Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Face-Lift 185


Guess the Plot

Pantheon of Dreams

1. Billionaire Robbie Dell has everything he ever wanted in his Ancient-Rome themed estate. Everything, that is, except the original Pantheon. So, when the Italian authorities refuse to sell it to him, Robbie hatches a plan to steal it.

2. In this mythic epic, Morpheus, the god of sleep, comes to Earth disguised as a Greek sailor. Dreams come true for lonely Hypnos, the god of dreams as he spies Morpheus browsing the antique shops on Santorini.

3. Summoned to investigate a murder, two homicide detectives discover that the victim is Calliope, one of the nine Muses from Greek mythology.

4. To Marlys, it's a magical place, a lovely palace where anything can happen, a beautiful and enchanted realm. But to her mother, it's just a very messy room.

5. A vacation in Rome becomes a nightmare when Jenny Binter steps into the Pantheon and discovers a portal to another realm.

6. A new contest on HGTV turns the Pantheon in Rome into your very own Tuscan Villa--but only if you guess exactly how much it weighs.


Original Version

Please find enclosed the first three chapters of Pantheon of Dreams, the first in a potential series of urban fantasy murder mysteries. Two homicide detectives investigate the mysterious death of a wealthy recluse. She turns out to be one of the Muses of Greek mythology. [I realize CSI units have come a long way, but getting from, There's a dead body in there, to It's one of the Muses from Greek mythology is a giant leap.] [At what point in the book is it discovered that the victim is a Muse? I'm not sure I want to be reading a standard murder mystery, wondering whodunnit, and suddenly near the end Zeus shows up.] [It's Thalia, Muse of comedy, right? And the coroner figures it out during the autopsy when he cuts her open and a flock of mockingbirds fly forth from her thoraxic cavity?] Their investigation, and the circumstances surrounding her murder, draw in a cast of characters that realize that their normal world has a whole world within it. [Whatever that means.]

I have a B.S. in Biology [Which helps me add realism to my use of biological entities as characters.] (with an undeclared major in English) and work as an environmental toxicologist. [The Muse was killed by an undetectable poison. I was almost stumped, and thinking I was going to have to read the book, but it just came to me.] My family includes practicing obeah people (think Jamaican voodoo) [A red herring. Voodoo had nothing to do with it. She was poisoned.] and I am a part-time pastor, having been in the ministry for over ten years. [Unless you're a homicide detective or an ancient Greek, or you've fully described your book already, I don't care to know this stuff. A better use for the space would be adding information about your plot. ] I've had fiction accepted by the Dark Dreams II, and DeathGrip: Exit Laughing anthologies as well as Weird Tales magazine.

The novel is complete and can be sent at your request. Thank you for your time and interest. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,


Notes

Someone gets murdered and it turns out to be a Muse. That's all we get? Those three chapters had better start off with a bang, because the only question I have is what a Muse is doing in . . . wherever we are, and since there's no guarantee that the answer is revealed before chapter 4, I'd like more to go on in the letter.

Also when the query letters are really short, it's harder to work as many laughs into the critique. Have a little compassion for Evil Editor. Give me some material to work with.

6 comments:

Rei said...

Part of this reads almost like a spoof query that I once wrote. I half expect it to continue:

"I went to high school in Portland, Oregon, but I moved to Texas at the age of 23. My favorite colors are red, green, and chartruce. I do not have an Aunt Petunia, but I do like petunias. I worked briefly as a lumberjack, but the job didn't really work out because of a debilitating allery to cedar. On Wednesdays, I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea."

Dave said...

Maybe when Calliope dies, TV and movie plots dry up and reality shows take over.

Writerious said...

I've got a B.S. in Biology, too, but I only put that in query letters if I'm writing biology-related nonfiction. And even then, publishing credits come first.

And as they say...

B.S. means... well, we all know what B.S. stands for.

M.S. is "more of the same."

Ph.D. is "piled higher and deeper."

I'm busy piling it higher and deeper tonight as I pound away on my dissertation. Oh, man, am I piling it higher and deeper.

~Nancy said...

Sounds like this might be something I'd read, but I agree with EE: There's not enough to chew on here. The query is too short.

And as for listing degree in biology or that you're a pastor - delete all that - but keep the credits about your stories appearing in mags/anthologies.

~JerseyGirl

Zombie Deathfish said...

Potentially this could be interesting, but at the moment the plot appears too thin. I want to know more about the murder and the characters, lots more.

HawkOwl said...

Lucky mine is a B.Sc. and not a B.S. then. :)