Friday, May 19, 2006

Face-Lift 27

Guess the Plot

The Heart of the Tengeri

1. Her empire crumbling, Queen Amanizar must wrest power from the court wizard. Her only hope of saving her people: the fabled . . . Heart of the Tengeri.

2. Beautiful surgeon AMANDA LOVELACE must choose between honor and an illegal heart transplant for the Hungarian warlord she loves.

3. Sequel to The Spleen of the Tengeri, in my Alien Body Parts series.

4. Professor Sneebles is hot on the trail of the mythical Tengeri! With only a protractor and portable vivisection kit, can he find its heart in time?

5. A group of misfits overturn the Tengeri, the evil lords of the galaxy, by destroying their collective pulsar heart.

6. Geri's parents, desperate to save their first child, have made nine failed attempts to clone her for spare parts. Tenth time's the charm, they hope.


Original Version

Hello! I am currently seeking representation.

Queen Amanizar is young--barely out of her teens--and small for her age. She has inherited a crumbling empire ringed with encroaching enemies. Not only does she have to wrest power from the powerful court wizard, but her only hope of saving her people is to find a magical stone, the fabled Heart of the Tengeri. The Heart of the Tengeri, is a fantasy novel of about 98,122 words. [I could be more precise, but I wasn't sure whether to count "warrior-queen" as one word or two.]

I am a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it shows in this novel. There are two major differences in this tale however. There are no vampires, demons or werewolves--all the monsters are human. The second difference is that Queen Amanizar has no special powers.

[Actually, there seem to be more than two differences between your tale and Buffy, as demonstrated in the following chart:

Battles demons, werewolves, etc.?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: No.

Has superhuman strength?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: No.

Rules a crumbling empire?
Buffy: No. Queen Amanizar: Yes.

Best friend is a lesbian witch?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: No.

Had sex with vampire who was later rewarded with spinoff TV series?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: No.

Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: TBD.

Bears any resemblance to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, beyond being a female heroine?
Buffy: Yes. Queen Amanizar: No. ]

She must win against impossible odds [Evil Editor sees this phrase often; he wonders if his minions know the meaning of the word "impossible."] using only her intelligence and courage. Eventually it is clear she has both in abundance.

This is a story focused on struggle against great [That's better.] odds. It's a big problem if the reader is bored. It's a disaster if the author is bored! [And it's a catastrophe if the agent reading the query letter is rolling her eyes halfway through.] Therefore there are surprises around almost every corner. I have crafted each character to be unique and memorable. I like these people--Tenzen, the handsome Jakaeli prince, Boczar, the tough warrior, Danzia the elderly Dakhanni woman who has almost magical skill with a sword, even Khanagon the conniving wizard. [KHANNNNNNNagon!!!!] I enjoyed the time I spent writing about them. [Especially Tenzen.] [Evil Editor is now wondering who would win a sword fight between Boczar and Danzia. Danzia's skill is almost magical, but she's an old lady. Boczar is tough. My money's on Boczar.]

This book will appeal to young women in their late teens and twenties. However, I enjoy this kind of story and I am considerably older than that.

I am the author of Murder on the Waterfront, A Countess of Chesterleigh Mystery (2004, Hilliard & Harris) and also the author of Jubilee, A Novel (2003, PublishAmerica, unfortunately. I will explain if you ask.). [No need to explain; obviously real publishers saw that the title was Jubilee, a Novel, and that was the end of that discussion.] In addition to novels, I write short stories and essays on a broad range of topics. I am a two-time winner of Anotherealm's flash fiction contest and have been published in AlienSkin, Orchard Press Mysteries, Mysterical-e, RaggedEdge, SDO Detective, The Writer's Hood, Oracular Tree, Writers Unbound, Moon Dance and Deep Magic. I have an irregular column for our local newspaper The Norman Transcript, and write occasionally for Sooner Lawyer, an alumni magazine.

Here are snippets of what reviewers have said about my previous novels: [deleted by EE, who feels the credits and reviews should not go on longer than the part about the actual book.]

I have included the first chapter of Heart of the Tengeri below. Thank you for considering this proposal!


Revised Version

Hello!

I am seeking representation for The Heart of the Tengeri, a fantasy novel of about 100,000 words.

Queen Amanizar is young--barely out of her teens--and small for her age. She has inherited a crumbling empire ringed by encroaching enemies. Her only hope of saving her people is to wrest power from Khanagon, the powerful court wizard, and find a magical stone, the fabled Heart of the Tengeri.

This is a story focused on heroism and determination. To stave off her enemies, Queen Amanizar has only her intelligence, her courage, and her loyal allies: Tenzen, the handsome Jakaeli prince, Boczar, the tough warrior, and Danzia the elderly Dakhanni woman who has almost magical skill with a sword. Together they overcome nearly insurmountable odds to safeguard the kingdom.

I am the author of Murder on the Waterfront, A Countess of Chesterleigh Mystery (2004, Hilliard & Harris). In addition, I am a two-time winner of Anotherealm's flash fiction contest and have been published in AlienSkin, Orchard Press Mysteries, Moon Dance and Deep Magic.

I have included the first chapter of Heart of the Tengeri below. Thank you for considering this proposal!


Notes

The author rewrote this query, and her revised version is actually better in some ways than EE's, thanks to the additional information she had at her disposal. She was kind enough to let Evil Editor use her old version, which was much easier to poke fun at.

7 comments:

BuffySquirrel said...

Definition of impossible: keeping a straight face when reading EE's blog, even while knowing that when it's YOUR query being publicly humiliated, it's not going to be anything like so damn funny.

Jessica said...

I have a question, EE. Why is it that whenever you talk about an agent, you use she or her? Just curious. Oh, and that's hillarious about the Kahn joke. I was thinking that exact same thing when I saw that name.

Benja Fallenstein said...

Can we see the revised version? Surely I'm not the only minion who would love to see some happy news.

(This is a question for the author, of course, not for Evil Editor.)

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Yes, I'd like to see the revised version next to the original, as well.

Rei said...

KHANNNNNNNagon!!!!

You made my day. :)

As for the story: another "band of plucky adventurers, one of every cliche type, set out into the world with their charismatic leader to hunt down a powerful artifact that can save the day" story.

I'd also like to add that there's a reason that Mary Sue quizzes often query authors about their attachment to their characters. If you become too emotionally attached, you become inflexible with edits and have trouble giving any *real* flaws to the characters.

Virginia said...

"Small for her age" reeks of "Barely Legal." Might work in the novel, but consider leaving it out of the synopsis. Unless you WANT to hint at porn, of course. It would keep me reading...

Anonymous said...

"And it's a catastrophe if the agent reading the query letter is rolling her eyes halfway through."
Freudian slip?
jessica and I wonder.