Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #13

Dear Agent:

Like many homeless kids, fifteen-year-old Mathias Drvar died on the streets. Unlike the rest, he came back--as a vampire.

If Mathias thought being homeless sucked, being a vampire is worse. The vampires who transformed him believe he is the reincarnation of an ancient king. They expect him to quit swearing, use a napkin, and play by their weird, ancient rules. F*** that.

But after the reigning queen assaults Mathias, he has visions of a past life in which he was that king. Turns out the current queen killed him then, and wants to kill him again. He’d better grow up fast, because if he doesn’t his second life may be shorter than his first.

RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL is a 67,000-word YA fantasy.

In February 2010, my short story, “Papap’s Teeth” was published by Dailey Swan Publishing.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


You know you’ve been on the streets too long when the sound of an old man peeing in an alley reminds you of falling rain. Mathias stood, stretched his back, and walked out of the alley to escape the stench. He beat his hands against his jeans to knock away some of the grime, but it didn’t help much. He scratched at his head and ran his fingers through his dirty brown hair.

“Don’t think. Just move.” He raised his head and looked past the tops of the buildings toward the sky. The sun was bright, a little too bright, but then it always seemed that way.

The early morning mist still crept its way around the feet of the buildings. It was a weightless sludge that seemed to drift from the river, but he’d never been too sure about that. The mist seemed to show the city for what it really was--old, dirty, and worn. He felt old. Older than he was, older than he should be, and the way things were going, he’d be dead before long anyway. If he was lucky, he’d make it another year, but the way things were going, it didn’t seem likely.

His stomach growled. “F***,” he muttered. Patting his hands against his pockets, he hoped to hear the jingle of change, but the only sound was the slight rustle of fabric against fabric. “Great, just f****** great.” Mathias grabbed his bag and ran out into the early morning throng.


Casey said...

I really liked the query. At first, when I saw the word vampire, I rolled my eyes. But then I read the next paragraph and was hooked.

The first line of your story is amazing! You had me laughing. I want to read more.

The Agent said...

This may just be me, but unfortunately my eyes glaze over as soon as I see the word 'vampire.' That aside, you've got an intriguing angle, so others might be interested in taking this further.

The voice in the opening paragraphs is strong, but feels a bit gritty for my personal taste.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Both the query and first page are well-written, and as Casey mentioned, the first line of the excerpt is perfect.

However, the query feels a little spare. Since vampires are so done, I'm wondering what sets RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL apart. We get a taste of it in the query (I like the idea of ancient kings and queens and blood feuds, kind of blending vampire and faerie lore), but if you gave us a little more information, I think you could highlight those unique elements even better.

RR said...

I enjoyed both the query and the page. The clash of old and new kings and queens is interesting a bit different.

In the paragraph about the mist the repetition of 'seem' and 'the way things were going' didn't work for me.

Lori M. Lee said...

I agree with Krista. There is a hint of what makes this different from other vampire books, but make it more apparent.

And like what others said, the first sentence made me laugh. Great voice.