Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Agent's Inbox #10

Dear Agent,

Rhiannon Oliver aka “Rhi” is introduced into the world of the Grigori when she learns that her father is an angel, making her a child of the Nephilim. Meeting him for the first time on her 18th birthday. With his guidance, she must learn to use her new and developing angelic abilities that have now been awakened.

When Rhi meets Jax, another Nephilim, the two immediately sense a connection. Unfortunately they don’t have time to see how that connection will develop because they step right into the path of the leader of the fallen angels, who wants to use them for his own evil plans.

On the Run from the fallen angels, Rhi and Jax must cast their fears aside and find the strength deep within them, and enter the battle between the Grigori and the Fallen. If they fail, the fallen will bring about their own version of h*** on Earth, and use the kids to do it.

ANGEL’S RUN is a young adult fantasy complete at 82,000 words. It is a stand-alone novel with series potential. I live in Oregon with my very large blended family. I work in the medical insurance field, but my passion is writing. Thank you for your time and consideration. 



I could clearly hear the footsteps as they got closer to my bedroom door, hand raising to knock as it did every morning. “Rhi time to wake up”! “Big day today”! My mom, Charlotte called from outside the door. I Groaned and sat up in bed. I had been in the middle of the dream I’d been having since I was about 14 before waking up about two minutes ago. I was at the beach, my favorite place in the world and I was soaring over the ocean waves like I was a bird. I had the most beautiful pair of white downy wings, that glowed with a pink pearlescent sheen when the sunlight hit them just right. The best part was that I was wearing my beloved skinny jeans that used to fit me, but were now sitting in my “to wear again after losing 20 pounds” pile in the closet. Shoving the flowery pink and white down comforter off me, I threw feet down onto my fuzzy pink carpet. I slipped on my robe and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. “Coming mom” I called out before she could knock again.

I felt different, yes definitely different. I knew turning 18 meant that I was now a legal adult, and I was responsible for myself now, and could basically do what I wanted, but that wasn’t it. I felt stronger. I felt like I could take on the world.


Unknown said...

*, after meeting*

Mike M said...

Your query needs a lot of work. Not sure how to even start.

In your words, you have pretty serious comma issues, I think you need some practice before you are ready to query.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be harsh. But you aren't close.

Rosalyn said...

I like the story concept--nephilim!--but I find myself wanting to know more. What kind of powers does she develop? Why--and how--does their enemy want to use them?

You may want to consider starting with a scene that tells us more about your character. This seems a nit generic and I've seen a lot of agents say that dream sequences or waking up are overdone. You want a scene to really make you stand out.

It usually takes me a while to figure out where the first scene should start too.

Laura Moe said...

I'm with Mike on this. Your query and manuscript need at least one more rewrite. Your language needs to be tightened and heightened. Avoid using vague words like "different." Let the reader SEE how something is different.
You might consider work shopping this manuscript in a writing group or sign up for a novel writing workshop online.
Sorry to be so critical, but criticism only makes us better.
Best of luck.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

My first thought when I saw this query--I only skim them while I'm formatting, so I can't really say I READ them--was that it reminded me of Cassandra Clare's CITY OF BONES. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you'll have to compete directly against an already-published book in most agents' minds.

Figuring out what sets your book apart--and making sure to highlight it--could go a long way toward shoring up your query. Once you've got those bones in place (pardon the pun), you can work on sprucing up your prose and making sure the grammar is en pointe.

Same idea for the first page--once you've figured out the best possible place to start your story (and like Rosalyn said, that's usually the hardest part!), you can tango with the words themselves. You might think about rereading some of your favorite books and taking note of how those authors play around with sentence structure and punctuation. It usually takes me a while to switch from reader brain to writer brain when I'm studying my favorite novels, but I always find it insightful.

Above all, just keep writing. Dory really nailed that one:)

Unknown said...

Thank you! I have already revised the first chapter, and I think I may revise the entire thing. Everyone's dad comes back from the dead so I'm revisiting that part of the story as well. In my regular query (that I keep changing due to conflicting advice) I had compared it to City of Bones, as well as Becca Fitzgerald's Hush Hush. I also realized that I need to name my villains something else as well. I am going to revise, rewrite, and polish it until I am ready to put it out there again. I'm glad I did this though all of the advice is very helpful for a new writer.

Jo said...

I hate to be harsh, but the first paragraph was awkward to read. What is the Grigori? What is the Nephilim? And "Meet him for the first time on her 18th birthday" isn't a complete sentence.

The first paragraph, in my opinion, could be shortened down by a lot, because the 2nd paragraph seems to be where the main action starts. But this query doesn't feel fresh. It feels like another "YA MC with supernatural powers needs to save the world." What is it about your book that makes it stand out?

In your bio, you don't need to state that you live in Oregon with a large blended family, nor do you need to state you work in medical insurance, nor do you need to say your passion is writing (the fact that you're querying already shows that). How do all these tidbits tie into your novel?

Of course, take my advice with a grain of salt. Best of luck to you.

Secret Agent said...


Oh, nephilim. For me, paranormal is a hard sell. Editors aren’t actively looking for paranormal anymore. The market is pretty saturated. I am not saying it can’t sell. I’m just saying it will be harder to place now than maybe 5 or 6 years ago.

Your second paragraph falls very flat for me. It focuses much more on the “will they/won’t they?” element of the story when it should focus on the main conflict. In this query I want to know more about the leader of the fallen angels. Does he capture them? Hold someone hostage? Threaten someone’s wellbeing? All I need to know is that Rhi and Jax feel a connection. I can assume it will play out with plenty of tension throughout the story.

“Stand-alone novel with series potential” is music to an agent’s ears. Well done.


Your sample pages didn’t grab me. I’m personally not very connected to the opening scenes constructed with the character waking up and recounting dreams. (I am even less a fan of dream sequences in the beginning of a book.) It’s a very passive time of day for most people and it doesn’t show very much of the main character’s personality. I would recommend starting the book with a little bit more action. The moment of change for Rhi seems to be when she meets her dad. This could work here.

Thank you for the opportunity to read your work.