1. Khoughing with khonstant khatarrh, the khalico khitten Kharon seekhs a khure. A riskh-filled qhuest khoncludes with the akhuisition of a khodex khontaining the recipe for the khure--khoded in Khufic.
2. When Karen Cooper holidays in Greece, she little imagines that helping the weary old ferryman she meets will lead to an unexpected change in her career, her life, and her name.
3. King Khoran has serious girl trouble. Everybody wants to be the Queen. The whole country's loony, he can't get a moment of peace. So he sails away in search of his long lost cousin, Rolligar, former crown prince who scrammed and is rumored to be hiding out on some remote island in the South Seas.
4. Six young mountaineers set out to climb a remote peak in the Himalayas, and soon become lost. They're so lost, they slip through time to a wild ancient frontier and are captured by a force of axe-wielding yakmen who decide to sell them to Alexander the Great's army as entertainers. Will the Emperor appreciate line-walking and rap music?
5. The ferryman of the river Lethe, smitten by the shade of a waifish Goth girl, breaks all the rules by returning with her to the world of the living, only to find that she's happier in the gloomy underworld.
6. Twins Karen and Sharon find a mysterious sequined dress at the thrift shop. When they make themselves matching bustiers from it, they are transformed into the superhero Kharon, and the whole double-dating thing gets even more complicated.
7. A beautiful woman with a red evening dress and a broken-down car, a barking dog, twin midgets, a "magic wand," and a sullen cook with a limp -- these are all out of place at Willows Manor -- but were they part of the jewel heist of the century or the murder of aged billionaire Pasha Parma? It's Mike Kharon's job to find out -- if he can stay ahead of the masked bandit long enough to discover the truth!!
8. In the ancient land of Yofflia, a thin little prince nicknamed "Grasshopper" seeks enlightenment down by the fishing hole. When a winsome damsel comes skipping along with a basketful of muffins, will he toss off his crown and say yes?
9. College freshman Karen Smith learned belly dancing, changed her name to Kharon, splashed herself all over the internet, and started handing provocative photos to foreign MBA students, which soon brought her to the attention of Sgt. Jones, vice squad officer. Then a Russian oil mogul's heir disappeared, leaving Kharon's chocolate-smeared picture as the only clue. Now homicide detective Zack Martinez knows he must find Sgt. Jones -- before he kills again!
10. Kharon believes his demise is imminent. Sure, he's innocent, but that doesn't appear likely to halt his execution . . . until a group of vigilantes who believe in his innocence rescue him from jail. Now, with the help of a monk, a circus contortionist, and a dwarf, he must prove his innocence without being re-arrested.
11. Ferrying the dead was boring, until the day that thug Kharon took over for his cousin Charon. Will the Underworld ever recover? Also, a talking flute.
12. Kharon hated his Mom and hid Dad and his little brother, but could he have murdered them? The GPS unit in the computer chip located in his brain says he was at the skate park at the time, but does it tell the whole story?
13. When one of her classmates disappears from campus, Camden suspects Kharon of kidnapping her. Kharon suspects that Camden suspects him, and Camden suspects that Kharon suspects that she suspects him. The big question is whether Kharon suspects that Camden suspects that Kharon suspects that Camden suspects.
14. All her life, Kharon Jones has grown up with that lousy name. When her family moves to a new town, she gets a chance to become popular and admired. However, her arch rival Britancy Broadships has other plans and the battle of the blonds is engaged.
Dear Evil Editor,
Going away to boarding school is like getting a new life. I mean, you practically show up wet, cold, and with a freshly snipped umbilical cord or something. It's a pretty big change when you're fourteen.
Sometimes things suck. Like roommates. Especially when your roommate hates you. Or when she says messed up stuff like, "your parents don't want you anymore. That's why they sent you here."
You know that's total crap. Except somehow it gets in your head. So when that butt-munch roommate leaves herself open to the best prank ever, you'd totally take it, right? [What would you take? The prank? I'd say "You'd totally go for it, right?"] Yeah you would. I did. [You did? Is this an autobiography? A cry for help? Do I need to arrange a rescue?]
But I probably shouldn't have. Because instead of getting even with my roommate, I ended up scaring the crap out of this girl named Jamie, who was pretty fragile to start with. Now she's gone. Official word is she went home voluntarily. In the middle of the night. And left all her stuff. Including her wallet. Rumor mill says she killed herself, and that prank I pulled was what sent her over the edge. Everyone hates me. If the rumors were true, I'd hate myself too.
But the thing is, I'm pretty sure all those people have the story wrong. There are a lot of secrets here on this campus when you shut your mouth and open your eyes. The big one is that Jamie was stolen. I just don't know how to prove it. And last night, I'm pretty sure the guy who stole her figured out that I know something.
Kharon is a literary novel, complete at 70,000 words. It could be described as The Secret Life of Bees meets Five People You Meet in Heaven, [If you were gambling that I've read those, you lose.] with thematic focuses on the search for identity and redemption.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Title Explanation (not part of query): Kharon is the name of the man our heroine (Camden) believes is involved with the disappearance of students from campus.]
Okay, first a brief discussion of whether it's a good idea to write a business letter to an editor in the persona of a fictional character. If it paid off with any frequency, everyone would be doing it. There'd be query letters starting off like these:
My leg? It got bitten off by a whale. The name's Ahab. Most guys would retire from whaling once they were down to one leg, but not me. I'm gonna find that whale and put a harpoon in his side, preferably before he eats my other leg.
Call me Silas. Yes, I'm a hulking albino. What of it? It so happens I got involved in a tale of intrigue that will shock the Christian world. That I'm a hulking albino is beside the point. Stop staring at me!
Possibly there are agents who would find this clever, though I suspect if they took you on they would rewrite the query letter before submitting to editors. I'm guessing your book is in first person, Camden's POV, and you want to work her voice into the query. But the voice is there, even if you change "I did" in paragraph 3 to "Camden did," and use 3rd person the rest of the way.
In 1st person, you lose the voice in the last paragraph. It should be more like: Kharon is a 70,000-word book I wrote about what happened that semester at boarding school. In 3rd person you can go ahead and talk about the bees who go to heaven if you must.
Here's something in 3rd person that's not much different from your version:
Going away to boarding school is like getting a new life. You practically show up wet, cold, and with a freshly snipped umbilical cord. It's a pretty big change when you're fourteen.
Also, roommates suck, especially when they hate you and say messed up stuff like, "Your parents don't want you anymore; that's why they sent you here." You know that's total crap, except somehow it gets in your head. So when that butt-munch roommate leaves herself open to the best prank ever, you'd totally go for it, right? Yeah you would. Camden did.
But instead of getting even with her roommate, she ended up scaring the crap out of this girl named Jamie, who was pretty fragile to start with. Now she's gone. Official word is she went home voluntarily, in the middle of the night. Right. And left all her stuff? Including her wallet? Rumor mill says she killed herself, and that prank Camden pulled was what sent her over the edge.
But the thing is, all those people have the story wrong. There are a lot of secrets on the Oberon campus when you shut your mouth and open your eyes. Camden can't prove it, but she's pretty sure Jamie was kidnapped by this guy named Kharon. And she's pretty sure that Kharon thinks she knows.
Kharon is a literary novel, complete at 70,000 words. Thank you for your time.
The way the query reads in 1st person (with a few changes) might be a good way to start the book, an intro to the plot. Here's how The Catcher in the Rye begins:
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all - I’m not saying that - but they’re also touchy as hell. Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole goodam autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out and take it easy.
In other words, the main character's voice as he announces that he's about to tell the story of a certain period of time. (Not having seen how your story does open, I'm not suggesting you switch to this, just saying it reads like an opening might.)
If most of the characters are about 14 years old, is there a reason this is a literary novel as opposed to YA? Most adults, having been 14 at one time, are aware that there's not much going on in a 14-year-old's head that they care about. It also sounds like a mystery or a suspense novel.
Kharon doesn't have much query space, considering the book is named after him. Should we know a little more about him?