Krista!

erinpetti said...

The first line of that query = WOW

Carla Luna Cullen said...

Great query - especially that first paragraph. Really hooked me in!

T.L. Bodine said...

I'm hooked. Totally love the idea of the suicidal MC and that last line of your query gave me chills.

Jennie Bailey said...

You got me with the suicidal MC - I'm so intrigued! Great job!

TYHatch said...

The changes to your query are amazing. I really got a sense of Ash.

Good luck!

A. Lockwood said...

This sounds fantastic. I'd definitely pick it up! I would love to read something like this.

Dahlia said...

Such a great entry--I'd be all over this in a heartbeat! Good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

I LOVE this. Those first few lines in the query are so powerful. The writing is great too!

Becca C. said...

The revisions on your query have SERIOUSLY amped it up - it sounds amazing. And the voice in the excerpt is as killer as ever.

Leigh Ann said...

OMG if Zephyr is Ash's one reason to live I will die of squeeeing.

Love the voice and cadence of your first 250! Wishing you so much luck.

April Wall said...

Awesome concept and great writing! Good luck!

AllieS said...

I remember seeing this query somewhere before and going, "Wow, I'd check this out!" Glad you made it into TWV! Good luck!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Great concept! I love your opening paragraph!! Good luck!

Andrea Somberg said...

I vote for you!

Louise Fury said...

I vote for you!

Tara Dairman said...

#8 DRIVERS

Query:

Great first line, though I’m not sure why you’re spelling out “dollars” rather than just using the $. I really like the first two paragraphs, which suck me into the plot of your story and make me curious about your MC.

I think that you need more names in the third paragraph, because I thought that the “He” in the 2nd sentence was Ash (but it’s the employer—give us his name?) and didn’t know who the “them” was (change to “Ash and Zephyr”).

Strong query overall!

First page:

Wow, voice voice voice. I don’t think I can find anything to pick on here. You’ve dropped us into the middle of a fascinating situation, you’re describing the surroundings so I can see them clearly, and all I want to do is find out what’s going to happen next. Well done!