Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #17

Dear Ms. Smith,

Beauty can hide the ugliest of creatures. In this fairytale makeover, Beauty and the Beast takes the road not yet traveled. This time, it’s the village heartthrob’s mistrust of women and thirst for adventure that lands him in permanent servitude to a hideous creature. Aileen’s temperament is almost as ugly as her appearance, but Christopher Soirose is her last chance at humanity.

MONSTROSITY is a YA Fantasy novel complete at 80,000 words. 

Seventeen-year-old Christopher Soirose longs for adventure. When a winking cat leads him to the base of the Castle Dubois, Christopher is drawn to the apparently empty structure. When his guardian is taken into the castle by the beast within, Christopher offers himself in his place, promising to stay until he dies.

Princess Aileen Dubois has suffered her curse with little grace and a growing hatred for the male species she needs to break it. Christopher is the handsomest of any she’s seen, and time is running out. If she can’t make him love her, she’ll spend the rest of her life in her monstrous form.

When the roles are reversed, can a man see past the monster to find the woman within?

Thank you so much for considering my query. I am immensely grateful!

All the Best,


The sweet scent of lavender wafted through the bakery, tickling Christopher’s nose. He stopped midstride, struck by the familiar tug at his heart immediately followed by a chill running down his spine.

He could still see her, waving that silly monogrammed handkerchief over another man’s shoulder as she rode off into life without him.


His guardian’s voice snapped him back to the bakery.

“Huh? What?”

Richard twisted his black mustache, a sure sign of his concern.

“I asked you to deliver these cakes to Madame Harmon before your appointment at the bookshop.”

“Of course.” Christopher accepted the wrapped package. Richard’s frown deepened.

“Everything all right, m’boy?”

“Yes, just lost in thought.”

“About Faline?”

“I’ll get these to Madame Harmon right away.” Christopher forced a smile and darted through the door before Richard could pry further.

The bustling streets of Chardeau, Champetre met him with mingling smells and colorful sights. Vendors sold goods, servants followed their mistresses with hatboxes and garment bags in hand, and horses clopped purposefully down the street.

Jostled from behind, he fell out of step. His boot caught under the foot of another villager and pulled clean off. With an awkward hobble, Christopher moved out of the way to readjust his footwear, balancing against a cobblestone ledge in a nearby alley.

With his boot firmly in place, Christopher straightened and gave a small start of surprise.  Upon the ledge sat a black and white cat watching him.

“Hello.” He said, leaning forward.

The cat winked in reply.


Susan Oloier said...

I found this to be a really strong piece and appreciated your query, as well. You demonstrated Christopher's feelings through his actions and absence of dialogue, which I found wonderful.
The one thing that threw me off a bit was the first line of the query. It is a great hook, but I'm not sure what it means. Maybe that's a good thing (the mystery of it). I had to reread it and give it more thought b/c I wasn't sure (yet) to what the ugliness referred. Christopher's shallowness?
Wishing you lots of luck!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this concept, and I was absolutely drawn in by your beginning. The only negative for me was that I had to read the first paragraph of your query a few times to really understand what it was saying. The first line was great, but it threw me off, especially since we hear at the end of the paragraph that Aileen is ugly. Still, it's a great concept and the beginning didn't disappoint. Loved the details, and would definitely read on!

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

This one caught my eye! I like the opening hook especially, but I'm curious to see complex relationships in a this fairy-tale type of setting.

Megan Reyes said...

I love, love, LOVE this premise (and the title!)!

I also had to read the first paragraph a few times, but once I "got it" I really liked what you were going for. I think it's unclear that Aileen is the "beast" until you read the whole thing, so that's what trips up the first paragraph. Maybe the last sentence should actually be the beginning of a new paragraph?

I really like Christopher. He seems good-hearted and perhaps slightly awkward (tripping over the other villager)—my favorite kind of hero! :) Besides, he said “hello” to a cat! Okay, it’s official—I adore him!

I would absolutely, one-hundred percent read this story. It sounds fabulous! Best of luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Well, blogger lost my last comment, so here is take two, clack.

I love this story concept. They guy is the beauty and the girl is the beast! Very compelling idea. How will that work out? The cat wink was the hook for me. I have to read this one.

J. S. Bailey said...

A winking cat?

I have to read this.

Bridget Smith said...

This is a cool concept: there are so many possibilities to investigate society through this kind of reversal. Since the story is so familiar, you don’t need to include many plot details, but I think some of the statements that fill in the thematic gaps are a bit strained. They get the job done, though!

The sample starts out a bit slow, with Christopher day-dreaming, and I wish it weren’t so directly comparable to the Disney movie. Is there a way to give it a stronger initial impact? It doesn’t have to start with action, but Christopher feels distant to me. All in all, though, well done.