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Monday, August 27, 2012

QueryCon #13--Affairs of the Dead

Title: Affairs of the Dead
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Name: A.J. Locke


Dear Editors,

I am seeking representation for my 85,000 Adult Urban Fantasy novel, AFFAIRS OF THE DEAD.

Necromancer Selene Vanream helps ghosts settle their affairs so they can fade to the afterlife. However, after her often illegal methods of helping her clients lands her in trouble, she’s downgraded to tracking ghosts who hide out, since ghosts that linger too long become murderous beasties. And here Selene thought having an affair with the boss would get her out of trouble, not into it.

While tracking, Selene finds Ethan, a ghost who claims he was ousted from his body and someone else jumped in. Selene suspects reanimation; a power only a minority of necromancers have, including Selene.Reanimation entails bringing a corpse back to life using the soul from a living body, but that doesn’t add up to how Ethan became a ghost. What’s worse, partnered with Micah, a one night stand who turned hostile after, Selene investigates murders where the evidence pinpoints Ethan’s stolen body as the culprit.

When Selene accidentally binds herself to Ethan, she begins to understand the scope of reanimation, and gains power that could put Ethan back into his body. Selene has more than one reason to help Ethan though,because being ghost bound incurs the Rot, which will gradually decay her body due to constant exposure to ghost energy. Throw in a shifting relationship with Micah and a suddenly possessive boss, and Selene will learn just how much trouble you can get into when you don’t follow the rules.

AFFAIRS OF THE DEAD can stand alone but has series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,
A.J. Locke

4 comments:

Krystal Wade said...

This seems like it may be a bit long and telling. But the concept is interesting.

Nancy M Bell said...

There is too much information crammed into this query and the result is a confusing mish mash of characters.
In the first paragraph, the first line is fine, if a bit long. Then it gets confusing, her methods are illegal by whose standards, and who demotes her. I would remove the mention of her boss and the affair from this paragraph as it isn't really related to anything else in the paragraph. The second paragraph has way too much information for a query and then suddenly another character is introduced, Micah. A partnership is mentioned with Micah but I'm not clear if it's Selene or Ethan who is the other partner.
The concept is interesting, my concern is this, given the amount of information dump in the query it leads me to think that the manuscript may be the same and would require major edits.
I suggest taking your query and stripping it down to the bare basics, then round that out with just enough other information to let the reader grasp the concept of the story without getting too granular.

Amy Lichtenhan said...

Hi A.J.,

You had a really great start to this query: Necromancer Selene Vanream helps ghosts settle their affairs so they can fade to the afterlife. However, after her often illegal methods of helping her clients lands her in trouble, she’s downgraded to tracking ghosts who hide out...

From there it gets long and jumbled. You have too much unnecessary information thrown out in a short span, plus there is quite a bit of telling going on: Reanimation entails bringing a corpse back to life using the soul from a living body.

My suggestion would be to pinpoint all the spots where you've "told" us about your story and in their place, show the sequence of events Selene is going through.

Wishing you all the best!

abuckley23 said...

Hi AJ,

There's a lot of information here that you can probably trim down. Watch your name repetition too. Otherwise it's a very interesting premise.