Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Agent's Inbox #4

Dear Lucky Agent:

Eighteen-year-old Jessie Francobi can sass the paint off a Chevy. But Synadent Corporation isn’t interested in her opinions. They want her voice--a near perfect match to America’s Sweetheart, country music singing sensation Tancy Clark.

Hired by Synadent as a celebrity double, Jessie leaves behind the Nebraska Sand Hills and lingering questions about what to do with the rest of her life. Training and cosmetic surgery allow Jessie to fool the paparazzi, greet Tancy’s fans and even rock the concert stage while the real Tancy checks into rehab.

Jessie’s transformation goes smoothly until a racy viral video incites public controversy and spurs a radical religious group to kidnap America’s Sweetheart. Sequestered in a remote mountain cabin where rattlesnakes foretell the future and polygamy is destiny, Jessie’s life plans become terrifyingly clear--survive.

I am seeking representation for DEAD LEAF BUTTERFLIES (YA suspense, 57,000 words). The first 250 words are pasted below.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.



The last time I listened to Mindy’s advice I peed in a ditch and went home with poison ivy. So I should have known better than to let her talk me into a shopping trip. But she pestered until I surrendered and a week later I was one of eight girls crammed into her ancient Suburban. After ninety-seven miles of yakking about push-up bras and celebrity hairstyles any one of them could have whipped a pistol out her purse, shot me dead and called it a mercy killing.

When we finally arrived, I trudged through the Platte River Mall, tried on two dresses, bought one and slipped away to enjoy a Big Mac. Mindy chased me down. “Jessie, you should try a manicure. You might like it.”

I folded my dress over a chair and waited for her to come to her senses.

“Okay, maybe not, but it beats sitting alone in the food court.”

Catcher in the Rye stashed in my purse convinced her I wouldn’t perish from boredom while they were off shellacking their fingertips. At the end of the first page a shadow fell over the book, followed by a tap on the table and a squeaky voice asking if I wanted to participate in a survey.

Mr. Survey Man stood next to the table, shifting from side to side like a preschooler in need of a potty break. A dark green polo embroidered with a yellow logo for ABC Survey stretched tight across his belly.


Vikki said...

I think you're query is really good - very polished. Like the premise of the story - but, wow, I was not expecting it to end up with a kidnapping, rattlesnakes and polygamy. I was a little, ummm...thrown. But, then I read your sample. I'm hooked. You have an awesome voice and I love the humor!

Leigh Ann said...

I love everything about this. EVERYTHING. Voice especially. Nice, tight, polished query. Just so awesome.

One little niggling confusion - why is she friends with this girl if she is so VERY different from her? I'd like to see a hint of that in the first page, but I'd keep reading anyway.

The Agent said...

Really strong query and tantalizing premise! I'd rework the very end of your pitch; the "survive" gets a bit lost in the rest of the sentence and a clearer structure would emphasize it a little more.

The opening paragraphs had terrific voice and some nice characterization. I've actually got your sample chapters sitting in my Inbox already, otherwise I'd definitely be asking to see more of this :)

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

This sounds great! It caught my attention right away. The sample really captures your voice and I already like your MC. In the query, I wondered about the video - is it Jessie or Tancy? Perhaps that is deliberately vague? Either way, you hooked me :)