I present to you… Birds vs Bastards

Hey all! So… As I mentioned, I’m going to start querying again and soon.

In the interests of that, I thought I’d share my query letter. Please feel free to crit me. Yes, I know it’s a SHORT book. I also know that lengthening it just for the sake of adding 20k words screws up the pacing. And my pacing is AWESOMESAUCE.

And no, the irony of me querying a very short book after querying a very long one isn’t lost on me. Ahem. The query.

First, do no harm. It’s an oath Blake Ryan took to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. 

Aleria had changed that. She’d given him mercy when he deserved death, set him straight and let him loose. Even though everyone she cares about wants him to die. He hasn’t let her down yet. Thanks to regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, he’s led a quiet life since WWII. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them. 
Then Aleria’s wheeled into his hospital ward, and his carefully controlled life teeters on the edge of disaster. Her life is vibrant. Basically, crack to immortals like him. And she can’t even remember her name, let alone defend herself. Deserting her when she needs help isn’t an option. 
The small problem is, Ryan will have to unleash his inner monster to protect her from those who want her dead. 
The nightmare is that his inner monster wants to kill Aleria himself, when the sane part of him is falling for her.
FOREVER is an Adult Urban Fantasy, complete at 41,000 words. 
I’m a published author of a YA Epic Fantasy novel under the pseudonym M. Gerrick. (The Vanished Knight, published by Etopia Press.)
There you have (a bit of) what this story’s about. Thoughts?
Advertisements

18 thoughts on “I present to you… Birds vs Bastards

  1. I'm not very good with query letters either. But I'll put in my two cents!

    First, do no harm. (Great hook!) It’s an oath Blake Ryan took to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. (I love this first bit. You nab the tone, give us character, and inner conflict.)

    Aleria had changed that. (Would it sound better to say Aleria changed that without the “had” in there? More active?) She’d given him mercy when he deserved death, set him straight and let him loose. (Loose from what?) Even though everyone she cares about wants him to die. He hasn’t let her down yet. Thanks to regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, he’s led a quiet life since WWII. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

    Then Aleria’s wheeled into his hospital ward, and his carefully controlled life teeters on the edge of disaster. Her life is vibrant. Basically, crack to immortals like him. (Basically isn't needed.) And she can’t even remember her name, let alone defend herself. (From what?) Deserting her when she needs help isn’t an option.

    The small problem is, Ryan will have to unleash his inner monster to protect her from those who want her dead. (What are those?)

    The nightmare is that his inner monster wants to kill Aleria himself, when the sane part of him is falling for her. (Nice climax. Dire and dark.)

    FOREVER is an Adult Urban Fantasy, complete at 41,000 words.

    I’m a published author of a YA Epic Fantasy novel under the pseudonym M. Gerrick. (The Vanished Knight, published by Etopia Press.)

    I want to read the manuscript after reading this. Marvelous character, tone, and inner conflict. The only thing I'm left uncertain about is the external conflict. Who are they? What do they want? Is it personal?

  2. Great hook, Misha! That first paragraph is really strong. Two thoughts: 1) is Aleria also an immortal? I think she is, right bc Ryan sucks OTHER immortal souls? Was trying to figure out if she's in the hospital from injury or simply old age. It might be worth clarifying a little on that. 2) I think you can combine the last few paragraphs to make them even more compelling w the tension of what's at stake – he has to unleash his inner monster to save her and yet by doing so might kill her.

  3. I read it, and I read the other comments on it, and baring in mind I've never done this before, I'd probably mirror what Christine said (without going through it all again). I definitely left me wanting and intrigued. Which is, I guess, the point. 🙂

  4. I like what Christine wrote. And the voice in the beginning is great. The only thing I would change is the later line
    “The nightmare is that his inner monster wants to kill Aleria himself, when the sane part of him is falling for her.”
    It feels like a tack-on explanation just stuck on the end. It would be better to show this woven into the earlier paragraphs so you can cut this line. Also, you already mentioned he wants to suck her soul with the crack line.

  5. Good bones to this. I would focus more on clarifying who Aleria is and what their relationship is before she's brought to the hospital. It seems like they already are in a relationship (Aleria had changed that. She'd given him mercy…he hasn't let her down yet) but then you say later that he's starting to fall for her. So just let us know how Aleria gave him mercy and that should give us insight as to who she is and set the stakes for why someone is after her.

    Good luck!

  6. “The nightmare is that his inner monster wants to kill Aleria himself, when the sane part of him is falling for her.”–> I'd change this to:
    While he's falling for Aleria, his inner monster wants to kill her.

  7. I like the general premise but was a little confused by the story. He lives forever but she ages? So she's an old lady when she's wheeled into hospital and that's when he falls for her? Does this story happen over a number of decades or was she quite old when they met?

    Feeling like there's too much info at once, might need to be simplified or possibly clarified in some way.

    mood
    Moody Writing

  8. Yeah, I second Julia. I love how you preface your awesomely in-depth critique with “I'm not very good with query letters […]”, Christine, you Query Critique Master, you. xD

    But yes, I loved the query, Misha! I'm curious as to what kind of creature Aleria is (1st of many guesses: an angel, perhaps?)

    So this is Birds V Bastards. I've been ridiculously curious, and it's UF! With a hint of PNR? I just fell for Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires which explains why I'm on a steamrollin' for urban fantasy romances. I'm gonna like this…

  9. I don't have enough time right now, but I am going to send you some feedback on your query later. Interesting that you chose Ryan's point of view over Aleria's. You definitely have the stakes clear, which is the most important part.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s