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VIRTUAL JERUSALEM (Satirical Thriller)--REVISED


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#1 mosesmallone

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:58 PM

Dear Mr. Agent,

Set in 2034 in an America drunk on religion and consumerism, Virtual Jerusalem is the tongue-in-cheek epic of Ken Clarion, a retiring spy on a seemingly simple final mission that blossoms into a global crisis, forcing Ken to choose between his life and the plans of enemies who see the Apocalypse as a winning business model. Combining elements of commercial and literary fiction with wit, mystery, philosophy, and politics, and written in sparkling prose, Virtual Jerusalem is a fast-moving, dialogue-rich novel of 117,000 words.

Accepting his final mission with the sort of ambivalence that can only lead to trouble, Ken and his young, evangelical partner, Tuck Squires, travel to Boston to retrieve the victim of a failed kidnapping attempt, Dr. Diana Cross. Learning firsthand that Diana’s technology, SpiritWare, allows its users to communicate with something that may or may not be God (and that the President sees SpiritWare as a way to head off a rapidly-escalating crisis in the Middle East), Ken and Tuck are nonetheless convinced that the bungling kidnappers have long since given up. When a second kidnapping attempt succeeds, Ken and Tuck set off on parallel investigations that lead them to New Orleans, the Caribbean, and beyond. Winding their way through a world gone horribly yet comically wrong, they ultimately come face-to-face with Diana’s kidnappers, Christian mogul and Jesus Burger founder, Ravelton Parlay, and his chief henchman, Iraq War hero, Jack Justice. Featuring an ending filled with high stakes political intrigue, biting satire, and revelations about the nature of humanity itself, Ken’s final mission forces him to come to terms not only with death but the meanings of justice, sacrifice, and freedom.

I hold an MFA in Fiction from Emerson College. A few years ago I left a career in corporate strategy to write full-time. Virtual Jerusalem is my first novel. Authors that have influenced my work include Martin Amis, Don Delillo, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you.


Best Regards,


K. Baumeister

#2 gaius

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:19 PM

Dear K,

You have to avoid reviewing you own work. The agent will decide if it's sparking prose. I took the liberty to edit, as well as some artistic license (hope you don't mind). I think the story is very good. I can already see your movie credits scrolling. Others here will have more to say.

Best of luck,
Gaius



VIRTUAL JERUSALEM is set in 2034 in an America drunk on religion and consumerism. It is the tongue-in-cheek tale of Ken Clarion, a retiring spy on a simple final mission the blossoms into a global crisis. This forces him to choose between life on the golf course and the plans of enemies who see the Apocalypse as a winning business model.

He accepts this swan song with the sort of ambivalence that can only lead to trouble. Ken and his holy-roller partner,Tuck Squires, travel to Boston to rescue Dr. Diana Cross, a would-be kidnapping victim. They learn that Diana has created Spirit Ware, a technology that allows users to communicate with something that may or may not be God. The President sees this technology as a way to head off a rapidly-escalating crisis in the Middle East.

While Ken and Tuck relax their guard, Diana is kidnapped, which sends the two spies on parallel investigations that take them to the Caribbean, New Orleans and beyond. They wind their way through a world gone horribly yet comically wrong, but ultimately come face-to-face with the kidnappers who have wild-sounding names such as Jesus Burger, Jack Justice and Ravelton Parlay. High stakes political intrigue ensues as the hapless spies attempt to free Dr. Cross. But there is more in store for our Ken as he comes to terms with death, justice, sacrifice, and freedom.

This Upscale 177,000 word title is available for review upon your request.


I hold an MFA in Fiction from Emerson College. Virtual Jerusalem is my first novel. Authors that have influenced my work include Martin Amis, Don Delillo, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

K

#3 Carson Spencer

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:56 AM

Very well written in my opinion but I do have to agree with gaius that the review is upto the agent. From what I understand the hook is just there to catch the attention of the agent long enough for him to deside on wether or not to read the summery paragraph. You do a good job of showing all the "wit, mystery, philosophy, and politics, and written in sparkling prose" in the next paragraph so no need to slow down the hook by telling the agent before hand. Also I would move "Virtual Jerusalem is a fast-moving, dialogue-rich novel of 117,000 words." to the end. Everything else about this seemed smooth IMO. Great job and good luck hooking an agent.

#4 mosesmallone

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I appreciate you reading the query. Cheers, KGB

#5 mosesmallone

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:00 PM

Revised...


Dear Ms. Agent,

What could bring together a Marxist heiress, two disillusioned spies, and a gang of born again criminals…other than Rush Limbaugh’s pornographic dreams? The answer is Virtual Jerusalem, a satirical thriller complete at 117,000 words.

Set in 2034, in an America drunk on religion and consumerism, narrated by Ken Clarion, an agent who died on this, his last mission, Virtual Jerusalem is the story of SpiritWare, a software program designed to put its users in touch with God; a program that could, in the wrong hands, become a powerful brainwashing tool.

In response to a bungled kidnapping attempt, Ken and his young, Bible-thumping partner, Tuck Squires, fly to Boston to take SpiritWare’s creator, Dr. Diana Cross, into protective custody; but when a second kidnapping attempt succeeds on their watch, Ken and Tuck must set off on parallel investigations that lead them from Boston to New Orleans and the Caribbean. As the world stumbles towards a man-made Apocalypse, the President considers the use of a “super weapon” that may only deepen the crisis, and Ken trails the kidnappers to an island in the Devil’s Triangle. There, a mortally wounded Diana tells him that she has given away SpiritWare’s security code in a failed attempt to bargain with their enemies. She does, however, carry one final secret, a failsafe that will destroy SpiritWare if someone can escape the island to use it.

Ordering Tuck to leave, Ken fails in an attempt to stop the kidnappers then dies when the island is destroyed. Grateful for Ken’s sacrifice, Tuck escapes the island. Rightly seeing its destruction by the military as an attempted cover-up, a disillusioned Tuck leaves the government, uses the failsafe, and ultimately takes his vengeance on the man responsible for Virtual Jerusalem, someone who has, quite literally, been taking his instructions from God all along…

A dialogue-rich novel that should appeal to fans of Bill Maher, viewers of MSNBC, and readers of Martin Amis and Don Delillo, Virtual Jerusalem is my first book. Your work with _____ and _____ makes me wonder whether you would be interested in representing it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best Regards,


Kurt Baumeister

#6 Carson Spencer

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:10 AM

Good job Kurt. I think it is really improving. I would however change the "this is my first book" part at the end. From what I have read agents would love for all thier authors to already have experiance in publishing. So telling them you don't have the same experiance as someone else is not going to help when trying to get them to read your Manuscript. instead I might just put the word count after the title.

Good Luck.

#7 mosesmallone

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:50 AM

Thanks, Carson. Still doing some edits to reduce the query's word count. Cheers, KGB

#8 arbraun

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:34 PM

I really liked the second paragraph as far as the plot, but the first sentence in the first paragraph is too long, IMHO. Agents see that and they know you haven't pared down in the manuscript. Also, the abundance of characters in the second paragraph is character soup. I'd try to stick the the main character, with maybe one or two others. Finally, I wouldn't mention the information in the third paragraph. If you haven't won a lot of contests or had a lot of publishing credits, I'd leave it out, with the exception of how this is your first novel. You don't need qualifications to write a fiction novel.

Hope this helps,

A. R. Braun

#9 mosesmallone

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 12:27 AM

Oh my...fiction novel? Thanks for the comments...cheers! KGB




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