Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #22

Dear [Agent],

I was represented by the Claire Gerus Literary Agency and we recently parted ways amicably. I see that you are looking for YA sci-fi and thrillers, and I’d like to show you MANAS, complete with series potential at 75,000 words.

Zellie, a prodigy spy with pink hair and a penchant for knitting, is sent to London to acquire Oliver, a smooth hacker with geeky good looks and access to genetics firm Pyxis. Zellie’s link to the ‘Project Manas’ data, hidden within the Pyxis mainframe, sends the pair on a speeding adventure through the bowels of London’s punk underground to romantic Paris streets and murky Venice canals. Can Zellie uncover the missing pieces of ‘Project Manas’ before a rogue agent with murderous intentions catches up to her?

In addition to years of professional editing, I have extensive experience writing professionally in both traditional print and online media.

Attached below are the first 250 words, as per your request. I would be honored if you would consider representing MANAS.

Thank you for your consideration and attention,


“Any time you’re ready,” I whispered into my headset. “I’m a go on your signal. Of course, I’m comfortable where I am, too, if you’d like to continue taking your sweet-a** time.”

Fifty stories below me, Trey grunted. “Keep your pants on, little one. You’ll get your shot. This isn’t as easy as it looks.”

Through our camtacts--nanobot technology built into contacts--I watched Trey lunge again at the metal backdoor in the subway station. My viewer, attached to my wrist, showed four quadrants with different locations. Each contained a direct link to the rest of my team--Trey, Jace, Marienne and Emerson. Altogether, a deadly quintet.

The reception on Trey’s quadrant fuzzed as he made contact with the rusted metal. “Have you even broken a sweat?” he asked, most of his attention focused on busting down the back door into the building to use as our escape route.

“I am a sniper, not a strong-armed brute,” I said sweetly. I was teasing him, but part of me wanted action, which I wouldn’t get unless something went wrong. Such is the role of the mission lead--boring.

“Never send a woman to do a man’s job.”

“Will you two shut up? You’re interfering with my feed,” Marienne snapped. Our resident hacker, she sat in the cafĂ© across the street. I watched her orange fingernails click across the laptop’s keyboard. “OK, I’m waiting at the gates of the system mainframe. Your word and I’ll get the door.”


Kelley said...

I love how you build such personality into your characters right off that bat. That's what makes me want to read more.

And I really like the query. Its short, succinct, giving me enough information, but asking a few questions that I want to read in the book.

Lori M. Lee said...

I'm really impressed with how concise your query is. Great job there :D And I love the opening as well. Lots of personality mixed in with the intriguing set up.

Leigh Ann said...

I am super impressed with the whole project.

Your query is so concise and I could have repeated it to anyone - just what you want!

OBSESSED with the MC, her voice, and the whole team (even though I only know two of them!)

Sign me up for an ARC. :)

Ru said...

Agreed with above commenters - the sassy back-and-forth between your characters was a great way to start.

scubasteve4 said...

Your query and sample pages are very good. It's easy to see why you were agented. Good luck with this.

erica and christy said...

I like it a lot, too - great job. One thing (based on the YA label) - I have no idea how a group of teenagers end up being international spies - if she's 19 or 20, maybe you could work that in (or maybe that's just me since I'm not super familiar with the scifi/thriller genre).

Thanks for sharing and good luck!

Ann Bedichek Braden said...

"Zellie, a prodigy spy with pink hair and a penchant for knitting,"

Wow. 12 words and I'm already in love with this character.

Your query is great, and your first page has tension and voice. Awesome work!

Melanie Stanford said...

I too thought you did a great job writing a short teaser of a query although I have to admit I had to reread the first couple of sentences in the 2nd paraphraph over again to really get what was going on. Maybe I'm just slow- haha.
The writing was good too- I got a great sense of your characters and the set-up.
I was also confused about teenage spies though.

The Agent said...

A.P. - Love this! I'm taken with Zellie and Oliver right away, and am always looking for a good sci-fi thriller. The international setting is also a good choice. My only comment on the query is that I wish I knew what Project Manas was. What's the threat? Otherwise, I think it's great.

amber said...

Oh, wow -- so many nice comments!

Agent: You're totally right -- I never do mention it! Project Manas is a genetic experiment aimed at creating the perfect soldier, and guess who it was tested on first. :)

Thank you all – I really appreciate it. I'm writing a scary ghost story at the moment, and I really needed the encouragement!