Wednesday, March 16, 2016

An Agent's Inbox #1

Dear Mr. Taylor,

I think you will find my novel HUNTER exciting and fresh. It’s a YA contemporary fantasy complete at 56,000 words, and a stand alone novel with series potential. It will appeal to fans of Patricia Briggs’ MOON CALLED series and Lori Brighton’s THE MIND READERS.

When sixteen year old Hunter’s growing telepathic ability lands her on the FBI’s radar, her colleague puts a gun to her head. He wants to silence the secrets of their bounty hunter agency locked in her mind. Fortunately for her, it’s not her time to die.

Surviving means making an unlikely friend with an FBI agent named Seeker. He’s the same agent that caused her partner to turn on her in the first place, and he has a mission of his own. Bring Hunter back alive to face judgment for her role in a multitude of murders she’s being accused of.

After nearly escaping the FBI’s grasp with a rogue telepath named Duke and having her thoughts pilfered for information against her will, Hunter learns that she must put her life on the line to clear her name and bring down Talon, her former agency.

With each passing hour throwing her deeper into the game of life and death, Hunter must decide who to trust before this mission becomes her last.

I’ve been a member of the Long Ridge Writers Group since 2005 and have written biographies for several web pages. I have been published in the New Authors Journal and twice in the Voice of Fellowship. I have also self published on a healthy living book called “An easy diet for a crazy life.”

Thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.



As a type one telepath, you would think I had the skills not to end up freezing to death in the middle of Seattle, Washington. It was a dreary place where the sun didn’t shine and the rain came and went like waves on the shore. It wasn’t an ideal place but it was where the bounty had brought me. I was searching for a mark that was proving to be a pain in my a**. It had been three weeks since we had taken the job and today was the closest we had been to finding Dawn Miles.

My heart skipped a beat when the com in my ear buzzed. “Hunter, we’re running out of time. You know what happens if someone else gets to Miles before we do. All this work would be for nothing.”

In the bounty hunter line of work, you never knew who else was out there searching for the same prize, especially when one paid as well as this did. I exhaled and tried to calm my nerves. This one wasn’t going to get away.

“I’m trying. There are a lot of minds to sift through.” I spoke quietly to my partner Bear, trying not to look like a crazy person. My mind was lost in the sea of people, drifting through their inner monologues, almost losing myself in their stories. Sweat dripped from my temples as I pulled myself from almost passing out.


Ben Lacy said...

In your query you state that Hunter is 16, but she has colleagues and a former agency she worked for before her current one. Does this take place in a future where 16 y/o's are allowed to be bounty hunters? That was a little unclear.

The flow of the query is a bit odd as first Hunter is on the run from an old colleague but then is somehow suspected of multiple murders which I assume somehow involved her former agency, Talon.

The story opening reads well but I think there may be a grammar error in your last sentence "as I pulled myself back/ from almost passing out." Saying something like "In the bounty hunter line of work," also seems kinda cliche, you might try "Bounty hunters never know who else is out there searching ..."

Good luck with your book.

JMWeibel said...

I would have to agree with Ben Lacy, the query seems to jump around a lot. I think it needs to be reworked and linked better. Working for Talon a bounty hunter agency, then accused of murder, then the agent causing her partner to turn on her, then worrying about who to trust, then having to trust that very agent. Slide that escaping from the FBI where it belongs.

As it is now, it's disjointed and causes me to stumble reading it.

RC Hancock said...

I like the idea of a telepath in a bounty hunter agency. Very original. I wouldn't tell an agent he'll find your story fresh and exciting, however. That will probably taint his reading of the rest of the query. Instead let your story do the talking. :)
Good luck!

Cpoe2Books said...

I've seen critiques on blogs like QueryShark and other contests that include advice about not telling someone in the query letter what to think of the manuscript. I guess because different people see different things when they read. You consider it fresh and exciting, but another might see it as dark or dramatic. I hear the "show don't tell" line a lot and have tried to correct it in my own queries. Someday I might even be successful.
You introduce several characters in your query without a clear picture of what their roles are. Queries should be precise, simple, and intriguing enough to draw the reader to your story. Again, if I knew how to do this perfectly myself, life would be much simpler.
I've been told (repeatedly) a query should introduce the main character, the major conflict, and what's at stake. If you discover the magic formula to this, please pass it along.
I like the line in your first 250 words about the rain, but the rest seemed a little disjointed. Maybe a better separation in your paragraphs would help, because there were places where lines could have started a new thought or action which would be a new paragraph.
Finally, beware of tense. I think tense is the bane of every writer's life, but we have to keep them straight or it will throw off the rhythm of the story.
Good luck with your writing.

Brent Taylor said...

Some great comments here already! The query letter was a nice length and it was readable and I didn't have too many issues following the story. I probably wouldn't have continued reading, however, for two reasons: (1) this seems more urban fantasy than my taste skews, and (2) this voice didn't feel YA. There's something about the tone and the attitude of this protagonist that makes the voice feel adult. At any rate, this is just one of those instances where it's not an ideal personal fit. I hope this shows you how truly subjective the business can be.

Jeannie Alford Hagy said...

I'm wondering if it might be better to start your manuscript with the second paragraph and give the reader the info in the first paragraph a little later.

Sarai Henderson said...

You are all so amazing with your help. I appreciate you all taking time out of your busy days to give me some pointers on how to polish my work. Thank you!