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Thread: querry review

  1. #1
    Johnny Ray
    Guest

    querry review


    Dear Editor Name,

    When Nickolay Panov left St Petersburg, Russia, to go to New York City for an international ballet competition 25 years ago, he was considered one of the best ballet dancers in Russia. The Americans say he was murdered. The Russians say he defected. In any case, he never returned.

    Just before Nickolay disappeared, several priceless paintings and icons from a major museum were stolen. While he was accused of the theft, no solid proof has ever been offered to tie him to it. Evidence shows that the stolen goods were shipped to America. The CIA and the Russian Government are still pursuing all leads connected to the heist, and so is the Russian mafia.

    Sveta was three years old when her father disappeared, so itís a shock when, in the mail, she receives an invitation to a salsa dance competition in New York. At the bottom of the invitation is a note: ďPlease come to the competition and enter, my little lady.Ē No one but her father has ever called her that.

    Why has her father surfaced after all these years? Sveta wants answers, even if it means entering the late-night, sultry world of salsa dancing in St Petersburg and New York City and coming into uncomfortably close contact with the Russian mobÖ

    The Salsa Connection is a complete 89,000-word work of fiction, a thriller that moves from the salsa clubs of St Petersburg to New York to Louisiana and, finally, to Italy. The red-hot thread of the dance runs through a novel that explores the Russian mob, slavery and prostitution rings, and the art world, as well as love, loss, revenge and the strength of family ties.

    Iím passionate about salsa, and dance with my sweetheart from Russia, who I married a year ago. Iím also currently a 57-year-old Certified International Property Specialist, a line of work in which itís very important to promote oneself, a skill that will be useful when I start writing full time after my move to Florida next month. I hope to complete 3-4 novels per year and will also be starting a self-syndicated review column. Iíve written two previous books. The first was business suspense (Time is of the Essence) and the second is a paranormal romance (In Search of True Love), which have garnered some interest but no sale as yet. Iím currently working on my fourth novel (The Rejection Letter): a mystery involving a main character with bi-polar problems, a ďFatal AttractionĒ situation set in the publishing industry between a want-to-be author and an agent.

    I hope The Salsa Connection fits the requirements of your agency and that you will be interested in reading the work in its entirety. I have attached a detailed synopsis, the first three chapters of the novel and a SASE. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,

    Johnny Ray



  2. #2
    Dale Day
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    My immediate reaction is that it's too long. If I were a busy agent, I would either set it aside and ignore it.
    It needs to be short and to the point, selling your idea in a concise manner. No more than three or four very short paragraphs.

  3. #3
    Jim T
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    Tighten the whole thing up.

    Lose the last two paragraphs entirely. Just close with "Thank you for your time and consideration." Your passions and goals are not the important issues here: your story is.

  4. #4
    Jim T
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    Tighten the whole thing up.

    Lose the last two paragraphs entirely. Just close with "Thank you for your time and consideration." Your passions and goals are not the important issues here: your story is.

  5. #5
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    The easiest way to see if a query will be read beyond the first line is to strip away everything BUT the first line. THAT'S your ONE chance to grab the agent. It has to make the agent want to read more. There has to be a tidbit in sentence #1 so compelling that it makes it impossible for the agent to stop reading. It is the most important line you'll ever write IF publishing is your goal. I don't think your first sentence pulls that off. jmho

    "When Nickolay Panov left St Petersburg, Russia, to go to New York City for an international ballet competition 25 years ago, he was considered one of the best ballet dancers in Russia."

  6. #6
    Finnley Wren
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    A query letter is supposed to be a one-page, professional business letter designed to get the editor interested in your book. One book. It is no place to talk about your passions, your current job, your marital status, any other books you may have written (unless they have been published) or your hopes and dreams.

    As a general aside, frankly it burns my butt to think an agent has to wade through piles of stuff like this before coming upon - I hope - my own carefully crafted query that is concise and to the point. I shudder to think of the mood he might be in when that happens.

    It's a shame because the book sounds interesting, but frankly I do wonder if it is written in the same style as the letter.

    Probably just my own frustration showing and I apologize for venting. I do sincerely wish you the best of luck, Johnny.

  7. #7
    Mya Bell
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    I like the title and the premise.

    Iím passionate about salsa, and dance with my sweetheart from Russia, who I married a year ago. Iím also currently a 57-year-old Certified International Property Specialist, a line of work in which itís very important to promote oneself, a skill that will be useful when I start writing full time after my move to Florida next month. I hope to complete 3-4 novels per year and will also be starting a self-syndicated review column. Iíve written two previous books. The first was business suspense (Time is of the Essence) and the second is a paranormal romance (In Search of True Love), which have garnered some interest but no sale as yet. Iím currently working on my fourth novel (The Rejection Letter): a mystery involving a main character with bi-polar problems, a ďFatal AttractionĒ situation set in the publishing industry between a want-to-be author and an agent.

    Some people thought you should lose this entirely. I liked parts of it and think you could perhaps shorten it to:

    "I'm passionate about salsa, and dance with my sweetheart from Russia. I'm currently working on my fourth novel.


    --- Mya Bell

  8. #8
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    I have only two suggestions at the moment, because everything else I might say has already been said: Take out "completed," and "work of fiction." Only a rank amateur queries an incomplete novel, and a thriller is, by definition, a work of fiction.

  9. #9
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    Reading thru this, it sounded intriguing but I kept expecting a core conflict, protag, stakes, etc--but you never get to it!

    What I'm getting:

    The past:
    Twenty-five years ago, after being accused of stealing priceless paintings and icons from a Russian museum, dancer Nickolay Panov disappeared during a ballet competition in New York City. While no proof exists of Panov's involvement in the theft, evidence suggests the art was shipped to the US. The CIA, the Russian government, and the Russian mafia are still searching for it. And despite NYC police claims that Panov was murdered, the Russians believe he's alive.

    The present:
    When Sveta Panov receives an invitation to a salsa dance competition in New York City, the 28-year-old is shocked by an included note that addresses her with a pet name used only by her father. She concludes her father is alive and sending her a coded message.

    So Sveta enters the salsa competition.

    Isn't this where the story begins? When a 28-year-old woman receives a coded message from the father she thought was dead, who she last saw 25-years ago? So she acts, and then...

    But at this point, instead of describing or showing the key story questions, the core conflicts, the stakes, you pull away and summarize, with a list: the novel shows salsa dancing in NYC, Russia, Louisiana, Italy; involves the mafia, prostitution, etc, and emotions: love, loss, etc etc.

    It's all backstory, setup, situation, an intriguing foundation for a story, but...why withhold so much?

    Sounds interesting though, so who knows, maybe it'll work fine as is.

  10. #10
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: querry review

    Whoops, PS: agree w/above comments--whatever you do, dump the junk in last two paragraphs; maybe summarize into a brief sentence.

    >>>but frankly I do wonder if it is written in the same style as the letter.

    me too...

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