Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #2

Dear Agent,

On Annika Fitzsimmons’s eighteenth birthday, she learns she is a Traveler--someone born with the ability to move through Past Events and to change the future for the better. That explains the vivid, excruciatingly painful dreams she's had since she was eight years old, but not the same blue-eyed boy she sees in each one.

When Nik arrives at the underground compound of Traveler's City for initiation, she discovers her ability to move through time without the aid of computers or coordinates is rare--the stuff of legend. Only one fellow initiate can do the same: Davis, the boy with the blue eyes from her dreams. Nik and Davis soon discover they are Bonded Natural Travelers, born to Travel together no matter what.

But Traveling is dangerous, and sometimes people die. That’s what happened to the husband of the charismatic Director of Traveler's City. When Nik and Davis are repeatedly pulled into the same treacherous Events that caused his death, they realize the Director has taken on the dangerous, and illegal, task of changing her husband's fate.  Now, to keep the Director from killing them, violating Traveler’s Law, and changing Current Events as they know it, Nik and Davis must risk their own lives to stop her. As they discover the truth and what they truly mean to each other, they’ll learn just how far someone with power will go to save the one she loves.

THE TRAVELERS is a Young Adult novel complete at 81,000 words and stands alone. Thank you for taking the time to consider my submission.



Nik's head swam in a swirl of sensations, images, and emotions. The smell of coffee. Confusion. Waist aprons and high heels. Excitement. Cherry pie. Strength. Blue eyes. Love, so deep.


More than anything else, these dreams were pain, stabbing at her skin from the inside and invading every inch of her body. Pain so agonizing that nothing else mattered. Not the usual pounding in her head made worse by a strange, aching heaviness. Not the rank smell of vomit on her shirt.

Not even Brian, her best friend, telling her he didn't love her.

Oh, G**. Brian. It all rushed back now. Next door in his basement last night, just like any other night, but with too much alcohol, and too much bravery.

The horrible collage faded, dream bleeding into reality, one kind of pain blending into another. Everything receded to the background except those piercing blue eyes, the ones that showed up in every dream since she was eight. The boy they belonged to was always there, always confident, and the memory of him always took the edge off the pain. He was one thing she couldn't forget, even if she had wanted to.

The smell of brewing coffee hung in the air, convincing her to drag her head off the pillow. Caffeine usually helped stop the pounding.

"Nik?” called Mom, "Annika! Six forty five now!  Out the door in ten minutes!" Nik hauled herself upright, holding a groan back in her throat.


Melanie Stanford said...

This sounded really interesting to me although the last paragraph of the query was confusing. If they are allowed to change events, what's the big deal that the Director is doing it to? Maybe it's just me but those two didn't add up. I didn't get the sense that what the Director was doing was all that bad, even though you tried to make it that way.
I think the writing was good but again, I was a little confused. Why is there vomit on her shirt? She puked in her sleep? Why is she dreaming of a coffee house/diner? That's what it seems like she's doing to me. And the first paragraph with it's disconnected words didn't draw me in. I liked the paragraph about the boy with blue eyes. You're setting it up right away and I like that.

Ellen Rozek said...

I loved the query, but I was confused by Nik versus Annika until I read your first page. Maybe just pick one and stick with it or say something to the effect of Annika "Nik" Fitzsimmons, just so we know what we're getting.

Also, I wanted to know what makes the director changing her husband's fate illegal when that's exactly what Nik and Davis do. Clarify that, and I'd read this in a second.

Mim said...

I think your query is strong, a lot of tension and a very interesting premise. It is confusing they can change some events, but not others, and that might need to explained in the query or addressed.

I do think that the opening needs some work, especially the first paragraph. It is confusing to have the random images just thrown at the reader, and it doesn't give the reader a main character to connect to. I'd almost want to start in a dream (even though it's frowned upon) or have her lost in thought focusing on the bright blue eyes. Right now it's choppy and not really pulling me in.

The premise and idea fascinates me though, just work on the beginning. Good luck!

Gina said...

Just here to cheerlead! RAH RAH! That query really did shape up nicely!

Laura C. said...

I think the query is wonderful. I'm very interested in reading it.
Some thoughts about the first 250:
* More than anything else, these dreams were pain, (painful or full of pain)
* Next door in his basement last night, just like any other night, but with too much alcohol, and too much bravery. (Confusing beginning, drop the 'next door', no comma after alcohol.)
* The horrible collage faded, dream bleeding into reality, one kind of pain blending into another. (4th use of 'pain'. Use some other words.)
* and the memory of him always took the edge off the pain. (5th use of 'pain'.)
* Six forty five now! (forty-five)

Good luck!!

The Agent said...

L.A.K. - I really like this query. The story has a good hook and it sounds like you've set up an exciting plot. My only concerns would be that the characters are on the older side, including a husband who died as opposed to a boyfriend or sibling. I also agree with some of the other commenters that the 3rd paragraph was a little confusing. Doesn't Nik regularly change current events? Why is this mission particularly dangerous? Other than those minor issues, I say nice job!