Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An Agent's Inbox #2

Dear Sara,

My previous agent and I have parted ways. As such I'm querying again and, because of your focus on fantasy and the supernatural, wondering if you would be interested in representing my latest young adult novel, as well as future works of mine.

Fifteen-year-old Jay Mitchell is the most lethal secret walking the streets of Chicago. He's killed before, and he'll kill again. Trained to protect an unwitting mankind from rogue Pandorans--supernatural beings who cross into this world through Pandora's box--he’s good at what he does, as long as no one knows he does it.

While rescuing a damsel faking distress, Jay inadvertently reveals himself. Now the Guild knows he exists, and worse, he’s Unsanctioned, a crime punishable by death. On the run, Jay discovers there’s a price on his head and everything that goes bump in the night arrives to collect. If he wants to survive he’ll have to draw on every ounce of his skill, and seek help from the most unlikely allies, including the girl who got him into this mess in the first place.

HERITAGE BLADE is a young adult urban fantasy with series potential complete at 93,000 words and has not been out on submission. I've included the first 250 words per the submission guidelines. I hope you enjoy, and thank you for your time and consideration.

All the best,


Chapter 1: On His Own

Killing was one of those things that grew easier with time, that and tight rope walking. While one didn’t have anything to do with the other, at fifteen Jay had grown skilled at both. Balanced on the balls of his feet, he raced along the length of a power line, pivoted when he reached a pole, and leapt to a nearby building. Overhead the autumn moon shone bright, slicing through the darkness blanketing the roof, as if to aid him in the search for signs of his prey.

He shoved strands of white hair from his face, tightened his grip on the sword at his hip, and stalked forward. The wind lashed out with bitter cold, cutting through the leather he wore from head to toe. October in Chicago--arctic. His boots crunched against loose gravel. No point in trying to be quiet, he wasn’t the one hiding.


Something moved the slightest bit in the shadow of a ventilation shaft. He locked gazes with a pair of yellow, pupil-less eyes. Gotcha, he smirked.

Caught, the creature bounded toward the end of the building. Jay took off after it. His steps thudded against the concrete, mirroring the pounding of his heart. Ahead, claws flashed and raked against the roof, kicking up loose bits of stone. The howling panted hard and heavy around a warning growl as it threw a glare over its shoulder, baring a mouth full of gleaming fangs.

A shiver chased a thrill the length of Jay’s spine.


Andrew said...

LOVE THIS! So want to read this. Love the descriptions and the energy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That first 250 is amazing! The query is really strong, too. I love the line about the damsel faking distress. The only thing that confused me a bit was the mention of the Guild as there's no frame of reference for what that is or what it means to be Unsanctioned, but it wouldn't stop me from requesting it if I were an agent. Good luck!

Jamie Corrigan said...

I really love this! The damsel faking distress is my favorite part of a really strong query! And those 250 words, wow. That last line alone would keep me hanging on for the ride! Great job & good luck!

Annmarie Worthington said...

I love your premise. Your writing works too. The opening line is catchy. Is it necessary to mention you and your agent parted ways in your query?

Margaret G. said...

Great job on your query -- like that you slid in your previously agented status right up front and how you were clear that you were looking for an agent for your career v. book. My only comment is that you don't have to mention you're querying again -- I would assume it since you just mentioned you parted ways with your agent.

Love your first 250 words too!

Alison Miller said...

Your first 250 - amazingly written, very tight and action-packed and I am particularly intrigued by this yellow-eyed, pupil-less creature. IMHO, a fantastic start to the story!

The query's pretty awesome too. I was confused by the Guild so you may want a brief clarification on what that is. Otherwise, I love it! Killer concept too! Good luck!

Sarah Turnbull said...

This is a fun idea! Really strong query.

“everything that goes bump in the night arrives to collect.” Great line!

“and has not been out on submission” Not sure what you meant by this, or why you included it.

I like how to the first 250 plops the reader right into the action: Jay on a hunt. Well done.

“Gotcha, he smirked.” I would change this to “Gotcha. He smirked.” We don’t really smirk words. We say words, and we smirk while saying them.

Good luck and happy writing!

Agent Sara Sciuto said...

This is a strong query! You included just the right amount of information in the query description. I have a good sense of the premise and what the main conflict is going to be and am left eager to read the sample pages. Great! With paranormal projects, I always stress that they must be unique to grab my interest, and creatures coming through Pandora's box certainly seems unique to me.

I enjoyed your sample pages as well. I love that you dropped the reader straight into a live scene. It's a great scene with him stalking this creature, but I wonder if there's room to make it go at a faster pace, I think it could be tightened. Also, I'd like to see a bit more suspense in the chase scene--it feels it could have more emotional impact. Overall, though I really enjoyed this one!