Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Query Me...

Folks this is Thomas' potential query letter for more agents and we need feedback. Please! He's super concerned about the beginning mainly:

Mr. Blah Blah
With Blah Blah Blah
1234 Street
New York, NY

Dear Mr. Blah Blah,

A paroled child rapist, a reporter and his father the town minister along with his best friend’s dad the Chief of Police, and an old Voodoo Witch make up five of the unsettling characters in the novel Black Box Confessional.

For ten years in rural southeastern Kansas a dark truth has surrounded the deaths of two high school seniors found in a water logged truck at the lake on graduation morning. Dark secrets have always been the specialty of the town’s residents going back to the days of the Blood Benders and the Dalton Gang. However, some secrets are too sinister to stay hidden.

Alex Mitchellson, an investigative reporter from Denver, has returned to his hometown for the first time in nearly ten years. The return is complicated by obligations, old romances, and the sudden death of his two friends. The most disturbing complication comes in the form of a tattered yellow envelope awaiting him in his hotel room. The letter, although very cryptic, warns him about the very lies that caused him to leave his home nearly a decade ago.

As more letters continue to arrive Alex is forced to faces his greatest fear; that there was more to his friend’s death. With the help of his high school girlfriend, and his last remaining friend, a social shut-in, together they raid police files, blackmail one person and seduce another all in the midst of have their every move watched by a dangerous outsider. Every piece of evidence points towards foul play and the possibility of a cover up, and an ever increasing danger for Alex.

Armed with the identity of the mysterious letter writer Alex takes the final step towards discovering what happened to his friends, and to unearth why they had been singled out. His questions are answered when he discovers the Chief of Police and his own father are at the root of a dark and sinister secret centered around the love the two boys shared. In a final confrontation Alex must make a dangerous choice to save himself or his friends from the hands of the two people he thought he could always trust.

I'm a graduate of Emporia State University, receiving a double bachelor in Theater and Journalism. While there I received many awards for articles published in the college newspaper. Several of my short plays have been produced by colleges in which I was affliated.
Although, my wife believes it is against my religion to use commas.

Thank you for considering Black Box Confessional.


Thomas Dean


  1. A very good website for getting query feedback is http://openquery.blogspot.com/ You should post this over there.

  2. My concern about the first sentence is that it is too long and needs to be broken up. It sounds like a really interesting story, though. If I were an agent, I'd be asking for more. :)

  3. For everyone reading first off Veronica added that last sentence of the letter on her own just to see who was paying attention so please don't think it is actually in the letter.

    But I do want to thank everyone for taking time to read through the query. This is the second revision of the letter and it is completely new. I felt the first was a little too pretty and so this one is a little darker.

    These are a few of my concerns:
    1. Obviously the first sentence - sometimes I think it sounds like the set up to a joke all that is missing is "walk into a bar".
    2. Should I make the statement about the two boys being gay a bigger asspect? I do not want this is read as a gay novel, because it is no.)
    3. Is there enough to make you ask for more? If not what else might help?

    Thank you in advance.

  4. You need to include somewhere the sentence, "Black Box Confessional is a XX,XXX-word [suspense? mystery? other?] novel." Agents will want to know what genre you think it is, and the word count as well. If it's too short or too long, they won't want it.

    This letter is too long and keeps starting over. I think you should cut the first two paragraphs. You don't need the cast of characters, and if it's Alex' story, start with him. And you should cut everything in the "Armed with the identity" paragraph except the last sentence. Don't give a synopsis; just give enough to make someone want to read more. I again urge you to post this to the openquery.blogspot.com site.

    An agent will want to know that the two victims are gay.

  5. Thanks everyone for the constructive comments as we work to try to get Thomas' amazing book published. But it's no lie...he has something against commas:)

  6. I might have something against commas but I do love me some semi-colons.

  7. I noticed a typo...In the second paragraph, it should be 'Bloody' Benders and not 'Blood'. Other than that, it is a very well written letter. I would love to get my hands on a copy of the book! Sounds very interesting!!! Let me know how I can get ahold of a few copies!!

  8. Lelani...you're right. Only someone from our neck of the woods would have caught that. Thank you. Thomas has a few limited copies that he shares with people for critiques; other than that its an agents waiting game.