Author Topic: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA  (Read 200 times)

Offline SincerelySinclair

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: 20
Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« on: June 13, 2019, 10:17:43 PM »
Hey everyone. Here's what I've got so far. I don't think that it's awful but I know that it's missing something good

Dear X,

There’s a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the 13th victim. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane’s spirit is restless. When she is accidentally summoned by paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, from her limbo afterlife, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal.

However, there’s one slight hitch to her plan. She can’t control her new ghostly body or powers and she doesn’t remember what happened to her the day she died. Bound to Sebastian, her earthly tie to the living, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian are confronted that the killer is accelerating and becoming more unhinged as time goes on.

In the search for clues, Sebastian goes missing and Diane’s faint tie to the world is threatened. When a message from the killer arrives on the anniversary of her death, Diane is faced with an impossible decision: save Sebastian and spend the rest of her afterlife as a trophy in the killer’s morbid collection or condemn him to an agonizing death and wander the earth for all eternity.

HART & SCULL is a New Adult Paranormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It’s THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. Fans of these novels will enjoy Diane’s struggle with her life and death and admire Sebastian’s ever-optimistic nature even in the face of the unknown. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Offline TigerAsh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 362
  • Karma: 80
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 11:54:26 AM »
Hey everyone. Here's what I've got so far. I don't think that it's awful but I know that it's missing something good

Dear X,

There’s a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the 13th thirteenth victim. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane’s spirit is restless. When she is accidentally summoned by paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, from her limbo afterlife, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal.

However, there’s one slight hitch to her plan.: She can’t control her new ghostly body or powers and [I don't think it's necessary to say this. Additionally, you said there was one hitch.] she doesn’t remember what happened to her the day she died. Bound to Sebastian, her earthly tie to the living, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian are confronted that the killer is accelerating [This sounds weird to me.] and becoming more unhinged as time goes on.

In the search for clues, [This is a weird opening for the rest of the sentence.] Sebastian goes missing and Diane’s faint tie to the world is threatened. When a message from the killer arrives on the anniversary of her death, [Arrives where?] Diane is faced with an impossible decision: save Sebastian and spend the rest of her afterlife as a trophy in the killer’s morbid collection [How could she be a trophy for the killer when she's already dead?] or condemn him to an agonizing death and wander the earth for all eternity. [You said at the beginning of this paragraph that Diane's tie to the world is threatened when Sebastian goes missing. So why would she be wandering the earth if he died?]

HART & SCULL is a New Adult Pparanormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It’s THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. [I've heard agents say that the age category of New Adult doesn't exist. For what it's worth, this sounds like an adult novel to me, so I think if you just refer to it as a "paranormal novel", it will be fine.] Fans of these novels will enjoy Diane’s struggle with her life and death and admire Sebastian’s ever-optimistic nature even in the face of the unknown. [This should be shown in the query letter rather than told at the end.] Thank you for your time and consideration.





I think my biggest issue with the query letter as it stands is Diane's connection to Sebastian/the living world. Because that isn't clear, it's hard to fully understand what's at stake for Diane, especially after Sebastian goes missing.

Hope my comments help. Good luck! :)

Offline SincerelySinclair

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: 20
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 12:22:47 PM »
Thanks for the edit, TigerAsh. I've been divided on calling it NA but since some agents say that they do represent it or that they don't I've erred on the side of caution.

Dear X,

There's a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the thirteenth victim. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane's spirit is restless. When she is accidentally summoned paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, from her limbo afterlife, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal.

However, it's not as easy as she hoped. Diane doesn't remember what happened to her the day she died and due to a botched summoning, she grows weaker when she's away from Sebastian. Bound to him, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian fear that the killer is becoming more depraved and unhinged as time goes on. (I feel like more depraved is a bit redundant. The killer is already eating people. How much worse could it get?)

But when Sebastian suddenly goes missing, both his and Diane's lives are threatened. Unable to interact with the living world without Sebastian, Diane must race against the clock to find and save him from an agonizing death or risk wandering the earth for all eternity.

HART & SCULL is a New Adult paranormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Offline utesfanami

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 6
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2019, 04:52:30 PM »
Hi SincerelySinclair!

Please take all my edits and comments as suggestions!
Thanks for the edit, TigerAsh. I've been divided on calling it NA but since some agents say that they do represent it or that they don't I've erred on the side of caution.

Dear X,

There's a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the cannibal'sthirteenth victim. I think this is a solid start here. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane's spirit is restlessThis sentence confused me. I had to read it a couple times. For clarity, maybe try: "After being kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane's a spirit. And now she's restless." As this sentence is presently constructed, it almost sounds like Diane's spirit was kidnapped, tortured, and eaten.. When she is accidentally summoned by paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, from her limbo afterlife, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal. Is there a way you can make Diane sound more active? Based on what I've read so far, she hasn't done anything, other than getting eaten and getting summoned. What does she do? I also don't know her character very well. What makes her unique?

However, it's not as easy as she hoped if she's a spirit, it probably wouldn't be easy to kill a flesh and blood person. Diane doesn't remember what happened to her the day she died and due to a botched summoning, she grows weaker when she's away from Sebastian. Bound to him, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian fear that the killer is becoming more depraved and unhinged as time goes on. (I feel like more depraved is a bit redundant. The killer is already eating people. How much worse could it get?)

But when Sebastian suddenly goes missing, both his and Diane's lives are threatened. Unable to interact with the living world without Sebastian, Diane must race against the clock to find and save him from an agonizing death or risk wandering the earth for all eternity.

HART & SCULL is a New Adult paranormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I think you've got an interesting premise and good comp titles. This query seems to be missing a few things though: Who is Diane? Why should we root for her other than she was murdered? I'd also like to see a bit more voice. If she's funny, or has a dark sense of humor, you could add something like, "Kill the bastard who ate her with smoked mac n' cheese and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce." I mean, that's not a great line off the top of my head, but I hope you understand my point. Find ways to infuse the query with the unique ways your character describes the world in which she lives. That'll give us a sense of her personality. And really, if she's got a personality we love, we'll be rooting for her throughout the query.

Keep at it. The bones are there for your query, we just have to really polish it to make it glow.

Offline SincerelySinclair

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: 20
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2019, 05:42:18 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions! I don't know how to make Diane sound more active in query although rest assured she's the driving force of the story. It's her idea to go kill her killer and it does fall on her to save Sebastian. I feel as though I'm already pushing the envelope with the "Kill the bastard who turned her into a meal". Diane's got a great personality but she was brutally murdered. I don't want it to feel like this is more comedy than a dark fate but again that's all in my humble opinon.

Offline TigerAsh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 362
  • Karma: 80
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2019, 07:23:03 PM »
Thanks for the edit, TigerAsh. I've been divided on calling it NA but since some agents say that they do represent it or that they don't I've erred on the side of caution. [If you want to take the chance and call it NA, that's fine. But if that's the case, I would maybe mention Diane's age, to help differentiate it from adult (because the query letter gives me adult feels).]

Dear X,

There's a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the thirteenth victim. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane's spirit is restless. When she is accidentally summoned from her limbo afterlife by paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, from her limbo afterlife, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal.

However, it's not as easy as she hoped. Diane doesn't remember what happened to her the day she died and due to a botched summoning, she grows weaker when she's away from Sebastian. Bound to him, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian fear that the killer is becoming more depraved and unhinged as time goes on. (I feel like more depraved is a bit redundant. The killer is already eating people. How much worse could it get?) [I agree, so I would just leave "depraved" out.]

But when Sebastian suddenly goes missing, both his and Diane's lives are threatened. [This is weird to say, because Diane is already dead.] Unable to interact with the living world without Sebastian, Diane must race against the clock to find and save him from an agonizing death or risk wandering the earth for all eternity.

HART & SCULL is a New Adult new adult [There's no need to capitalized it.] paranormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. [Make sure to include a brief bio about yourself.] Thank you for your time and consideration.


This is definitely better than the previous version!
Hope my new comments help! :)

Offline SincerelySinclair

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: 20
Re: Hart & Scull - Paranormal Fantasy NA
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 08:09:34 PM »
How about this? I sell it as adult but for agents who are interested in young adult, I include Diane's age (21) in the query.

Dear X,

There's a cannibal killer loose in Oregon and no one knows this better than Diane Hart, the thirteenth victim. Kidnapped, tortured, and eaten, Diane's spirit is restless. When she is accidentally summoned from her limbo afterlife by paranormal investigator, Sebastian Scull, Diane has only one thought on her mind: kill the bastard who turned her into a meal.

However, it's not as easy as she hoped. Diane doesn't remember what happened to the day she died and due to a botched summoning, she grows weaker when she's away from Sebastian. Bound to him, they set off to find out what happened to her that fateful November evening. As memories of her brutal death emerge and more women go missing, Diane and Sebastian fear that the killer is becoming more unhinged as time goes on.

But when Sebastian suddenly goes missing, his life and Diane's afterlife are threatened (I feel that this is less weird/awkward but that's just me.) Unable to interact with the living world without Sebastian, Diane must race against the clock to find and save him from an agonizing death or risk wandering the earth for all eternity.

HART & SCULL is a new adult paranormal novel complete at 65,000 words. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH. I am a (the usual spiel about myself) Thank you for your time and consideration.