Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Agent's Inbox #14

Dear Ms. Marini,

Considering your interest in YA fiction, I hope my YA mystery with paranormal elements will appeal to you.

Most teens would do anything to have a celebrity parent. Diya would do anything to give hers up.

Adopted from an Indian slum as an infant by her movie star mother, she's grown up, amidst whippings and alcoholic meltdowns, into a sixteen-year-old with prematurely thick skin and a deep hatred for her abusive mom. Seventeen-year-old Matthew grew up in a different type of family--the Seer's disciples. He guards a powerful crystal with the ability to control minds, a crystal entrusted to Matt's grandfather by his Indian Seer.

When Diya crashes her car en route to her aunt's house, Matthew hauls her out of the wreck and recognizes Diya for who she is--the Seer's granddaughter. He needs her help to find the missing mind control crystal and trap a murderer.

Someone's using the crystal to force people to kill themselves and masking the murders as suicides. And Matt knows Diya is the only person who can reverse the crystal's power. If he can convince her of her true identity.

Diya, though, is not too keen to believe anyone, however hot he is. Plus, she has her own list of murder suspects. And, Matt, with his unusual abilities, is way up at the top.

But when her aunt is nearly killed, the threat hits home. Now the teens have to pool their abilities to try and outsmart the killer, before he figures out who they are and destroys them first.

MIRE is complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Most kids would do anything to have a movie star parent, but as far as Diya was concerned, having a celebrity parent was way over-rated. If she had the choice between Miranda and being stranded on a deserted island without Wi-Fi, she knew what she'd pick.

That thought echoed in her mind, as she found herself in yet another staring stand-off with her mother across the length of the humongous dining table. Miranda’s hard face rivaled the cold wooden surface of the table.

Diya took a deep breath and counted to ten, waiting for the familiar explosion. And then it came.

“You’re not going anywhere, you brat. You owe me.” Miranda's skin stretched tight over high cheekbones, courtesy of the most popular plastic surgeon in LA. Any more stretching, and it would rip right down the middle. “I want you at the benefit.”

“No.” There was no way she was staying here another second. She'd planned to leave right after school, but Miranda had caught her in the hallway and sprung the event on her.

A line of white crept around Miranda's compressed lips, a sure sign of an impending tantrum.

Diya's mouth went dry, but she forced herself to meet the woman's glare with a steady gaze. Years of verbal sparring had taught her one thing. Miranda could spot a chink in your armor from a mile away.


Lanette said...

Overall, the query was well written and intriguing. My only quibble was that a murder was thrown out there without any context. Who did he murder? Just give us a detail or two as to what the murder has to do with Matt and Diya.

You have some good lines in the writing sample like with the description of Miranda.

I think the word, "staring" should be dropped from the second paragraph to make the sentence a little stronger.

Overall, the writing's good, but I don't feel compelled to read further. I'm not sure why, but it's probably a personal preference.

Unknown said...

Your premise sounded right up my alley! And I loved the line about her facing ripping down the middle! What a visual! I agree that the query needed a little more simplifying, but then, I'm not one to critique a query. They've been giving me fits since elementary school. (Okay, maybe not quite that long.)
Love that you start us right away with a little domestic violence. Go Diya!

Unknown said...

Your premise and first words are interesting. What you have in your query is great but it's possible you could streamline it a bit. I think the first paragraph could be condensed into a couple sentences. Also, if you had led with the information you tell us in this line:

When Diya crashes her car en route to her aunt's house, Matthew hauls her out of the wreck and recognizes Diya for who she is--the Seer's granddaughter.

it would have grabbed me a lot quicker.

It's just a thought and my opinion, of course, but all in all, it sounds like you have the makings for a great story.

Suja said...

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I simplified and streamlined the query into two short paragraphs of bare bones and think it does read better. Thanks again.

Utsav said...

Love your 250! It's got a very hooking voice and the tension between Diya and Miranda is so apparent right from the get go! Makes we wanna read on at a blistering pace.

Victoria Marini said...

I think I've seen this somewhere before, which means it's certainly memorable. I think the 250 is great and I'd definitely keep reading. I'm curious to know why Miranda would adopt her in the first place? And what exactly she is.

The only concern I had here in the query is that the murder sub-plot is somewhat abrupt. Who was the victim? Any motivations? How does she know about these murders?

Thank you!