Wednesday, March 16, 2016

An Agent's Inbox #6

To Mr. Brent Taylor:

Believed to be a dark omen by her own people, Crysta grew up under a medieval cloud of suspicion. They whisper because she is the first princess in five centuries born without the elemental powers of her ancestors. When she discovers her aunt plotting to kill her and take the kingdom even that uncertain world collapses.

Crysta's bad habit of eavesdropping has landed her in hot water for the last time. Her aunt wants the throne and will destroy anything, maybe everything, in her path. When she delves recklessly into the black arts, the foundations of their world crumble in a battle between good and evil no one can possibly win. A spell is cast to protect the survivors, and Crysta disappears from time.

Reborn centuries later, this medieval princess is stuck in the modern world with no memory of her past existence. The life she knows is a lie, but this eighteen year old sceptic needs more than a new-to-town stranger and a plea for help to convince her. After all, everyone knows magic isn't real.

Another elemental war is brewing, and someone just sent it to her doorstep. Assassin spells and dark magic make for an awkward start to senior year. Big Bad wants Crysta in the ground, and no one will tell her why. When family and friends get caught in the crossfire of her deadly, new life, she'll need to decide if throwing in the towel might be a better choice than trying to save the world. And she just might be willing to skip out on her oh-so-magical destiny.

CHILDREN OF AVALON is a Young Adult Fantasy complete at 60,000 words. SKY HIGH meets GAME OF THRONES in this parallel world's coming of age story where swords are the newest fashion accessory, and magic isn't something from a fairy tale.

For the past several years, my focus has been creative writing as a member of Ozark Writers League, Twin Lakes Writers, and Ozark Creative Writers and Illustrators. I have won several regional awards during this time. I also maintain a professional online presence with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and work as a mentor for a teen writing group.

Thank you for your consideration of my work, and I hope to hear from you soon.



The wind tore around them as horse and rider flew toward the tree line. Each pounding hoof beat of her mount echoed in Crystianna's ears and thudded through her chest. Grass and the warm scents of summer filled the air.

She glanced back and saw her brother, Damien, bent low over his saddle, a white mane flying across his angular face. Devilish eyes met her glance with a challenging gleam.

Clouds of dust and dirt drew her eye to the thundering mass of wild horses coming up behind them. Damien's grin spread. He had whipped the beautiful creatures into a frenzy, daring her to race with them across the open fields. And like all their mischief, he never had to dare for long.

She leaned forward to whisper encouragement in Starlight's ear, following the powerful motion as her horse ran. They shot forward in a burst of speed--perfectly attuned since the magnificent animal had been given to Crystianna for her ninth birthday. Her father always said the filly's beautiful white coat reminded him of his daughter's bright smile.

She laughed, delighted, when Damien fell behind. Then, Starlight lurched, broke stride, and plunged. Momentum pulled her from the saddle with a frightened scream.

She pitched forward, the ground rushing to meet her. After one hard bounce, the bite of dirt coated her tongue while she lay choking for air. Dull aches screamed along her shoulder and side, but the sound of thundering hoof beats brought her back to reality with a jerk.


Jan Fosse said...

I really like your opening. You've got a good concept, and your query hints at an epic adventure. If the writing holds up to this opening, you've got a buyer in me! You can tell you've taken the time to polish your work and draw the reader right into the story. Good luck to you!

Kristina Ruth said...

What exactly is a "medieval cloud of suspicion." Is it a witch hunt type situation? Who cast the spell to help the survivors? Given what I know about her aunt, I assume it wasn't her. It's hard to tell.

I LOVE paragraph 3. That is where I realized I liked Crysta.

Paragraph 4: Did you mean "Assassin's spells"? Who's Big Bad? This person seems to come out of no where. A quick explanation like, "A mob boss, Big Bad..." would fix this. For a brief second I thought it was her aunt.

250: Definitely makes me want to read more. It started out all nice and cute, then an accident. Seemingly by magic, possibly that was a daydream of a dream, but I'll never know because the cap is 250 words... *sigh*

I like it, and I'd keep reading.

Erica Klarreich said...

Your 250 words really draw the reader in! I like the way they give such an instant sense of who Crysta is, and the imagery is vivid and immediate.

I found the query somewhat hard to follow, and I think you are trying so hard to give a sense of your terrific writing that it ends up being a little overwritten. For example, I'd consider cutting "medieval" in the first sentence -- because what is a medieval cloud of suspicion? And in the third sentence, could you find a more specific word to describe her world than "uncertain"?

I was puzzled by how her bad habit of eavesdropping landed her in hot water -- it sounded as if it gave her crucial information about her aunt's plans. Like the above commenter, I also wondered who cast the spell to protect the survivors (that sentence is in passive voice) and who Big Bad was (the aunt, reincarnated?). And I wasn't sure what you meant by "throwing in the towel" -- I think maybe it meant refusing to take part in the war, but I'm not positive.

Lastly, I was wondering how much of the book is set in the medieval world, and how much in the modern world. Is the medieval part just a sort of prologue, or is it a huge chunk of the book? Based on how much space it occupies in the query, I'm guessing the latter; if it is more like a prologue, you might want to shorten that bit.

Your book starts with a bang! Best of luck!

Brent Taylor said...

If this were a query in my inbox, I would have probably stopped reading at about the second paragraph. It felt as if the same information kept being reiterated. I do think that some condensing can happen here. I also felt like there should have been either more focus on Crysta's first life or her life in the modern world -- the way this query is written causes me to believe that the novel is divided in that same way, and that just doesn't align with my personal taste.