Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. The devout are confused with the undead as zombies bent on world domination rise up at the same time as The Rapture. Will anyone get out alive?
2. A psychotic drug kingpin who is also the son of a U.S. senator and the leader of a religious cult that practices human sacrifice, kidnaps the daughter of a policewoman in order to sacrifice her on Easter morning.
3. Carolina Moops has twenty-four hours to jump-start her dead-end wardrobe. Will a crash makeover on a TV show breathe life into the corpse of her couture?
4. The Rolling Stones refuse to allow Death to get in the way of performing a final concert tour. The plan? Exhume Keith, hook him up to the amplifier, and wait for lightning to strike.
5. Jack knew he could get in trouble for emptying his bladder in a cemetery, but he never expected his urine to wake the dead.
6. Mary Magdalene's place in history is made more controversial by the discovery of papers showing that a life insurance company sued her for fraud after the stone was rolled back to reveal that Jesus wasn't dead.
Dear Evil Editor:
I offer you RESURRECTION, a completed psychological thriller of 125,000 words that plunges the reader into the extreme mind control found in the worlds of Palo Mayombe and Santería, occult religions rampant in South Texas. There are no supernatural events here, no spirit beasts, or things that go bump in the night; just the power of mental manipulation that leads to horrible crimes.
The novel is the story of LUKE OEDING, a rangy minister with a dark secret, [He's rangy? Meaning he:
is inclined to rove?
has long slender limbs?
has excellent range when he sings opera or plays shortstop?] and NANCY NEFF, a deputy sheriff. [Who, apparently, isn't rangy.] The two fight to save her teenage daughter from the occult manipulations of JUAN OTERO,a psychotic crime leader who kidnaps her, and is the son of a U.S. senator..
I suspect readers of Dean Koontz and James Patterson might find this topic of interest.
My research does not find any novel using Palo Mayombe as a central theme, while Santería is featured in THE RELIGION, a novel published more than ten years ago. This book was the basis for The Believers, a motion picture starring Martin Sheen. [Santería is also featured in the film When the Spirits Dance Mambo.] [Interestingly, the author of The Religion doesn't make it into the query, but Martin Sheen does.] [My own research into Santería finds that there are millions of practitioners, so maybe this cult in Texas isn't indicative of the norm. Also, I learned that Santería, perhaps in an effort to one-up Christianity, has eleven commandments. Their extra one is Thou shalt not eat human flesh. I'm not sure which is more alarming: that the Christian God didn't command that people not eat human flesh, or that the Santería God felt the need to.]
In one documented case in South Texas a college student on spring break was kidnapped and sacrificed by a drug cult a few weeks before Easter. This was a story I covered for People magazine, and it sparked my interest in the machinations of the real occult world, not one of supernatural beasts and make believe.
I’m a seasoned journalist and published author of four non-fiction books ranging from biography to true crime. [In short, you're rangy.] One was a Literary Guild alternate selection, and another was a True Crime Book of the Month. My fiction work has been for stage and television. I have had two plays produced, and I’ve written for television as well as served as associate producer on a mini-series nominated for an Emmy. I have worked for Time, Life, and People, as well as the Dallas Times Herald and the San Antonio Light. [Let me know if your connections will get Novel Deviations reviewed in Time and People; I'll up the print run.]
I hope you find this proposal not only of interest, but groundbreaking, and thank you for taking the time to read this query and accompanying synopsis..
RESURRECTION is a 125,000-word psychological thriller that thrusts the reader into the extreme mind control found in the worlds of Palo Mayombe and Santería, occult religions rampant in South Texas. There are no supernatural events here, no spirit beasts, or things that go bump in the night; just the power of mental manipulation, leading to horrible crimes.
When a drug-addled teenager turns the annual Alamo Day Parade into a bloodbath, the tragedy plunges minister LUKE OEDING and deputy sheriff NANCY NEFF into a deadly race to save Nancy's daughter, CINDI, from the South Texas drug cult to which she belongs. Cindi, photographed blood-covered and screaming beside the body of a dead classmate, has become the media symbol of the tragedy--and the object of cult leader JUAN OTERO’s obsession. Frustrated when his impotent magic potions do not draw Cindi to him, Otero kidnaps her, sending Luke and Nancy into a race to find her--a race made all the more urgent because in a few hours it will be Easter morning, the traditional time for the Palo Mayombe ritual of human sacrifice.
My interest in the machinations of the occult world was sparked when I covered (for People magazine) a 19__ case in which a college student on spring break was kidnapped and sacrificed by a drug cult at Easter. I’m a seasoned journalist and published author of four non-fiction books ranging from biography to true crime. One was a Literary Guild alternate selection, and another was a True Crime Book of the Month. I have had two plays produced, and I’ve written for television as well as served as associate producer on a mini-series nominated for an Emmy. I have worked for Time, Life, the Dallas Times Herald and the San Antonio Light.
I hope you find this proposal of interest.
The query didn't have enough plot, no doubt because it was accompanied by a synopsis. I didn't find the synopsis clear enough, and lifted some of it for use in the query.