Author Topic: Query: LIMINAL  (Read 153 times)

Offline NaomiShulman

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Query: LIMINAL
« on: November 21, 2021, 05:06:22 PM »
Dear [agent],

Emotionally repressed firefighter Libby visits her estranged mother’s grave after an ultimatum from her boss – face her demons or resign. The lonely trip resurrects a heartache Libby buried long ago, prompting her to finally confront her past after years of stubborn denial.

That night, Libby finds herself trapped in a lucid dream with a dark version of her childhood self. Together they plod through unsettlingly familiar places cloaked in a heavy fog felt but never seen. Libby relentlessly and painfully pieces together fragmented memories and their collective meanings, yet the door to the waking world remains locked. Detached from her truth and unable to recall the origins of the dream, Libby soon suspects she’s hovering between far more than awake and asleep. She scours the dream world for clues as her young guide grows dangerously impatient.

Logic and factual understanding won’t be enough to free her from her demons - or from the dream. Libby’s neglected inner child waited a long time for her arrival and isn’t about to let her go without finishing what she came here to do.

LIMINAL is an 80,000-word psychological thriller with a neurodivergent romantic subplot. Its strong female lead and haunting portrayal of the human tendency to relegate painful memories to the dungeon of our psyche will appeal to readers of Sophie Hannah and Ashley Audrain. 

I’m a full-time ghostwriter, editor, and writing coach. To date, I have 8 traditionally published books of my own (multiple genres for children and adults) and have ghostwritten over 100 books for clients. Previously, I wrote a biweekly parenting column and developed, wrote, and oversaw the production of a 20-part middle grade comics serial.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[name]

Offline vivaviolet

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2021, 07:58:40 AM »
Wow, this is amazing. How could this possibly fail?

I want a glimpse of what happened to Libby that prompted the ultimatum from her boss. How specifically do the demons play out in her life now? Did someone die in a fire because she wasn't paying attention? What does she have to fix?

"Haunting portrayal" jumped out at me. The agent will decide whether they think it's haunting. Maybe something like "exploration"?

Offline NaomiShulman

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2021, 08:21:10 AM »
Thanks, vivaviolet!

The book starts off right away with that: Libby attempts an unauthorized rescue (deemed an unacceptable risk) against orders. It's not the first time, and she's placed on administrative leave. The first 5 pages are up on the forum for critique. Should I include the inciting incident in the blurb, or would that make the query too long?

What she has to fix should be clear from the blurb (or else I need to rewrite it! ;-))... she's been running from her past and distancing herself from an ugly truth that continues to color her approach to life, whether she sees it or not. The idea is that until she faces it, it'll continue to leak through the stoic persona she's taken on with others and even herself. Clear enough? Needs a rewrite?

Offline NaomiShulman

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2021, 08:27:21 AM »
What about this for the first paragraph:

Emotionally repressed firefighter Libby is placed on administrative leave following another unauthorized rescue attempt. As she leaves the station, her boss gives her an ultimatum - face her demons or resign. A visit to her estranged mother’s grave on her way home resurrects a heartache Libby buried long ago, prompting her to finally confront her past after years of stubborn denial.

Offline louise00

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2021, 08:31:46 AM »
I like NaomiShulman's latest suggestion. The only question I had about the query was the same as theirs - needing a little more info about what prompted the ultimatum.

Offline NaomiShulman

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2021, 09:39:54 AM »
Thanks! Anything else, or is this good to go?

Offline vivaviolet

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2021, 02:42:24 PM »
Your new first paragraph totally works for me.

Offline NaomiShulman

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Re: Query: LIMINAL
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2021, 03:36:02 PM »
Thanks, then it's set. I'm excited!  :koolaid: (how awesome is it that the koolaid dude is a standard emoji on here??)