Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Guess the Plot
A Guardian's Tale
1. Jo Ann falls in love with her guardian angel, or rather the man he was, before he died 50 years ago. Obsessed with finding him, she gets lucky and discovers she can time travel.
2. An English lord, suddenly finding himself guardian of the children of the deceased sister he didn't know he had, hires a governess to whom he's strangely attracted--before realizing she's the ghost of the deceased sister he did know he had.
3. When an elderly neighbor is mugged, Destiny Rojas volunteers for the Guardian Angels, never expecting that the person most in need of her guardianship would actually be an angel.
4. Samael Bender is a lawyer with new-found religious zeal. As he comes to believe that his life parallels the accounts of the biblical Satan, originally a guardian and prosecutor doing God's duty, he confronts his destiny of eternal damnation.
5. Jasper, the grandson of The Guardian, knowing it meant he would have to listen to yet another Guardian’s tale, begged and pleaded with his mother not to leave him with Grandpa.
6. This was not just any mousehole, as Tess the feline Guardian knew well. This was a doorway into the realm of Fairie, and if she lapsed in her duties the real world was doomed!
Here it is:
I wish I had a crystal ball and knew exactly what you're looking for in a query letter and manuscript, as yours is the agency I'm most impressed with and would love to have represent me. [Aw, I bet you say that to all the agents.] With a sinking heart, I know I'm not alone in this desire; [Cute, but wasted, as the agent either started with your second paragraph (if you're lucky), or rejected this after the first sentence.] nonetheless, I humbly invite you to read my manuscript, "A Guardian's Tale," and consider representing me. It is a romance/time travel fiction work of 114,521 words.
The story of Cameron, a Guardian Angel, and his charge who was once his wife in another lifetime is the center of this romantic tale that begins in 1993 but travels back to 1943. Their love begins with a passion that time and tragedy can not destroy. Jo Ann Kerk is a successful public relations executive in 1993 Los Angeles, who secretly longs for a man she sees only in her dreams. His face haunts her nights and clouds any chance for a relationship with a living man. [Evil Editor hopes Jo Ann one day meets this man, and that when she does, he turns out to be a gifted psychiatrist.] Jo pursues him as rabidly as she has her career and learns that he actually lived fifty years before. [Isn't this the plot of Dead Again?] [How does she pursue someone she's seen only in a dream? Presumably she hires a police artist to draw a portrait of the guy from her description. Then she hacks into the FBI's database and uses their face-recognition software, which comes up with only one match: a guy who died 50 years ago. Undiscouraged, she seeks a way to go back to 1943. Am I close?] Through a twist of fate, she travesl back to 1943, [A twist of fate? You're going to have to do better than that. A twist of fate is when you accidentally catch the wrong bus and end up in Hoboken where you meet your future spouse. Catching the bus to 1943 is a massive, wrenching contortion of fate.] where she meets Cameron in the flesh and falls deeply in love with him [That was fast.] [Is this the life in which she was his wife? Is he currently married to 1943 Jo Ann? Does he cheat on 1943 Jo Ann with 1993 Jo Ann? It's not one of those confusing time-travel tales where Cameron, who is actually Jo's father, gets Jo pregnant in 1943, and she later has a baby who's her own sister, is it? Heinlein's short story "All You Zombies" is the best example of such a story, which I bring up only for the satisfaction of working zombies into yet another critique.] and hopes to change his fate of dying young at the hands of the Nazis. Along the way, Jo is befriended by an extraordinary young woman who teaches her about life in the 1940s. It doesn't take Jo long to realize that her new best friend in 1943 is her future mother. [Where is Jo Ann? One might assume Cameron is in Europe fighting Nazis, and Jo Ann's mother is in the U.S. collecting scrap metal. Apparently they're both in the same place. Or is the guardian angel zipping Jo Ann from place to place, like ghosts zipping Ebenezer Scrooge everywhere. It's all a dream, right?] Meeting the decesased mother she barely remembers from her childhood gives Jo a renewed hope for love and the self-acceptance she had been missing her entire life. Although Jo's romance with her angel incarnate in 1943 is doomed by World War II, her heart becomes more open to listening to the guidance of her Guardian Angel as she returns to 1993 [And immediately has a Christmas goose delivered to the Cratchit household.] and to the life she was meant to lead.
"A Guardian's Tale" is the second novel I have written, but the first I am actively marketing, and I'm currently considering a sequel. [In the sequel, Jo Ann will fall in love with General MacArthur, and serendipitously find herself in the Philippines in 1944.] I've incorporated stories I've heard all my life from my father and relatives about my family's history, especially their experiences during World War II. The character of Irene, Jo's mother, is based on my own mother, who passed away when I was child but has been one of my own guardian angels throughout my life.
I have been writing for more than 20 years, mostly non-fiction. My career has spanned magazine publishing, public relations and media marketing in Los Angeles and Honolulu. As a reporter and features editor, I had many non-fiction pieces published. I have spent the last eight years in media marketing, including writing broadcast copy for commercials, [You're not responsible for those Red Stripe beer commercials, are you?] and writing fiction in my "spare" time. I have a B.A. in journalism, with a minor in literature. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America.
Thank you for considering my project. I hope to hear a positive response back from you. And, if it's a form rejection letter, please make it a kind one, as I will be thoroughly disappointed. [If you can handle submitting to Evil Editor, you can handle one of those brutal, insulting form rejection letters.]
Here it is:
Cameron, a guardian angel, and his charge, who was his wife in another lifetime, are the central characters in A Guardian's Tale, my 115,000-word romance/time travel novel. Neither time nor tragedy can destroy their love.
Jo Ann Kerk, a successful public relations executive in 1993 Los Angeles, secretly longs for a man she sees only in her dreams. When she happens upon a photograph of this man, a photo taken fifty years earlier, she is discouraged. But she hasn't reckoned with the powers of her guardian angel, Cameron--who is the man in her dreams.
When Jo finds herself in 1943, she meets Cameron in the flesh and falls in love with him. She is also befriended by an extraordinary woman who proves to be her future mother. Meeting the mother she barely remembers gives Jo a renewed hope for love and for the self-acceptance that had been missing from her life. Although her romance with Cameron is doomed by World War II, her heart becomes more open to listening to her guardian angel's guidance as she returns to 1993 and to the life she was meant to lead.
A Guardian's Tale incorporates stories I've heard all my life about my family's experiences during World War II. The character of Irene, Jo's mother, is based on my own mother, who died when I was a child but has been one of my own guardian angels throughout my life.
I have a B.A. in journalism, with a minor in literature, and have worked as a reporter, a features editor, and a media copy writer, while writing fiction in my spare time. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America.
Thank you for considering my project.
It was, of course too long. And the cutesy stuff at the beginning and end didn't exactly reek of professionalism.
These time-travel stories can be confusing; Evil Editor surely got some of the facts wrong. He's confident you can handle the repair job.