Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Guess the Plot
Heart of Desire
1. A thirty-something heart transplant patient falls in love with his donor’s wife. With a chapel in the hospital, they waste no time tying the knot.
2. Two archeologists fall in love while searching for the legendary heart-shaped Ming vase known as the Heart of Desire.
3. Desiré Plum and Harry Hart are engaged. Then one day Harry meets Sally. Can Desiré tear her Harry from a blockbuster movie script?
4. A retired nun explores the facets of love on the back of a Harley. On the front: Cardinal O'Malley.
5. Desiré was just another organ donor, but her heart can change the fate of mankind...if only they can find it.
6. The love child of the American president and a journalist has the ability to transcend time and space. And the oil companies want her.
It's my understanding from reading your listing in the 2006 Guide to Literary Agents that you're interested in representing thrillers and literary/mainstream fiction. My 91,000-word literary thriller manuscript, Heart of Desire, may be of interest to you.
Set against the backdrop of Washington D.C., several colorful Arizona locations, and, at the story's culmination, Tibet, Heart of Desire has speculative fiction elements, romance, mystery, action, and a multi-ethnic cast of characters. Its themes examine contemporary corporate politics, hardship created by emotional attachment, the power of the human mind, and the quest to understand life's true nature. [It is all genres, all styles, and all things to all people, and should appeal to those who read books, and even to those who don't.] My writing style is reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver meets Dan Brown with some Ray Bradbury thrown in. [Yes, Evil Editor can see the influence of all of them in this query letter, and not only them--I'm surprised you didn't also include John Dickson Carr, Philip K. Dick, Emily Dickinson, and Dick Vitale.]
Written in rotating first person POV with a third-person prologue and epilogue, the story takes an intimate look at the lives of six primary characters: Tess Shearer, a reclusive counterculture journalist and single mother of Mikka, an "Indigo" child, Tess's former lover and Mikka's father, U.S. President Harrison Cantrell Henry, a politician with an unusual agenda, Paul Shearer, Tess's clueless, gay brother, [You can't make the gay guy clueless; gay people will protest until all the major chains pull your books from the shelves.] the Reverends Marshall and Savannah Updike, New Age ministers specializing in conspiracy theory, [They preach the doctrine of The Da Vinci Code.] and Carson Hodges, Native seer and spiritual friend. [Carson the friendly ghost.] [You shouldn't be spending an entire paragraph on your characters.]
~~A chance meeting in Phoenix, Arizona between Clintonesque President Harrison Cantrell Henry and reclusive counterculture journalist Tess Shearer [You just described her as a reclusive counterculture journalist in the last paragraph.] [Presidents aren't allowed to have chance meetings.] leads to a steamy, unpublicized love affair. [The president has an affair with a journalist, and doesn't suspect her tell-all book will be on shelves three hours after he breaks it off?] Henry ends the relationship after increasing pressure from the tenacious Moral Right and the ubiquitous Company in a repressive political backlash. Tess disappears into her quiet Arizona life and secretly gives birth to Mikka, a precocious child able to transcend time and space. [She's the new nexus of time travel itself.] The powerful controllers pulling the strings of Earth's petroleum politics soon seek the toddler for a clandestine study. [How do they know Mikka exists, if Tess disappeared and secretly gave birth?] [And even if they know she exists, why would they suspect she has the power to transcend time and space?] [Why does she have this power?] [What exactly does it mean to transcend time and space?]
Constitutionally bankrupt after implementation of Patriot Acts I-V, laundered drug profits grease the palms of American political schemers, [How can laundered drug profits be constitutionally bankrupt?] bent on control of world oil and mineral supplies. While many Americans are still blind to their nation's dilemma, the world understands the United States is run by a shadow government of financial and military elites. What many inside and outside the U.S. don't realize is that alien masters manipulate the American imperial conquest. [Oh, I think we all know that alien manipulation is the only possible explanation for the state of our government.]
President Henry disappears in a coup disguised as an assassination during the final year of his term, near the anniversary of the JFK murder, [Coincidence? Or predicted by astrology?] just as he tries to act on his unusual political agenda—putting people and the environment before profit [How did this guy get elected?] and giving the American public full disclosure about the UFO enigma. Tess is teased out of retirement to cover the assassination story in Washington, aware of the mortal danger that she and her daughter face.
Frightened by what she learns, Tess flees the federal district for her mountain home, more interested in keeping Mikka's identity and talents a secret [A secret? If they're a secret, why were the oil companies after her?] than in confronting the system that harasses her. Assisted by New Age minister friends versed in the undercurrent of American history, a Native spiritual seer, as well as her hapless gay brother, the unwitting dupe of a Company agent, Tess manages to stay one step ahead of her nefarious pursuers. The lovers' lives collide again in the back country of Yavapai County, Arizona, where they grapple with their personal desires and chances for survival, as their small daughter makes a mysterious, transcendental Tibetan journey. [If transcending time and space means she can suddenly find herself stuck in Tibet in 1948, she can have the power.] [The president disappears, then turns up in Arizona, and doesn't immediately come forward?] ~~
The sequel to Heart of Desire will be The Fifth Revolution. The sequel's premise concerns the failure of the current petroleum-based world economy and the patriarchal paradigm that supports it - an earth doomed to chaos until a movement supported by a variety of brave bodhisattvas [Doughnuts come in varieties; brave Bodhisattvas come in bands, for alliterative purposes.] restore the earth's balance, thus initiating the dawn of an enlightened era. [It's not every day that you see the words "paradigm" and "bodhisattvas" in the same sentence.]
[Lengthy paragraphs of credits deleted because this is already way too long.]
Thank you for opportunity to share my work. This is a simultaneous query. I'd be happy to supply a chapter synopsis and/or a partial manuscript if you're interested.
Evil Editor started to write a revised version, but it isn't clear whether the focus is on government conspiracy or on Tess and her daughter. If it's both, the query should probably focus on Tess, as that seems more interesting.
In an attempt to reduce the length, consider that there isn't much in paragraphs 2, 3, 5, or 8 that we can't do without.