Author Topic: Query: Upmarket: Jesus Just Left Chicago  (Read 594 times)

Offline DeeEssEss

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Query: Upmarket: Jesus Just Left Chicago
« on: January 23, 2019, 07:47:38 AM »
Help! Feel like this is a snappy and effective query letter, but I may be wrong :) . So far lots of "no responses" and a couple of quick rejections. All critiques welcomed and listened to.

Dear [Agent}–

With his former best friend bound and gagged in the basement, his worried wife on her way home, and a pistol in his pocket, Steven Todd is about to have one hell of a “come to Jesus moment”.

But it's a Cubs-cap wearing Jesus who comes to Steven. Wait! This is not a “Christian” novel. At least not in the conventional sense. Think of it as a spiritual rock ‘n roll novel for real people who might or might not believe in Jesus...with just a few F-bombs and tears thrown (appropriately) into the story to keep it real.

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO is a 97,000-word upmarket novel that will appeal to fans of Eddie Little's unflinching look at life choices and Sheri Reynolds' tales of flawed humans with good hearts. It may be spiritual, but JJLC is no Sunday sermon, and it definitely pushes boundaries.

A brief synopsis: Stunned to see his old friend hitchhiking through St. Louis - apparently they both survived their misadventures in Austin, Texas in the late 70's - Steven welcomes Randy into his home, his family, and his life. When Randy reveals he has less than six months to live, Steven scrambles to try to save him. But when Randy dredges up their dark past – the secrets that Steven's family, business, and veil of success surely will not weather, he makes a decision that could damn his life—now and eternally.

But Jesus has other plans. Time-tripping with Steven, as only the Son of God can do, He shows him that there is a reason they both survived Austin, and why Steven cannot do what he plans, free will or not.

My articles have appeared in American Falconry magazine, The Minnesota Volunteer magazine, Our Neck of the Woods anthology, and online at The Sage News Network. I also, unfortunately, have a background similar to my protagonist and write with the authority of having lived and escaped such a life.

I have included the first ten pages below and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 09:22:34 AM by DeeEssEss »
“The difficult I’ll do right now. The impossible will take a little while.” (Billie Holiday)

Offline kaperton

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Re: Query: Upmarket: Jesus Just Left Chicago
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 10:54:15 AM »
Your story sounds awesome, and everything you need is in this letter, but it doesn't follow the format of a standard query letter, which may be what's turning agents off. I suggest spending some time on this site and on Query Shark to see what a query letter should look like.



Dear [Agent}–

With his former best friend bound and gagged in the basement, his worried wife on her way home, and a pistol in his pocket, Steven Todd is about to have one hell of a “come to Jesus moment”.  This is a great start, but I would remove the quotes from come to Jesus moment. The use of quotes has kind of gone out of style, for lack of a better way to phrase it, and using them when not necessary makes the writer seem older/out of touch. That's just my opinion, of course.

But it's a Cubs-cap wearing Jesus who comes to Steven. Wait! This is not a “Christian” novel. At least not in the conventional sense. Think of it as a spiritual rock ‘n roll novel for real people who might or might not believe in Jesus...with just a few F-bombs and tears thrown (appropriately) into the story to keep it real.

A brief synopsis: Stunned to see his old friend hitchhiking through St. Louis - apparently they both survived their misadventures in Austin, Texas in the late 70's - Steven welcomes Randy into his home, his family, and his life. When Randy reveals he has less than six months to live, Steven scrambles to try to save him. But when Randy dredges up their dark past – the secrets that Steven's family, business, and veil of success surely will not weather, he makes a decision that could damn his life—now and eternally. This paragraph and the next one should go in the "meat" of the query. Chronologically, this one should be the first paragraph, but your first paragraph is so strong, I'd hate to displace it. Can you find a way to weave it in so that it works as a second paragraph?

But Jesus has other plans. Time-tripping with Steven, as only the Son of God can do I LOVE THIS LINE SO MUCH, He shows him that there is a reason they both survived Austin, and why Steven cannot do what he plans, free will or not.

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO is a 97,000-word upmarket novel that will appeal to fans of Eddie Little's unflinching look at life choices and Sheri Reynolds' tales of flawed humans with good hearts. It may be spiritual, but JJLC is no Sunday sermon, and it definitely pushes boundaries. [I moved this paragraph.]My articles have appeared in American Falconry magazine, The Minnesota Volunteer magazine, Our Neck of the Woods anthology, and online at The Sage News Network. I also, unfortunately, have a background similar to my protagonist and write with the authority of having lived and escaped such a life.

I have included the first ten pages below and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

I don't think you need to worry about explaining that it's not a traditional Christian novel. That comes across clearly in your description (e.g. "Time-tripping with Steven, as only the Son of God can do.")
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:59:27 AM by kaperton »

Offline 007 fan

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Re: Query: Upmarket: Jesus Just Left Chicago
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 11:54:14 PM »
I've had the song stuck in my head since first reading your query this morning!  :)

Anyway, this sounds super unique!

Help! Feel like this is a snappy and effective query letter, but I may be wrong :) . So far lots of "no responses" and a couple of quick rejections. All critiques welcomed and listened to.

Dear [Agent}–

With his former best friend bound and gagged in the basement, his worried wife on her way home, and a pistol in his pocket, Steven Todd is about to have one hell of a “come to Jesus moment”. I agree that this should stay as your opening. Too good to bury.

But it's a Cubs-cap wearing Jesus whom comes to Steven meets. Wait! This is not a “Christian” novel. At least not in the conventional sense. Think of it as a spiritual rock ‘n roll novel for real people who might or might not believe in Jesus...with just a few F-bombs and tears thrown (appropriately) into the story to keep it real. I really like this and think you should keep it but move it to the title paragraph.

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO is a 97,000-word upmarket novel that will appeal to fans of Eddie Little's unflinching look at life choices and Sheri Reynolds' tales of flawed humans with good hearts. It may be spiritual, but JJLC is no Sunday sermon, and it definitely pushes boundaries.

A brief synopsis: Stunned to see his old friend hitchhiking through St. Louis - apparently they both survived their misadventures in Austin, Texas in the late 70's - Steven welcomes Randy into his home, his family, and his life. When Randy reveals he has less than six months to live, Steven scrambles to try to save him. But when Randy dredges up their dark past – the secrets that Steven's family, business, and veil of success surely will not weather, he (Steven) makes a decision that could damn his life—now and eternally.

But Jesus has other plans. Time-tripping with Steven, as only the Son of God can do, He shows him that there is a reason they both survived Austin, and why Steven cannot do what he plans, free will or not.

My articles have appeared in American Falconry magazine, The Minnesota Volunteer magazine, Our Neck of the Woods anthology, and online at The Sage News Network. I also, unfortunately, have a background similar to my protagonist and write with the authority of having lived and escaped such a life.

I have included the first ten pages below and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

I decided to paste a copy of your query below so I can move things around. I'm leaving out stuff I think can go.

Dear Agent,

With his former best friend bound and gagged in the basement, his worried wife on her way home, and a pistol in his pocket, Steven Todd is about to have one hell of a “come to Jesus moment”.

Two weeks earlier (or whatever), Steven is stunned to see his old friend hitchhiking through St. Louis - apparently they both survived their misadventures in Austin, Texas in the late 70's - and welcomes Randy into his home, his family, and his life. When Randy reveals he has less than six months to live, Steven scrambles to try to save him. But when Randy dredges up their dark past – the secrets that Steven's family, business, and veil of success surely will not weather, Steven makes a decision that could damn his life—now and eternally.

That's when Steven meets Jesus, who's wearing a Cubs-cap, and He has other plans. Time-tripping with Steven, as only the Son of God can do, He shows him that there is a reason they both survived Austin, and why Steven cannot do what he plans, free will or not.

JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO is a 97,000-word upmarket novel that will appeal to fans of Eddie Little's unflinching look at life choices and Sheri Reynolds' tales of flawed humans with good hearts. It is a spiritual rock ‘n roll novel for real people who might or might not believe in Jesus...with just a few F-bombs and tears thrown (appropriately) into the story to keep it real.

My articles have appeared in American Falconry magazine, The Minnesota Volunteer magazine, Our Neck of the Woods anthology, and online at The Sage News Network. I also, unfortunately, have a background similar to my protagonist and write with the authority of having lived and escaped such a life.

I have included the first ten pages below. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 01:44:12 AM by 007 fan »
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