#8 – Sky Funeral

Dear Doctor Query:

Peter Grant had the good sense to retire from his stint as a Marine on permanent loan to the CIA while all his parts were still in working order. Fifteen years as the pointy end of Uncle Sam’s big stick earned Grant the right to a quiet life.

Then an old friend calls in a chit, asks a simple favor. Since Grant already has plans to visit Tibet, all he has to do is deliver a letter when he gets there. The recipient? A mole. A high-ranking officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army, commander of a top-secret military facility outside Lhasa.

Based on an intelligence officer’s assessment, Grant expects to find a self-important, avaricious traitor who’s lost his nerve. Instead, he meets Colonel Sun, a determined, principled man caught in the closing jaws of a State Security investigation. Sun requests exfiltration, a move that would threaten the existence of the Tibetan network.

Grant finds himself sucked into the vortex that swirls around clandestine operations gone bad. A State Security officer dogs the colonel’s steps, half a world away Chinese spies relentlessly dig for the truth, and the carefully woven shroud of subterfuge that protects the Tibetan underground begins to unravel. In the scramble to protect networks, operatives, and secrets, the interests of nations threaten to grind the Chinese agent under the wheel of necessity.

But, Grant doesn’t have to let it happen. He doesn’t work for the CIA anymore.

Deep in hostile territory, operating naked on the remote Tibetan plateau, Grant takes a risky gamble. He plots Colonel Sun’s escape, a hell-for-leather race to freedom.

The simple favor just got complicated.

I am seeking representation for SKY FUNERAL, a completed 90,000 word spy thriller, the first in a planned series. I have a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and a fourteen-year career in the defense industry. I’ve been a member of Pikes Peak Writers, Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group, and Valencia Critique Group, and have attended numerous writing seminars, conferences, and classes.

This is very good.

You have given us a sense of urgency, and your voice has authority.  The query and the subject matter fit together, and your life experience makes a convincing argument that you could tell this story.  As a reader, I feel as though I would be in good hands with you.

The only thing I would do is tighten it up.  Take your seven paragraphs and try to turn them into three or four. Brevity is strength.

Then send it out!

That is all.

Doctor Query

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#2 – Fantasy

Dear Doctor Query:  Please look at my letter below.  Please also be kind.

JAVELIN PLANET is a 130,000 word fantasy that features an amazing world of superhuman sports competitors.  Rolf, 23, and Lea, 19, are in love.  They want to marry and raise a family together.  But first, they have to win the right to mate.

In their time, mating is allowed only to a few elite of each generation who have proven that they have DNA worth preserving.  Of the select members of the population who are permitted to reproduce, all will be successful — for they have such healthy, perfect bodies that fertility is a non-issue.  And the offspring of these superior humans will then be cloned thousands of times over, thereby repopulating the planet.

Super Athlete Quelch, an old “friend” of Lea’s family, is running this year’s international competition.  Lea wins the decathlon after nearly having her achilles tendon severed by an arch-rival, a woman named Amandine who wants Rolf for her own.  But can Rolf, weakened by what looks like long-term poisoning, make it to the finish line of the super-marathon?  If not, his beloved will be given to S.A. Quelch as a mate.  Quelch, who has coveted Lea’s mother before her, is too old to run.  But he’s got the DNA that qualifies him to reproduce.

And he’s got the power.

My background is in sports medicine, and I’m a marathoner myself.  I’d love to send you some pages so that you can see my writing style.

Thank you for your consideration.

Doctor Query finds your submission refreshingly streamlined and free of excess verbiage.  This is a good concept, with both thriller and fantasy elements.

You didn’t make it clear that the book is complete.  For novels, you are wasting your time if you send a query letter before you have finished.

Doctor Query did not anticipate seeing such a good query so quickly on this site.  Congratulations.

I would look at this.

That is all.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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