Monday, October 18, 2010

Query Critique #15

Query #15- Jeanne

Dear Ms. Agent,

Didymus of Tiberias is a successful caravan driver in Galilee who has created a new life and new identity for himself until his closest friend, Nathaniel, exposes his criminal past.

Didymus wants to forget his father sold him into slavery for the price of a broken donkey and a few coins. He wants to erase his memories of murdering his abusive master to escape to freedom. But when his fellow former slave and co-conspirator, Nathaniel, acknowledges he's confessed their crimes to a man named Jesus of Nazareth, Didymus fears he will lose everything he has so carefully crafted. If Jesus turns him in to the Roman authorities, he faces arrest and crucifixion. He will do anything--even kill again--to prevent that gruesome fate.

Using his caravan as a cover, Didymus pursues Nathaniel and Jesus from Capernaum to Jerusalem. But he never expects to fall in love with Tabitha, a former leper who has been healed by Jesus. He knows her first loyalty is to Jesus. He longs to make her his wife, but he doesn't know if he can trust her with his secrets. If she betrays him as well, it could cost him his life.

Complete at 95,000 words, THE BLOOD OF A STONE (historical fiction) was long-listed for the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project.

I hold an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and am the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. My short story, "First Flight," was a literary fiction finalist in the Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Other short pieces have been published in print and online.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Wow! Your education shows, Jeanne. Your query is so polished I have nothing to add or change. Really. 

My only question is about how close you've kept your historical details to the New Testament accounts. If it's Biblically "kosher" (if you'll pardon the mix of OT and NT traditions), you might consider marketing it through the Christian agents and publishers (a la Left Behind).  If you've gotten creative with the Jesus portions of the story, though, you'll have better luck with the secular agents and publishers (a la Da Vinci Code). Either way, you're one to watch.  :)


Jeanne Lyet Gassman said...

Wow! Thank you so much! *blushing* Your comments were a great (and much needed after another rejection today) boost to my ego. My historical research is sound, or so I've been told by the experts. However, I suspect this book falls more into the "commercial" category than the "Christian" category. It's not a conspiracy story, as it's more character-driven than plot-driven. Again, thank you. This gives me the courage to get more q-letters out there.


Deniz Bevan said...

Sounds like a great story Jeanne! And thanks for a great example of a query letter :-)

Matt Sinclair said...

Cool premise. Good luck!

Eliza Tilton said...

I love this idea. I think you've got a winner here. said...

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