Guess the Plot
1. After seventeen years in the psych ward, Oscar is finally released. Two days later he's back, begging them to admit him.
2. A psychic FBI agent can't believe her visions: pschic vampires are running amok in Cleveland.
3. Gala Peterson thought it sounded like fun: joining the cast of a new reality show, to be filmed in the remote Pacific islands where pirates and cannibals had once ruled. But the last challenge for the tribes is a deadly one--eat or be eaten.
4. After a traumatic car accident, Joe discovers he can no longer view the world continuously. Instead, he sees life in separate 30-second pieces. Can a compassionate therapist help him put his life back into a narrative?
5. Vampire puberty sucks bad enough, but when it's Chance's time to Turn into a full-fledged vampire, he's drafted for the wildly popular reality television show Fang Time.
6. Space diva Reality Jones has too many assistants, too many lovers, and too many years left on her contract. With the help of a promising young cloning scientist, Reality is going to chuck it all and head for the isolated paradise planet of Yarnow.
Rather than include a revised version, which tends to be boring when not much is changed, Evil Editor has decided to cover two queries in this post. Also figuring in this decision, is the fact that the two books have the same plot.
Original Version 1
Vlad the Impaler died centuries ago, but his cruelty lives on in a series of bizarre murders in Cleveland, Ohio where six people have been staked and bled dry. [It's a reverse vampire; it stakes its victims, and the only way to kill it is by biting its neck.] The only thing they have in common? Psychic abilities. [Sorry, but sensing that you're about to die, when you're locked in a room with a bloodthirsty vampire, does not make you psychic.] [Apparently there are so many psychics in Cleveland, even a vampire that drinks only the blood of psychics can get along just fine.]
Psychic FBI agent, Robin Lesange, [Is there anybody in this novel who isn't psychic?] is used to seeing to bloodspattered crime scenes play through her mind, but what's happening in Cleveland defies even her jaded experience. [For one thing, the blood spatters have all been licked.] For the first time, her clairvoyance shows her things that, not only shouldn't happen, but shouldn't exist either. [The second comma in that sentence, for instance, or the second word "to" in the previous sentence.]
Like vampires. [Them too.]
Nor is Robin the only one after the killer. Ambrose D'Avignon, a handsome, [psychic,] so-called 'vampire', [Having already said "so-called," no need to also use quotation marks--or even apostrophes.] claims the killer is a genetic mistake, a vampire that failed to evolve from drinking blood to feeding on human energy and must be destroyed. [Vampires who feed on human energy, however, don't need to be destroyed; all they do is turn people into couch potatoes.] He has been sent [by whom?] to make sure the killer quietly disappears, and isn't about to let Robin get in his way--though that doesn't keep him from trying to seduce her.
Ignoring Ambrose's advances, Robin continues her investigation expecting to find a more conventional answer than what her psychic skills have revealed. [Six victims with their blood completely drained, her psychic sense screaming, "IT'S A #$%&$# VAMPIRE, IDIOT," and she wants another answer? Like what? Someone's trying to make the world's biggest Bloody Mary in his hot tub, and misunderstood the recipe?] But when the killer starts to stalk her as his next victim [Evil Editor saw that coming a mile away.] just as Ambrose draws her deeper into his mythic reality, Robin has to face the fact that monsters do exist, and it's up to her to stop them...even if it means becoming one herself.
Complete at 80,000 words, REALITY BITES is a paranormal thriller with a strong romantic subplot. Per your guidelines, please find enclosed a synopsis and the first three chapters.
I have always enjoyed STORIES by X and wrote REALITY BITES with that readership [Myself.] in mind. Knowing you represent X, I thought you might find my manuscript of interest. [Actually, if I'm looking for a book that will be enjoyed by readers of X, and I happen to represent X, I think I'll start by checking in with X to see what she's working on. But you can be Plan Y.] Thank you for your time and consideration.
Original Version 2 (Relentless Dawn)
Dear Ms. Editor so-and-so:
Thank you for meeting with me at the (local RWA chapter) retreat at (location). I enjoyed our [(fawning adjective)] discussion of my paranormal romantic suspense manuscript, Relentless Dawn, and appreciate the opportunity to submit my work to you.
In Relentless Dawn, homicide detective Samantha Lawford is on the hunt for a mysterious killer known as “The Biter.” [I realize "Hannibal the Cannibal" is already taken, but The Biter?] After a series of dead-end cases, these high profile murders could be her chance to prove herself worthy of her badge.
As the Vampire Enforcer of Vegas, [Are we talking about someone who enforces vampires, or a vampire who's an enforcer, or both?] Damien Commons [Damien? He's a vampire, all right.] must catch the rogue vampire before he bites again—otherwise, Damien’s own life could be forfeit. [Explain.] He also needs to keep the sexy detective off the blood trail and prevent her from being the next one bitten…unless it's by him.
While Relentless Dawn is a stand-alone book with a satisfying conclusion to Samantha and Damien’s story, I am developing the (series title) series, which intertwines the lives of each vampire in Damien’s family [It must be tough growing up in a whole family of vampires, what with all the fighting over who gets to drain the Domino's guy's blood every night.] as they embark on sexy adventures that lead to love.
I am published in book length non-fiction with (title) from (respectable publishing house). Additionally, I am a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Washington Romance Writers. I am an attorney and member of the Virginia State Bar.
Enclosed please find my first chapter and synopsis for Relentless Dawn. Upon your request, I will be delighted to send the completed 100,000 word manuscript and have enclosed an SASE for your convenient response. You may also contact me via email at (my email address) or via phone at (my phone number). I appreciate your consideration of my work and [(adverb expressing submissiveness)] look forward to hearing from you [(vague time period)].
There's room for some more information in the second query, especially after the part about being a lawyer is removed. The first query could be shortened by eliminating the paragraph about X and moving the two-word paragraph to the end of the previous paragraph. Then the race is on, because no agent has room on his list for two novels about a female law officer trying to solve a bunch of blood drainings, and falling in love with a vampire who's also after the collar. Better get those queries out today.