Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Agent's Inbox #4

Dear Ms. Marini,

I read on Literary Rambles that you are seeking a fresh take on YA paranormal and I believe I have accomplished that with THE THINGS THAT ARE and I hope you agree.

Sixteen-year-old Brooks Hartwel has stopped trying to save the murder victims she sees in her prophetic dreams. Clashes with police, a strained relationship with her mom, and a lifetime supply of psych meds hardly seems worth her failed attempts. Besides, screwing up her life for strangers is a bit too heroic, even for her.

Then her dreams become personal--she is the next murder victim. Unable to ignore her impending death, she races to reveal the killer before he finds her. But instead she discovers her prophetic dreams are linked to a society of demigods responsible for her father’s death and the boy she loves is one of them.

The Society of Soteira was created to rule man in secrecy, but a rogue group of demigods has formed and are wickedly determined to see Brooks dead. Or so she thinks. As she plunges into the mysterious world of the Soteirans, she learns that all is not as it seems and she must unravel the truth and choose her own fate, even if it means losing the boy she loves and in the end her life.

THE THINGS THAT ARE is a young adult, paranormal novel complete at 112,000 words. Though a stand-alone novel, it is the first of a planned trilogy with the second and third books titled THE THINGS THAT WERE and THE THINGS THAT ARE TO BE.

As instructed I have included the first 250 words below. If you are interested I would be happy to provide the complete manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Stalker. That was what everyone at school would call me if I were caught. But honestly, I could care less.

I peeked over the bushes again. He was sitting on the wooden porch swing with his legs resting on the railing in front of him and his phone pressed to his ear. If I had to listen to one more round of I’m sorry baby and you’re right baby, I was going to voluntarily face the humiliation and give myself up.

Hiding outside of my rival Christina’s house was not a planned event. It was an unfortunate event caused by a momentary hiccup in my sanity. We needed more ice for the barn party, so I had volunteered and took the opportunity to drive by her house on the way back from The Quick Stop. But, I didn’t just drive by. I hid the car and physically sneaked around her house, to try and catch a glimpse inside. Now I was stuck crouching behind the prickly hedges in her front yard because some boy had stormed outside onto her front porch before I could escape. I think he was arguing with his girlfriend.  If he had a girlfriend, maybe he shouldn’t be at another girls house, but that was none of my business. My business was finding a way to get back to Sam’s car that was parked halfway up the street before she sent out a search party or before I was spotted.


Jay Bendt said...

I really like the tone of the query but I'm having issues with the very second sentence of your first page. "I could care less," implies that Brooks already cares to a certain degree, which I doubt is what this was meant to portray.

While something like that would not put me off a book entirely, it would certainly make me wary about quality from the get go. So something to keep an eye out for!

And I think the story sounds really cool, and would definitely be something I'd read.

Danielle La Paglia said...

I like the tone and voice of the query and there's a strong voice to the first page as well. My first concern is that this is 112K paranormal. Fantasy books can run that high, but it's rare for a YA paranormal.

Next, I agree with the above, that line should read "I couldn't care less." And the next to the last line should read "...maybe he shouldn't be at another girl's house..."

I like the tone and voice, but I'm confused as to why she would be stalking her rival. At first I assumed she was stalking someone she saw in one of her visions, but it doesn't seem like that's case. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, but there's just not enough room here.

Good luck!

S.S. #20 said...

While I like the idea of a girl having the power to see other people's deaths and attempt to stop them. I was kinda turned off that she decided to stop until it was her life that was at stake. I would rather see her try and fail, and then start to get better at her "mission" than to just quit.

I also got hung up on the Society of Soteira. You tell us what Brooks thinks and then you elude to the idea that maybe she's wrong, which I like, but I think you might want to smooth it out a little and work on the flow of that explaination.

As for your 250 words, there are few grammatical and tense issues that pulled me away from the story and made it hard to get to know Brooks. You might want to spend a little time polishing it up.

Again, I like the premise, but there were too many little things that made it hard for me to really get into your story. Good luck!

Carmen said...

There's plenty of voice and intrigue in the sample. I wish I could read more.

I think you've started in a fun place and I can easily visualize the scene. LOVE the sentence:"It was an unfortunate event caused by a momentary hiccup in my sanity."
Who hasn't had some of those?! ;)

My only nitpick would be to remove the word "physically" in the 3rd paragraph.

Good luck!

Hell Braiser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria Marini said...

I think the tone and voice of this; it's fun and engaging. Ultimately, though, I had some basic concerns about this. First, at 112K it's a little bit too long. Most YA should fall between 60 - 90K. Second, it's hard enough to sell a paranormal YA in which the protagonist has visions, but combine that with secret society's and I just don't know if I could do it.