Thursday, October 24, 2013
Thanks for all the great advice, gang! I used it, and did a little more homework concerning the agent I was targeting. I sent the query below on Monday morning, and received a request for the rest of the manuscript.
Dear Mr. ------:
I am seeking representation for "Death in Living Color,” a completed 83,000-word historical mystery set in 1951.
A decorated WWII veteran, badly scarred J.C. Dix just wants to forget the war and straighten out his life. He moves to Scottsdale, Arizona to practice law. But when he finally lands a client, he finds himself on the trail of hardened gangsters who spike women’s drinks then film them in sex acts, using a brand new color process, as part of a scheme to provide color porn movies for L.A. mob backers. After Dix spirits away the films, the gangsters go on a killing spree to recover them. As the bodies stack up, he tries to protect his client, but the county sheriff targets Dix as the prime suspect. Dix thinks he’s placated the sheriff. When he cracks the case, however—ready to name names and turn over the evidence—he finds he’s been hung out to dry. Meanwhile, the killers learn Dix has the films, and they’re coming for him. Before he can clear his name, Dix is forced to employ all his combat skills in a climactic shoot-out against the gangsters.
A life-long history buff, and member of the Scottsdale Historical Society, I carefully researched the 1950’s Phoenix area, but employed poetic license where historic detail inhibited story flow. Patrick Millikin, editor of Phoenix Noir (Akashic, 2009), described my manuscript as, “Chandler-esque—in a good way. A damn good way!”
I am a combat veteran (Special Forces Explosives Expert), hold a BA in Journalism/Mass Communications from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, have worked as a reporter, and have sold short fiction to anthologies, and magazines such as Boy’s Life (“Buffalo Smoke”, April 2013) and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine—Janet Hutchings, editor of EQMM, called my short story "Dancing in Mozambique" (July 2010) “one of the best mysteries of the year…”. I also blog with several other successful writers at: http://www.sleuthsayers.org
A synopsis and the first 50 pages of the manuscript are attached to this email.
Thanks again – to the Great EE! And, to my fellow minions!